Winston should pay back his stolen funds before he utters another word.

Scoop: Winston Peters – Building A Bridge To Your Future

Winston went to talk to Grey Power today and all he did was insult their intelligence. Why they continue to back this poodle is beyond belief.

In his speech he mentioned the Electoral Finance Bill and this is what he said;
[quote]Now let us consider another important building block of our democracy – transparency and the Electoral Finance Bill currently going before Parliament.

Unfortunately the Government has allowed the opposition to set the agenda and distort the debate.

Some of their points are valid, but many are not and it is frustrating that the real debate has been suffocated by sideshows.

You see right at the start of this process all sides agreed that we could not have a rerun of 2005.

Our democracy was not prepared for the onslaught of big money and secret agendas.

What we craved was transparency,

New Zealanders do not shy away from a fair fight, but they do not like to box at shadows they cannot see.

This subversive style of politics was anathema to ordinary New Zealanders.

The issue though was clouded further by the Auditor-General’s report, which blurred the lines between parliamentary spending and political party activity during election year.

But it is time that this issue was clarified once and for all and for the debate to return to its rightful footing.

As mentioned previously what the public ultimately want in relation to democracy is transparency.

They want to know who the players are and what it is they stand for.

At its most basic level they want to know what is in it for them, their families, their communities and their country – and so they should.

Sadly what we had in 2005 was not a contest of ideas but a big budget marketing exercise.

This needed fixing.

The Bill as it currently stands must be changed.

We need a law suitable for the MMP environment – in other words one which embraces a multi-party democracy.

Elections are not simply a contest between Labour and National, with new parties playing an incidental part.

As every election under MMP has demonstrated, new parties have determined the final shape of every government.

Our policies matter, our people matter and our place in the political system matters.

So the new law must be based on the principal of a fair and equitable election in an MMP or multi-party system.

And that is why transparency matters.

Let me give you one example.

We all know the account of the Brethren’s one million dollar campaign on behalf of National.

We all know the denials by Brash, Key and Co. over their involvement.

But let us consider it from another perspective.

If you ranked the involvement by all players in the last election by the amounts they spent on the campaign, then following Labour and National the Brethren would have come in third.

That’s right – ahead of every other political party or lobby group that was prepared to put their name to the campaign.

Now there are three fundamental problems with this.

First, until they were exposed, nobody knew who they were.

Second, they were not seeking votes for themselves, but for one particular party. In fact, they aren’t even allowed to vote.

Finally, their huge campaign was not registered or attributable to the party they were campaigning for. In other word there was no accountability.

But in some ways the fixation with the Brethren’s involvement in the 2005 campaign is unfortunate as it is a distraction to the wider principle at play here.

As was noted previously, the current Bill has to change.

We need to add greater transparency, but without limiting fair participation in the process.

Transparency operates at three levels during a campaign.

First, who are the primary players, the politicians and political parties, and who is funding them

Second, who are the secondary players (lobby groups and other third parties), who is funding them and how much are they spending.

And finally, who are trying to influence the outcome but who don’t want to be seen to be doing so – these are the secret arrangements.

We already have laws addressing transparency for parties and candidates.

The tightening in this area must be linked to large anonymous donations and secret funding, and the amount spent by lobby groups actively campaigning.

We simply can’t have a situation where well funded lobby groups are spending huge amounts, supporting already well funded political parties, with the lobby groups spending significantly more than actual political parties.

It simply undermines a multi-party democracy.

We do not want to see groups such as Grey Power constrained in their ability to participate, but equally we do not want to see undue influence by secret money and secret agendas.

That is not the New Zealand way.

And we would say to those who protest about the 1 January start date, do you remember what actually happened in 2005?

Do you remember when the blue and red billboards actually appeared? Let me give you a hint – it wasn’t in the final three months of election year.

National started campaigning in around February or March of 2005 with their billboard campaign.

Actually, if we are all being honest, we all start campaigning pretty early on in election year – that is why it is called “election year”.

Again it ceases to be a contest of ideas and becomes a marketing exercise when those involved start pouring huge amounts of money into the campaign, before the official race has even started.

National has proved once that they could spend huge amounts of anonymously donated money all year, and there is no doubt they would do it again.

This is not anti-National. This is anti anyone who would want to subvert our democracy.

For the health of our democracy we must get this right.[/quote]

What a complete hypocrite!!! Winston has no right to say anything about what did or did not happen at the last election especially as he still owes us all the money his party nicked. Pay it back Winston, pay it back and then Kill the Bill.

The last thing Winston wants is transparency. The last thing that Winston believes in is democracy and he certainly doesn’t believe in Free Speech.

Finally, iv’e got news for Winston and it is all bad, we are not a side show on this debate and we are not going away and we will spend what ever it takes to take our message of free speech to the masses. You will learn that to trample on our rights is to suffer at the ballot box.

If you truly believe in democracy, free speech and tranparency you will vote to Kill the Bill.

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