Skip to content

EFA stifling political participation, says Electoral Commission head

03/09/2008

invisible hit counter

Scoopit!

The NZ Herald runs an article in which Dr Helena Catt, head of the Electoral Commission, speaks out about the negative impact of the Electoral Finance Act upon the political process in New Zealand.

Article begins:-

The head of the Electoral Commission has described the new electoral law as having had a “chilling effect” on people’s willingness to speak out over election issues.

Later in a direct quote, Dr Catt was reported as saying:-

“It is clear that having uncertainty remaining within the regulated period has had a chilling effect on the extent and type of participation in political and campaign activity.”

Adam suggests that people should be concerned also at this further quote:-

“The Commission is not confident it will be able to reach informed positions on the interpretation of some provision within the election period, and note the situation is exacerbated by the legal reality that it cannot finally determine questions of whether, for instance, an item is an election advertisement.”

So the Commission does not have the resources or ability to interpret the law. The decisions are subject to legal challenge.

NZ may be faced post election with a great many legal challenges, which if the election is close which it may well be could mean the results may eventually be decided in the courts. A most undesirable situation, yet one which could occur.

In addition debate and voter participation is being stifled by a draconian law intended to advantage Labour and it’s fellow travellers.

Dr Catt:-

predicted further challenges following the election, including over party election and donation returns, including the new line between election expenses and expenses which are precluded because an MP was acting in their “capacity as an MP,” rather than electioneering.

Adam considers that this situation is most unhealthy and that Labour, Greens and NZ First deserve a severe electoral drubbing for this piece of anti-democratic legislation alone.

Disclosure:Adam believes that anonymous donations are not appropriate, nor does he believe that trust arrangements should be permitted. Whilst the EFA is in force he considers that the requirements of the law should be observed by everybody.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: