Andrew Geddis: Role of money in land of free speech

Andrew Geddis: Role of money in land of free speechIs democracy under attack from the Electoral Finance Bill, as the Herald's front page claimed on Monday?
Certainly, there are at least four valid reasons to be concerned about the way the Government proceeded with its proposed…
[NZ Politics]

Andrew Geddis is an Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Otago. He is the author of Electoral Law in New Zealand: Practice and Policy and he explores the contemptible way that Labour and its allies have gone about rorting the electoral system. in particular;

[quote]First, the failure to consult with opposition parties before introducing the Bill to the House leaves it vulnerable to allegations of partisanship. Electoral law should not be, nor be seen to be, a vehicle for one party to gain an advantage over others.

Second, there was inadequate consideration of the Bill's effect on the individual rights affirmed in the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act. Consequently, the original measures introduced into the House contained what are now widely agreed to be excessive restrictions on free speech.

Third, by failing to address the problem of large, anonymous donations to political parties, the Bill ignored one of the most pressing problems with our electoral process. The fact it imposes significant restrictions on fundraising by all other electoral participants makes this basic failure even worse.

Finally, the failure to address problems with parliamentary and governmental advertising in a way that is consistent with the Bill's provisions raises legitimate concerns about incumbent advantage at election time.[/quote]

Not since the anti-smacking bill has the government been flayed mercilessly in the media for riding roughshod over the wishes of the public. If they ram this law through, even with cosy little deals between it and the Greens, then they rightly deserve to be tossed out of government never to return as they can't be trusted. 

 

 


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