electoral law

Don’t worry no one ever gets prosecuted for Electoral offences

There are a whole lot of people up in arms over the referral of some sports stars by the Electoral Commission to police for breaches of the Electoral Act.

The Commission has  referred 26 incidents to police.

The Electoral Commission has confirmed it has referred former All Black Jonah Lomu, current All Black Israel Dagg and Olympic champion rower Eric Murray to police for tweets sent on election day supporting the National Party. All three tweets have since been deleted.

The commission says it has referred 26 incidents to police in response to complaints about comments made on social media on election day.

That included 13 incidents involving people sharing an election day video featuring John Key and a Vote National Party message, it said.

Under electoral law it is illegal to campaign on an election day, a prohibition which covers the publishing or broadcasting of anything intended to influence votes.   Read more »

More underhand tactics from the left

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It may be pretty minor in the scheme of things. but come Saturday, all political advertising is to cease, including via Twitter avatars.  Candidates and political parties know this, especially in the light of yet another caution from the Electoral Commission the other day.

So, what do they do?  They’re now trying to push the avatar out into the public.  It is entirely reasonable to expect thousands of people not to take them down on Saturday, and of course, the electoral commission isn’t going to bother prosecuting anyone.

Dirty politics comes natural to the nasty party.

Dirty Politics for the mentally handicapped

Although not surprising, it still turns my stomach

A large-scale provider of care for the intellectually disabled has been accused of openly influencing the voting of residents in their care.

A former community support worker at Idea Services said carers actively encouraged residents to vote Labour and schooled them on what boxes to tick on their ballot paper.

The Waikato-based worker, who declined to give her full name for fear of reprisals, said Idea Services management pressured carers to vote Labour and also directed them to influence how residents voted.

Idea Services is a subsidiary of IHC.

“By the time they [clients] get taken to the voting booths, they already know the colour that they have got to vote for,” the former staffer said. “They get told things like you can vote for whoever you like but Labour is the only political party that cares what happens to you.”

Let’s be realistic.  It’s been going on forever.  The stupidity is getting caught at it.  Read more »

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.

Read more »

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 »