Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


National wants bi-partisan Electoral Law Reform

Hon. Bill English MP
National Party Deputy Leader

6 December 2006

National wants bi-partisan Electoral Law Reform

The National Party will support moves announced by Helen Clark yesterday to reform electoral law, and it wants to take the plans further, says National’s Deputy Leader, Bill English.

“It is important the public have confidence that all parties will start equal in election campaigns under any new laws. We want to be sure that the Labour Party is going to take a bi-partisan approach to any law changes.”

Whatever rule changes are made, Mr English says National will continue to oppose state funding of political parties.

“We are happy to support moves to outlaw third-party advertising that attacks political parties, but we want to be sure that the unions - which are the prime participants in this activity going back many elections - are included in any change, and don’t get away under any loophole like ‘worker education’.

“Similarly, it is probably time to move to prevent anonymous political funding, but as well as curtailing people’s current rights to give through trusts, we must deal with the predominantly Labour Party practice of receiving large anonymous donations directly on a ‘no questions asked’ basis.”

Mr English says for the reform to be robust, it must also address all the significant issues raised out of the last election, and not just the ones that irk the Labour Party.

“There must be practical penalties for parties that breach the spending cap, like Labour did at the last election. These could include payments of fines equivalent to the amount of any over-spend or, in extreme cases, forfeiture by parties of one or more seats in Parliament, as happens when electorate campaigns are found to have exceeded spending caps.

“There is also sizeable public concern over the use of government department advertising to promote the pet policies of the government of the day leading up to an election. A legal moratorium on all non-essential advertising by government departments in the 90 days leading to an election would address that.”

Mr English stressed that the reform needed to be addressed urgently if it was to be in place by the 2008 election.

“National played by the rules at the last election, and if the rules are changed for the next election, we will change with them. However, all parties need clarity as to what the rules will be. We are only 21 months out from the next election, and it takes time to build a consensus around change of this magnitude.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Anzac Issue Out Now: Werewolf 47

Alison McCulloch: Lest We Remember

Local iwi have plans to spruce up the Te Ranga site as part of the 150th commemorations this year of key battles in the “New Zealand Wars”, but not a lot of money to do it with.

Information gathered from numerous government agencies shows that while more than $25 million is being spent on monuments and commemorations relating to foreign wars, primarily World War I and its centenary, only around $250,000 has been set aside for those fought on our own soil. More>>

Anne Russell: Anzac Day - Identity Politics, With Guns

Even cursory research into media reports from the past forty years reveals a cultural shift in the commemoration of Anzac Day. Among other things, turnout at Dawn services has increased significantly in recent decades.

Contemporary numbers are estimated at 3,000-4,000 in Wellington, and 10,000-15,000 in Auckland. Newspaper reports from the 1970s and 80s estimated Wellington turnouts at 300-800, and Auckland at anywhere from 600 to 4,000. More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Spookwatch: New Inspector-General Of Intelligence And Security Appointed

Prime Minister John Key hasannounced the appointment of Cheryl Gwyn as Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security. The appointment was made by the Administrator of the Government on behalf of the Governor General and is for a term of three years. More>>

Crowdsourcing: Green Party Launches Internet Rights And Freedoms Bill

The Green Party has today launched the Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill, New Zealand’s first ever Bill crowdsourced by a political party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Shane Jones Departure

Shane Jones has left Parliament in the manner to which we have become accustomed, with self interest coming in first and second, and with the interests of the Labour Party (under whose banner he served) way, way back down the track. More>>

COMMENT:

Multimedia: PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference - April 22 2014

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • The recent improvement in the economy with a growing job market • Income and wealth inequality • Easter trading laws • The New Zealander killed in a drone strike in Yemen... More>>

ALSO:

Easter Trading: Workers 'Can Kiss Goodbye To Easter Sunday Off'

The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. More>>

ALSO:

ACT Don't Go For Maximum Penalty: Three Strikes For Burglary, Three Years Jail

Three strikes for burglary was introduced to England and Wales in 1999. As in New Zealand, burglary was out of control and given a low priority by the police and the courts. A Labour government passed a three strikes law whereby a third conviction for burglaries earned a mandatory three years in prison... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home. More>>

ALSO:

Elections: New Electorate Boundaries Finalised

New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news