Electoral Finance Laws made to be brokenWell, Its January and we are now in election campaign mode. Graeme Edgeler over at Kiwiblog maintains that the Electoral Commission under the Electoral Act was required to report to the police any time they suspected a breach of the Electoral Act had been committed. They didn’t. Instead, if a minor breach was discovered, they’d help the lawbreakers follow the law because such lawbreaking is so inconsequential that it is not worth prosecuting.
So, in 2008, if you spend $20,000 on election advertisements without registering, or set up a website called Dont Vote Labour (and gets someone to do a site called Vote Labour linking directly to the former site) and your campaign comes to the attention of the Electoral Commission who tells you you should have registered or asks you to pull your site, and you do so, that vetos your lawbreaking, even if you were aware of the law in the first place. However this site is perfectly legal
Obviously, like the smacking legislation, this means in such cases there is no consequence in breaking the law if such lawbreaking is deemed to be inconsequential or insignificant. So I could break the law and its okay because even though it is illegal, it is unlikely I will be prosecuted if I stop what I am doing. Instead I could ask a friend to do it on my behalf and set teh ball rolling again.
If it is alright for lawmakers to make electoral laws in this fashion, why can't they amend laws to state that those who get caught speeding can get off if they agree to slow down in future.
The biggest slogan of the 2008 election campaign will be "Don`t vote Labour". You can be sure of it.