Electoral Commission

When the face is the brand and brand is the face

Could the fledging Dotcom vanity project and political party be in trouble before it has already started.

Word has it that Kim Dotcom is not happy with activities so far, having their strategy leaked, the party secretary busted and resigning from his job in disgrace and now the legal problems that appear to be besetting the party.

Lawyers are spending a great deal of time trying to understand electoral law since the treating issue arose. Gordon Campbell writes about those issues:

As a consequence, Dotcom shelved his political party launch, and proceeded with plans for his birthday party music bash, only to be advised by the Electoral Commission that that, too, could be regarded as an event likely to induce voters to support his political party further down the track.

And also calls for the authorities to hold other parties to account, a sentiment I wholeheartedly agree with.

[A]ny event fostering democratic participation that Labour stages in south Auckland that involves say, hip hop or dance artists and carries a door price anything less than the full market rate, could now land it in trouble.

Clearly, the Venn diagram overlaps between “treating” and “party-related advertising” and “fund-raising entertainments” could now become a legal minefield for all political parties.

Dotcom has begun to affect the political climate of 2014, well before the election campaign proper.

The problem though lies not with the Electoral Commission who I believe do an admirable job. They are constantly referring law breaches tot he Police for prosecution and to date not a single complaint or referral has ever been acted on.

But other more pressing legal issues are now confronting them. You see in launching a party, using his face, his name, his style, his Twitter account to all promote and push the party Kim Dotcom has unwittingly nobbled himself and has possibly put the fledgling party in breach of the law again.¬† Read more »

Another Herald PR Job for Dotcom

The ever accommodating Herald (on Sunday) has sent Jonathan Milne to take one for the team

Headline:

Irked Dotcom takes a swipe at Key

[notice:  full article reproduced for the purpose of critical review]

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom has bitterly criticised Prime Minister John Key, after he was forced to postpone the launch of his political party and cancel a birthday party for more than 10,000 guests.

In an exclusive interview, Dotcom told the Herald on Sunday of his plans for the huge birthday party set for tomorrow night.

More than 25,000 people had registered for tickets (though the venue, Auckland’s Vector Arena, has capacity for only 12,000). “The Party Party was to be a four-hour show leading up to my 40th birthday,” he said, “starting with a 30-minute live set to perform six songs from my upcoming GoodTimes album.

“At midnight I would have celebrated my 40th birthday with a full Vector Arena. We asked everyone to dress in white for the laser and light show, including black lights which would have made everybody glow in the dark.”

Now Dotcom will launch his album and his new music download site, Baboom, tomorrow, as planned, with an extensive advertising campaign on radio and on the back of more than 100 buses.

But the launch of the Internet Party – his tilt at political power – has been postponed until February 20.

His birthday party has been cancelled. “I was sick to my stomach for two days. I could not eat or sleep. It feels so bad to let so many people down. I decided to have no birthday party at all this year. Instead we are going to celebrate the birthday of our son, Kimmo, at the beach. We share the same birthday and he will be 5 years old on January 21.”

Dotcom has ‘bitterly criticised Prime Minister John Key”.

Why?

Next follows a PR statement with dates and events as to what Dotcom plans to do rolling out his music, his real birthday party, and the party (without the party).

I mean, seriously? ¬† Read more »

Warnings aren’t enough, prosecute one FFS

David Cunliffe got a warning from Police, who have acted a whole lot faster than ever before with referrals from the Electoral Commission.

The next politician that is referred to Police by the Electoral Commission should be charged.

Labour Leader David Cunliffe says he has been given a written police warning about a tweet he posted on the day of the Christchurch East byelection urging people to vote for Labour candidate Poto Williams.

Mr Cunliffe says he has taken the warning on board and will not repeat the error.

The tweet said: “If you are resident in Christchurch East don’t forget to vote today – for Labour and Poto Williams.”¬† Read more »

McCready contemplating prosecuting Cunliffe

I’d say Graham McCready will end up prosecuting David Cunliffe, mainly because the Police have never acted on any complaint and there are more than 50 from 2008 and 2011 that remain untouched by Police.

Serial litigant Graham McCready has put Labour leader David Cunliffe on notice: if the police don’t prosecute him for breaking electoral rules, then he will.

McCready said Cunliffe could expect court action within six months.

Cunliffe is being investigated by the police after the Electoral Commission referred a tweet he sent on the day of the Christchurch East by-election, encouraged people to vote for Labour Candidate Poto Williams.

“If you are resident in Christchurch East don’t forget to vote today – for Labour and Poto Williams!” he wrote on Saturday.

Under Electoral Commission rules, no campaigning of any kind is allowed on election day.

Yesterday the commission announced it had referred Cunliffe to the police saying it believed he had breached the Electoral Act.

Police were yet to decide whether there were grounds for prosecution.¬† Read more »

Cunliffe referred to Police

After gobbing off in parliament today along with Russel Norman about pending court action for John Banks David Cunliffe has ended up with egg on his face.

Read more »

Is it time for for a change to electoral law?

At the 2011 election th Electoral Commission made it plain the rules surrounding social media. There was even media coverage at the time of the rules.

The NZ Herald reported:

Twitter and Facebook users face $20,000 fines if they use their accounts to campaign for their favourite party or leader on election day.

Chief Electoral Officer Robert Peden said material posted on social media websites was covered by strict rules which prohibit electioneering on election days.

“People should be aware that if they tweeted on election day to influence how somebody votes they will be breaching the [Electoral] Act and the [Electoral] Commission will take action.”

He said while people could leave websites with campaign material up on election day, they could not add further material or advertise the website.

Pretty clear stuff. It isn’t really feasible for David Cunliffe to claim he wasn’t aware of the rules. They haven’t changed.¬† Read more »

Cunliffe’s defence shot to hell

David Cunliffe claimed that he wasn’t aware of the rules.

Well that defence is shot to hell…why would he lie?

From: Natalie McNaught govt.nz>
Date: 29 November 2013 9:14:36 am NZDT
To: [Redacted]
Cc: [Redacted]

Subject: Election day rules for Christchurch East By-election

Good morning

Please find attached advice issued by the Electoral Commission on the election day rules for the by-election.  The advice outlines the key things that can and cannot be done before the close of polling at 7pm on election day.

We would invite you to share this information with your campaign team.  If you have any queries about activities on election day please contact the Commission.

Yours sincerely

 

Natalie McNaught¬†|¬†Senior Advisor Legal¬†|¬†Electoral Commission¬†|¬†Te Kaitiaki Take KŇćwhiri

PO Box 3220 | Level 10, 34-42 Manners Street | Wellington

Phone¬†+64 4 806 3512|¬†Fax¬†+64 4 495 0031¬†|¬†http://www.elections.org.nz ¬† ¬† ¬† Read more »

No surprises, another Labour politician broke electoral law

9469069David Cunliffe broke the law on Saturday, yet another in a long list of Labour politicians who play fast and loose with the Electoral Act knowing that they will never be prosecuted.

There were more than 30 referrals to police by the Electoral Commission for breaches of the Act and not a single one of them has been investigated or prosecuted. Labour knows they will not be prosecuted and so dies David Cunliffe. If I was advising any politicians I would tell them to right ahead and breach the Electoral Act because there is no sanction.

Labour leader David Cunliffe might have fallen foul of the law with a message posted on his Twitter profile on the day of the Christchurch East by-election.

The Electoral Commission is looking into the tweet by Cunliffe on Saturday urging Christchurch East residents to get out and vote for the successful Labour candidate Poto Williams.

“If you are resident in Christchurch East don’t forget to vote today – for Labour and Poto Williams!” he wrote.

Under Electoral Commission rules, no campaigning of any kind is allowed on election day.¬† Read more »

Labour want people to cross, Electoral Commission want people to tick

Labour are such muppets.

Labour’s hoardings want people to cross on the option. But the Electoral Commission state that people have to¬†tick the answer to the question.

Does crossing an answer on the ballot paper mean the vote paper is invalid? Here’s hoping.

Cross Read more »

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I never knew we used a Referendum to elect future NZ parliaments.

Thank you¬†Electoral Commission New Zealand – you’re swell.

….

Can we have our money back please?