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

'Tea Break Bill' Passes: Gordon Campbell On Bad Labour Laws And Poor Safety

By co-incidence, one of the prime dangers of the government’s new employment relations law has been underlined by the release of the death and injury statistics among workers at New Zealand ports. These are highly profitable enterprises for the port owners.

The Port of Tauranga for instance, is expecting its current full-year profit to be between $78 million and $83 million and other ports are enjoying similar boom times – but they are also highly dangerous places for the people who work on or around the port premises. At the Port of Tauranga, there have been 26 serious accidents since 2011, and two deaths. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

No Charges: Outcome Of Operation Clover Investigation

Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls in the Waitemata Police district and wider Auckland area... More>>

ALSO:

UNICEF Report: NZ Cautioned On "Stagnating" Child Poverty

An international report by UNICEF has found that child poverty rates in New Zealand have barely changed since 2008, despite similar sized countries significantly reducing child poverty during the recent recession. More>>

ALSO:

Funding Report: Two Pathways For Transport In Auckland

Commissioned by Auckland Council, the group was asked to investigate two possible pathways for raising $300 million per year ($12 billion over 30 years) to pay for the improvements needed to help fix Auckland’s transport system. More>>

ALSO:

Pay Equity: Equal Pay Win In Court Of Appeal

CTU: The Court of Appeal has made a historic decision paving the way for a substantial equal pay claim for aged care workers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Finishing Line, And Amazon’s Woes

If the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal wasn’t such a serious matter, this would be pretty funny… More>>

ALSO:

TV3 Video: Three Die On Roads Over Labour Weekend

The official holiday period ended at 6am Tuesday, with three deaths on the roads during the Labour Day weekend. More>>

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news