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Electoral Finance Bill is all about Labour

Bill English MP
National Party Deputy Leader

23 November 2007

Electoral Finance Bill is all about Labour

National Party Deputy Leader Bill English says the Electoral Finance Bill is all about Labour’s lust for power, not fair elections or free speech.

“Labour is willing to use its majority to screw the scrum. It is breaking long standing conventions that all election rules have multi-party agreement.

“When families are facing higher interest rates and petrol prices are rising, Labour is devoting all its energy to try to ensure its own survival. In its current form, the Electoral Finance Bill guarantees litigation in election year.

“Next year, people with good ideas will be heavily restricted in what they can say. Almost everyone who wants to take part in the democratic process will need to consult a lawyer.

“The legislation is a shambles. Key definitions are being changed. There is no precedent and even those responsible for enforcing it do not know what it means.

“There are six weeks until it applies. Labour has ensured that election 2008 will be as much about the rules for the election as about the future of the country.

“Labour has set out to use its majority in Parliament to skew the electoral laws for partisan advantage. The big money here is public money. The public money dwarfs private money.

“This is not about the public good. This is not about Parliament, nor about constitutional propriety. This is about a paranoid Labour Party.”

National remains committed to repealing the anti-democratic Electoral Finance Bill and building proper political consensus around the process.

ENDS

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