Justice minister is a danger to democracy

MATTHEW HOOTON: Justice minister is a danger to democracy – Sunday Star-Times – Sunday Star-Times

Matthew Hooton describes the travesty that is the Electoral Finance Bill.
[quote]Under Labour’s Electoral Finance Bill, New Zealand will become one of those countries where citizens can be sent to jail for distributing too many pamphlets – and where the police can enter our homes if they suspect we intend anything so subversive.

The legislation -developed in secret by Justice Minister Mark Burton under the guidance of Labour’s election strategist Pete Hodgson – does nothing to stop a repeat of the 2005 pledge card rort or the anonymous donations and secret trusts that Helen Clark once said were so undemocratic. She’s now decided she needs them.

Nor is the legislation about pamphlets that spread malicious gossip about our politicians, or those saying “Vote National”, “Vote Labour” or “Don’t Vote Green”. Nor even is it about dodgy pamphlets that hide the identity of their publisher. Our existing law deals with all these issues, if only our police would enforce it.

Burton’s legislation is far broader. It restricts almost every expression of opinion, on any topic about which a politician has stated a view, by people who declare who they are, where they live, how much they’re spending and who is funding them. [/quote]

This bill is the greatest attack on our civil liberties bar none. Mark Burton is just the chosen patsy to deliver this bill, The Hollow Woman, Cullen and Hodgson are the prime movers behind this little trampling of democracy.

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