electoral law

Greenpeace going to court again pretending they aren’t involved in politics

Greenpeace is suing the Electoral Commission because the Commission has said that their advertising is a political advert and must contain a promoter statement.

Environmental groups are taking the Electoral Commission to court over a ruling on a climate change campaign.

Greenpeace, Forest and Bird, WWF and others launched the Climate Voter initiative last month.

But the Electoral Commission says the campaign counts as an “election advertisement”, and is therefore subject to rules around wording of communications and spending restrictions.

Greenpeace says the ruling could gag grassroots advocacy groups – and the organisations are planning to take a freedom of speech test case to the High Court.

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This is why we need an Independent Commission Against Corruption, 113 cases and not a single prosecution

More than a hundred cases have been referred to the Police for prosecution by the Electoral Commission and not a single one has even been investigated.

These are breaches of our electoral laws and are about as serious as it can be when it comes to protecting democracy, and yet the Police just don’t give a stuff.

The Justice Minister’s been taken by surprise by the number of Electoral Act breaches that have been referred to police over the past three years.

Figures supplied by the Electoral Commission reveal 113 cases have been referred to police for investigation since the beginning of 2011 – not one has resulted in a prosecution.

It’s a figure Justice Minister Judith Collins wasn’t aware of.

Ms Collins doesn’t know the basis on which the Electoral Commission referred the cases to police, and says it’s something she’d have to find out more about before she could express an opinion.

It is outrageous that there are so many breaches, many by the Labour party that remain uninvestigated much less prosecuted.  Read more »

Why won’t the Police act with complaints from the Electoral Commission?

Back when I was editor of Truth I OIAd the Electoral Commission about outstanding complaints they had sent to the Police for prosecution.

To date nothing has happened with those complaints.

Here is what I wrote back then. The sentiments and facts remain the same:

In our January 3rd issue we reported the following story. This has since been picked up by other media agencies, so we thought we would refresh your memories on how you heard it first at Truth.

Police are sitting on more than twenty open investigations referred to them for prosecution under the Electoral Act by the Electoral Commission.

Truth has obtained details under the Official Information Act that reveal Police seem to have no interest in prosecuting offences and breaches of the Electoral Act.

Of the 32 cases referred, 6 have lapsed because the prosecution time limit has expired.

62 dual vote referrals remain open and un-prosecuted.

Headline cases referred by the Electoral Commission that remain open with little or no progress are the Green party worker Jolyon White’s alleged vandalism of National’s signs at the 2011 election, several of Labour’s flyers including their ‘Stop Asset Sales’, ‘Prices are Rising faster than wages’ and ‘Ohariu Census’ pamphlets.

Only 3 cases have been closed, with no action or prosecution resulting.

The Electoral Act is the governing act to keep checks on political parties and candidates. The Police do not appear to be interested in prosecuting these cases.

The new electoral cycle begins again this year with local body elections held in November and 2014 will see the next general election held

So far it appears that those referred by the Electoral Commission to the Police for prosecution have gotten away scot-free.    Read more »

Waikato Times Editorial on Corruption

While convicted blackmailer, fraudster and serial litigant Graham McCready continues to cut a swathe through our judicial processes it should be noted that more and more politicians are breaking the law, especially electoral law.

While I cannot condone McCready’s use of the court for his own style of bullying there are many other who do the same thing, pretending to be litigants in person but costing their victims thousands.

With the failure of the Police though to action complaints against politicians it is time for something more robust that private prosecutions. In Australia we are witnessing what happens when regulators like the Independent Commission Against Corruption actually do what out Police have singularly failed to do you have to wonder why we don’t have such a body too.

The Waikato Times thinks the same.

Some legal experts have explained their doubts that Mr McCready will succeed in getting a private prosecution against Mr Brown. They say he will need witnesses to allege a link between the free hotel rooms at Sky and his support for SkyCity’s conference centre bid. Without that, there is no proof.  Read more »

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 »

Will David Cunliffe stand himself down?

Labour seems to have differing standards when it comes to MPs under Police investigation.

Now that David Cunliffe himself is under police investigation which standard will he choose?

The Cunliffe Standard?

“John Banks said he cannot do justice to his role as ACT leader while fighting a court case on electoral fraud. That means he also cannot do justice to his role as MP for Epsom.

“The Prime Minister has lost his moral compass. He is once again putting the numbers ahead of principle.

“The right thing to do is to call John Banks into his office and ask him to resign as an MP now,” says David Cunliffe.  Read more »

Graham Edgeler agrees, no advantage to Palino in timing

As I have said repeatedly this weeks in media interviews and as recently as this morning on The Nation, there was no political advantage to John palino to have this story break after the election. All claims of a conspiracy are a figment of many people’s imaginations including that of Bevan Chuang’s “spokes person” who is clouded by his own personal hatreds.

Anyone running the conspiracy of timing angle is retarded as I said the other day. Electoral law is clear. There was no advantage for Palino to have this come out after the election, and certainly no possible rush to have it out before the declaration of results. The conspiracy theories fail right there. The media should research first before running around manufacturing conspiracies based on silly prognostications of fools like Greg Presland who is busy spinning up massive join the dots conspiracies. I guess that makes him retards.

Graham Edgeler clears this all up once and for all.

I have just finished watching Q+A on time delay. In it, both former National Party President Michelle Boag and Unite Union head Matt McCarten made the claim that if Len Brown was to resign before before sworn in for his second term as mayor of Auckland City, that the second-placed candidate would be declared elected and be sworn in.

This is false.  Read more »

Andrew Geddis on a couple of electoral matters

Andrew Geddis joins the chorus of experts certain that Kim Dotcom is full of the proverbial over his claims he can stand for parliament.

Quite how a convicted fraudster and German national is going to get over the citizenship line is beyond almost everyone except the Fat German.

Now, others already have expressed a degree of (shall we say) complete and utter disbelief regarding this claim. So let me just add my voice to theirs and say that Kim Dotcom ain’t going to be a candidate at the 2014 election. I’ve taken the liberty of putting the reason why in bold italics:

47 Registered electors may be members, unless disqualified

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, every person who is registered as an elector of an electoral district, but no other person, is qualified to be a candidate and to be elected a member of Parliament, whether for that electoral district, any other electoral district or as a consequence of the inclusion of that person’s name in a party list … .

(3) Regardless of anything in subsection (1), a person is not qualified to be a candidate or to be elected unless he or she is a New Zealand citizen.  Read more »

Fat German shows he’s a mental midget on electoral law

Billy Big Steps should get used to wearing orange

Billy Big Steps should get used to wearing orange

Yesterday the Fat German fraudster has claimed he could stand for parliament…sounds like he needs a new lawyer.

Kim Dotcom now says he can stand for Parliament at next year’s election.

Last week, the Teutonic tech titan told media he was going to form his own political party, and take a run at the ballot box himself – only for Kiwiblog’s David Farrar to dig up Section 47(1) of the Electoral Act, whose citizenship provision seems to clearly ruleout Mr Dotcom.  Read more »

Electoral Commission investigating Labour’s donation breach

Earlier I blogged about Labour’s mystery deceased donor. David Farrar also blogged about it and noted that Labour appeared to have broken the law by hiding the donations for over a year.

Now they claim it was all just a mistake…using the Ted Crilley defence:

The Labour Party could be in hot water over its party donation returns.

Papers published by the Electoral Commission show the party received over $430,000 from the estate of Brian Dalley last year.

The sum was donated in four instalments between April and July last year.  Read more »