Whining about the law

It looks like the paid lap-bloggers at The Standard are getting in some positioning statements* about Labour’s likely prosecution for Electoral Law breaches.

Is the only answer for the Left to fight fire with fire by reporting examples of possible ads that don’t carry a promoter statement, like the ones provided in the guest post below from Rob Carr (and thanks to Rob for the inside word the rule change that National kept secret, which got Labour caught out)? Or should the law be more in tune with the real world and recognise that if a political material is covered in the names, photos, and logos of a party and its candidates, it’s ridiculous to make it a crime not to have an “authorised by” statement.

So Eddie, a Labour functionary thinks obeying a law is ridiculous. And the Rob Carr she quotes lovingly is also a Labour activist. He says:

It has been frustrating to see the repeated news of promoter statements not being satisfied focussing on Labour. The breaches that have been recorded this year were all technical ones. There was no one in any doubt that Labour produced those materials which is the point of promoter statements. Kiwiblog’s repeated demands for Labour to be prosecuted have been absurd.

So being referred tot he Police for repeatedly breaking the law is “absurd”?

Worse though is Rob Carr then lies.

The fact is all of the political parties give out materials without promoter statements regularly through simple oversight or in the case of the most recent materials with Labour not understanding the rules. Prior to around June, every single political party, including National, was not putting any promoter statements on Parliamentary-funded materials. The Parliamentary Service would probably have actually declined them being allowed to print it with a promoter statement on it. National received advice that it was outside the rules, didn’t tell the other parties, and then ensured a Labour flyer got referred to the Electoral Commission.

The National party didn’t receive exclusive advise. They received the same advice that ALL parties and MPs received in a guideline document from the Electoral Commission. To suggest otherwise is to suggest that the Electoral Commission is now highly politicized. To suggest that National had the inside running is simply a lie. But then again Phil Goff made similar accusations over the SIS.

What both of these Labour party functionaries miss is that Labour’s breaches have been deemed by the Electoral Commission to be far above the threshold for inconsequential or even incidental and so they been referred to the POLICE!

The  Electoral Commission does have the discretion to rule that something’s inconsequential but they have clearly decided that Labour’s huge spend on taxpayer funded election ads is not inconsequential – nor the repeated breaches – nor the lack of written authorisation from the party secretary.

Unless the lefties are now planning to accuse the EC of political bias – and it seems they are – then they need to realise that 10’s of thousands of non-compliant election ads sent all over New Zealand are on a different scale to a car or the odd newsletter.

This is, I believe the start of some positioning ahead of a likely prosecution by the Police. Labour will know this is coming and they are trying to frame the argument now in advance.

*There will be no link to The Standard. They have a history of changing links.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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