Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Electoral Finance Bill: Human Rights Commission wants to start again

The Human Rights Commission is not happy with the Electoral Finance Bill. It wants to scrap it and start again - or at least have another round of consultation.

The Government has refused to do both and does not want the public or the Human Rights Commission to have any further say on a rewritten bill, even though it was the Governments's fault that the bill was so badly drafted in the first place. In other words, this country is going to wear the consequence of this Government's incompetence in terms of electoral law.

Thats not good enough.

Justice Minister Annette King said the revised one-year election period was "transparent and fair" because the previous three-month limit often left parties guessing when it would start if the Prime Minister had not announced an election date.

There's a solution to that - have a fixed election date, revert back to the three month election period, and for the rest of the year, the Government can concentrate on running the country instead of winning the election.

We dont want a government that is going to spend a third of its term focusing on an election when we elect a parliament to run the country for all of those three years. What about a six month period?

Incredibly, No Right Turn disagrees and is happy for a cocked up bill to progress through the House because although the Government has not given itself much time,their imcompetence is less important than passing a crap bill on time. He strongly supported the requirement for third parties to disclose their donors and the restrictions on anonymous and laundered donations - but, like the Green Party, has now done a $10,000 U-Turn which he refuses to explain.

He needs to learn that Hagars book The Hollow Men is less important than democracy, and less important than getting our electoral laws right.

BTW the select committee has forwarded executive summaries of the bill to all submitters, as they were asked to "to indicate the extent to which all submissions have been taken into account".

Guess what. There was no indication of the extent to which all submissions were taken into account. How surprising. Liars.

This government does not know how to write bills - the EFB has been through the Justice Ministry, advisors, Cabinet, Select Committee, the Human Rights Commission TWICE, Law Commission, Attorney General (well, on his desk anyway, he didnt really look at it critically), and the bill still has laws that are not intended, are unenforceable, and will be broken if nothing changes - but with no consequences.




Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Dave thanks for the link from the Standard.

Good to see some sanity being injected into this issue.

I have set up a blog myslef called 'Monkey with Typwriter' (I'll post a link when organisation is less - 'simian')

I will say that the EFB, regardless of its merits has been deftly handled by Labour on a strategic level ie it will goe through, by the looks.

I can;t wait to see what ridiculous law they cobble together next - any suggestions?

November 20, 2007 at 9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave - how DARE you speak against the sacred and most holy, the source of all electoral knowledge - the hollow men. Cursed by they that speech evil of the High Book.

Lee C- Indeed, but I'm wondering when Labour will commit their first murder. I mean, that's about all that's left, isn't it? They've committed most other crimes - theft, assault etc.

November 20, 2007 at 2:07 PM  

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