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Clark confirms Labour’s sidestep of election laws

Bill English MP
National Party Deputy Leader

14 April 2008

Clark confirms Labour’s sidestep of election laws

“Does Labour plan to use government department publicity as part of its election campaign or not?”

National Party Deputy Leader Bill English says Helen Clark wouldn’t give a straight answer to that question in media interviews today.

Mr English is referring to secret strategy notes which show Labour Party President Mike Williams instructing party activists to hand out government department pamphlets promoting Labour policies during the election campaign.

“This is what Labour had in mind when it passed the self-serving Electoral Finance Act. The EFA screws the scrum by shutting down Labour’s critics while it runs a campaign on government department publicity.

“Labour never intended a level playing field.

“This would also appear to confirm why there has recently been a parade of taxpayer-funded television advertisements promoting Labour Party policy.

“Labour is muzzling those who want to participate in our democracy, and using the taxpayer purse for its own electoral advantage.

“It has already been caught out three times by its own electoral law, and the Electoral Commission has found Labour was the first to breach the rules.

“Labour won’t be prosecuted for breaking the rules, but the next offender will be, and Labour-affiliated unions can spend up to $120,000 on anti-National parallel campaigns.

“You can’t trust Labour not to break the law. This is the party that deliberately and illegally spent $850,000 of taxpayer money to get itself re-elected in 2005, then changed the law to suit itself after the election.

“It’s hard not to suspect this is part of the plan again.”


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