Warnings aren’t enough, prosecute one FFS

David Cunliffe got a warning from Police, who have acted a whole lot faster than ever before with referrals from the Electoral Commission.

The next politician that is referred to Police by the Electoral Commission should be charged.

Labour Leader David Cunliffe says he has been given a written police warning about a tweet he posted on the day of the Christchurch East byelection urging people to vote for Labour candidate Poto Williams.

Mr Cunliffe says he has taken the warning on board and will not repeat the error.

The tweet said: “If you are resident in Christchurch East don’t forget to vote today – for Labour and Poto Williams.” 

At the time he had about 6,400 followers on Twitter.

The tweet was referred to the police by the Electoral Commission – electioneering is banned on election day.

The Electoral Commission said it believed the post constituted a breach of section 197 (1)(g)(i) of the Electoral Act because it was a statement published on polling day “advising, or intended, or likely to influence electors as to the candidate for whom they should or should not vote in the byelection”.

“It was an inadvertent mistake which I regret.” Mr Cunliffe said. I took steps to rectify the error by immediately deleting the tweet and Labour also notified the Returning Officer as soon as possible.”

Inadvertent my arse. A politician with as many elections under his belt as Cunliffe should have known better. At least he has copped a fine of sorts.

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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.