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Shadbolt may feel wrath of Labour's election law

John Key MP
National Party Leader

14 December 2007

Shadbolt may feel wrath of Labour's election law

National's opposition to the Electoral Finance Bill is being vindicated by today's nationwide newspaper ads from Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt and others opposing tertiary funding cuts, says National Party Leader John Key.

"The Invercargill leaders confronting the Labour Government over funding cuts at the Southern Institute of Technology will have their nationwide campaign shut down from January 1 - election year - unless they register with the Government and jump all the bureaucratic hurdles.

"This is disgraceful and exactly the reason why National has consistently opposed the draconian and self-serving Electoral Finance Bill that Labour desperately wants passed by Christmas.

"Labour wants to shut down dissenting opinion in election year for the sole purpose of giving Helen Clark and Labour a fourth term in office.

"The amount spent by Southland in newspapers nationwide today could mean that they have already got close to their 3rd party cap of $120,000.

"What that means is Southland may be barred from pushing its concerns beyond one day's worth of nationwide newspaper ads in election year.

"And, if Mayor Shadbolt wants to ignore the law and carry on trying to speak out anyway, he or his agent faces going to jail under the sickening and disgraceful assault on democracy that is the Electoral Finance Bill.

"The law is confusing, unworkable, and an unjustified attack on basic rights that New Zealanders currently take for granted.

"National is working as hard as it can in Parliament to delay the bill's passage, and we will be back in the House next week fighting against it.

"I call on the small parties supporting this bill to come their senses. If they believe in democracy and free speech in election year, they must vote against the bill.

"I repeat that National will repeal this outrageous law should it become government."

ENDS

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