Criticism of the Electoral Finance Bill widens

Labour defends bill as criticism widens – Newstalk ZB

Labour is contuniing to try to justify its draconian and anti-democratic attack against Free Speech. meanwhile the submitters to the Select Committee continue to lambast the ill-conceived bill.
[quote]Former Electoral Commission chief executive Paul Harris picked holes in the bill, arguing it is too wide in its definition of election advertising and that it will likely catch activities not intended to influence an election. He also criticises the $60,000 spending cap on third parties as too severe. Dr Harris believes it should be benchmarked at a percentage figure of spending limits allowed to political parties. Dr Harris says another major failing of the proposed legislation is that it does not address anonymous donations to political parties. He says more transparency is needed.[/quote]
I agree with most of Dr Harris’thoughts but not with the benchmarking. i believe that if someone wishes to spend $2 million dollars opposing the the election of the National Party that they should be free to do so. It is their money after all.
[quote]Business New Zealand has also taken a stand against the bill, with the lobby group’s economist, Stephen Summers, telling the Electoral Select Committee hearing it will affect the body’s ability to comment on policy. He describes the bill as restricting free speech. Mr Summers also condemned the way the bill has been presented to the public, saying consultation has been poor. He says the bill should not proceed, or should at least be delayed until after the next election so it can be improved to a satisfactory level.[/quote]
Stephen summers is exactly right in saying that there has been little or no consultation with the public and that the bill os so flawed it should not continue. I don’t agree with him that it should be delayed. Either the government should ditch it or ram it through, both positions suit my purposes from a purely political stand point.

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