Good ideas from Fiji on electoral reform

While Michael Field pushes his own agenda and silly bloggers and other media follow along with chucking misinformation around about Fiji they are just geting on and making meaningful changes.

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said;

“A public officer is somebody who is a member of a statuary body or a commission or a board established.

For example, if I’m a board member of AFL, I cannot be an applicant for a political party nor can I be a member of the original members of the 5,000, nor can I be a judge or a magistrate.

Nor can I be holding any office in the public service including the Fiji Police Force, the Fiji Corrections Services and the Republic of the Fiji Military Forces.

Nor for that matter can I be an official of a trade union and at the same time hold the office of a political party.

For example, if I’m a general secretary of a trade union, I also cannot be an official of a political party at the same time.

I can choose, I can be one or I can be the other.

What a brilliant law. The changes with regards to political parties and donations are certainly long overdue in New Zealand. The rules around membership and donations are smart. Is there a politician in New Zealand with the courage to implement the same rules here? 

Political parties are required to keep records of its contributions and donations, register of members and its constitution.

They need to have their accounts audited and published every year.

Sayed-Khaiyum said only individuals can make donations to a political party and should not exceed $10,000 in a year.

If the political party accepts more than this amount from an individual, it means that the party and the individual will commit an offence.

The source of funds of a party shall only be from membership fees, voluntary contributions, donations and grants from a lawful source but not from a foreign government, inter governmental or nongovernmental organizations.

It needs to be disclosed to the Registrar of the Political Parties.

This will also apply to independent candidates.

Sayed-Khaiyum said no company or trade union can make a donation to a political party.

Companies cannot provide any goods and services to the party and cannot assist in the funding of any party advertisements.

The law changes would be simple to implement. Only natural persons can belong to political parties, only natural person can donate to political parties.

Overnight the malign influence of corporates and unions would be removed and once again parties would be to rely upon and build mass membership and consequently a mandate.

I think I may have to go visit again to learn a bit more about these laws.

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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.  And 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 that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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