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Protest, Inquiry Into Politican Honesty Tomorrow

Water Pressure Group Picket Outside Auckland District Court Tomorrow

From Penny Bright
Water Pressure Group

Hi folks!

The substantive hearing of the Petition of Inquiry into the Auckland Local Body Elections starts tomorrow at 10.00am.

PICKET OUTSIDE AUCKLAND DISTRICT COURT

CORNER OF ALBERT ST AND KINGSTON STS

FRIDAY 23 NOVEMBER

9.00am

A challenge of this type has never been done before, and some very important issues will be raised concerning our 'electoral democracy'.

The Water Pressure Group notes with interest that under the Electoral Amendment (No 2 ) Bill, currently before Parliament, that the addition of a new section is proposed, to make it a 'corrupt practice' for a candidate knowingly to make a statement containing untruths in the two days before an election, for the purpose of influencing the vote.

51 B New section 199A inserted:

The principal Act is amended by inserting after section 199A the following section.

"199A Publishing false statements to influence votes.

Every person is guilty of a corrupt practice who, with the intention of influencing the vote of any elector, at any time on polling day before the close of the poll, or at any time on any of the two days immediately preceding polling day, publishes, distributes, broadcasts, or exhibits, or causes to be published, distributed, broadcast, or exhibited, in or in view of any public place a statement of fact that the person knows is false in a material particular."

The Water Pressure Group believes that the 2 day restriction on politicians knowingly lying to the voting public should be widened to cover the full period of the election campaign.

We intend to ask to make submissions on this point.

How can Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights be met, if politicians can knowingly misrepresent their policy?

"3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures"

If electors cannot cast an informed vote because the information upon which they are casting their vote and expressing their 'will' has been knowingly misrepresented - then how can such elections be 'genuine'?

Democracy for whom????

Penny Bright Media Spokesperson Water Pressure Group (Auckland) Ph: (09) 846 9825

(The exact wording of the Petition of Inquiry into the Auckland Local Body Election, is available on the WPG website:)

www.water-pressure-group.org.nz


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