Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

'Scandal' descends on upton-on-line

Readers will be alarmed to discover that upton-on-line has attracted a whiff of scandal. Investigative journalist David McLoughlin has asked if we are not guilty of "treating" under the Electoral Act, 1993 by offering a "slap-up morning tea for one at Parsons to the value of $5" to the winner of one past and one on-going competition.

This, if indeed it were intended seriously, would be a damaging charge, as to commit the offence of treating is to be guilty of "a corrupt practice".

While the profile of upton-on-line would possibly benefit from such a scandal, we are obliged to disabuse readers of this notion.

The competition, together with its token prize, is a send-up designed to breathe life into the discussion of turgid but important issues. We remain attached to the (admittedly quaint) idea that there are still people interested in politics whose senses of humour have survived the ravages of the first MMP session.

But, for the record, it doesn't come within a country mile of section 217 of the Electoral Act.

We are, nevertheless, indebted to Mr McLoughlin for providing an idea for today's column.

We should also note that upton-on-line was widely mocked by members of NZPA's press gallery staff for offering such a modest prize. "Cheapskate" was the word that was used.

There have, however, been some notable cases of alleged "treating" in the past. C J Parr, the member for Eden, was accused of treating, a corrupt practice, during the campaign of 1922. He had allegedly lured a number of women to a "strawberry and cream" party at Glen Eden, and did the same in Avondale five days later. There was a court case, but James Parr was found not guilty, and was subsequently knighted.

The competition continues in all its notoriety.

And another thing Green Party MP Rod Donald wrote today in the Evening Post that "in 1993 New Zealand voters resolved overwhelmingly 54 percent to replace first past the post with MMP". Since when, we simply ask, has 54% been "overwhelming"?


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The RWC, And The Op Burnham Inquiry

Testimony was given that damning evidence had been culpably ignored, lost or (deliberately?) mislaid. The systems for handling secret material from our allies were – to be charitable – only loosely observed.

Moreover… vital evidence was only belatedly made available to the inquiry, and former NZDF officers later found to be central to the events under scrutiny were strangely missing from the original witness list offered by NZDF. In short, last week’s cross-examination of the military’s former top brass demonstrated in detail that the NZDF had consistently misled its Ministers (and the wider public) for years, over the impact of our military activities in Afghanistan. More>>

 
 

Guns, Lobbying: National Has Wish List For Arms Bill

National has today outlined the 13 changes we want to see in the second tranche of gun reforms before considering our support, National’s Police spokesperson Brett Hudson says. More>>

ALSO:

Call For Action On Expert Panel Report: Welfare System Needs Urgent Change

If we want New Zealand to be the best place in the world to be a child, the Government needs to increase benefits, remove sanctions, individualise benefits, and fix abatement rates now, says Child Poverty Action Group and ActionStation . More>>

ALSO:

First Data Releases: Mixed External Report On Census Fail Mitigation

The panel endorses the statistical approaches used to mitigate non-response... However, the unprecedented use of alternative government datasets to augment census data raises questions around ethics, social licence, cultural licence, and Māori data sovereignty. More>>

ALSO:

Aitches: Manawatū-Whanganui Region Spelling Corrected

The Manawatu-Wanganui Region will in future be correctly spelt Manawatū-Whanganui Region. The change also means the regional council will be known as the Manawatū-Whanganui Regional Council. Horizons Regional Council is the trading name for the council. More>>

PM In Japan: Jacinda Ardern’s Remarks Following Abe Summit

Today we discussed a wide range of topics. Broadly the themes were: a deeper, high-value trade and investment relationship, greater cooperation in the Pacific; and strengthening our security partnership. More>>

ALSO:

Replacing All But Chair: Twyford Appoints Five NZTA Board Members

Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced the appointment of five new members to the NZ Transport Agency Board... There remain two vacancies on the NZTA Board which will be filled in due course. More>>

ALSO:

Climate Change: Adaptation And Risk Assessment Framework Released

“We are already experiencing the effects of a changing climate such as coastal inundation and increasingly frequent and severe droughts, floods, fires and storms. This framework is an acknowledgement that we must start adapting”, James Shaw said today. More>>

ALSO:

Ihumātao: Mana Whenua Reach Decision On Land

Māori King Tūheitia says mana whenua have finally reached consensus over what to do with Ihumātao - they want it back. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels