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National tables Electoral Act amendment

Bill English MP
National Party Deputy Leader

21 March 2008

National tables Electoral Act amendment

National Party Deputy Leader Bill English has tabled an amendment to Labour’s fatally flawed Electoral Finance Act, “to fix one of the many stupid aspects” of the controversial law, rushed through Parliament late last year.

“When we publicly raised the stupidity of the home address clause Labour accused National of being ‘a bit paranoid’. Since then, both Labour and the Greens have been caught out breaking that same rule.

“It is hard to conclude it was anything other than deliberate, because the offending material appeared after the address issue had received significant public focus.”

Labour has finally agreed its clause is a stupid one, and agreed to let Mr English table the ‘Electoral Finance Amendment Bill’ which will come before Parliament in the coming weeks.

The Bill simply seeks to allow the financial agents of political and third parties the choice to use a corporate headquarters or business address instead of a home address.

“Labour’s Electoral Finance Act is a muddled piece of self-serving legislation that has caused massive confusion. That confusion is stifling free speech in election year and almost all participants in our democracy are having difficulty with it.

“For instance, Labour has already been caught out three times by its own electoral law this year, and this is their legislation which is supposed to provide clarity!”

Mr English says National is also interested in talking to other parties about the year-long regulated period, which was not supported by any Cabinet paper trail, and is causing big headaches for MPs going about their regular duties.

“A shorter campaign period would give MPs the freedom to serve their constituents in the early part of this year without fear of running foul of the law.”

Ends


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