Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Electoral Finance Bill Is Threat To Democracy

“Free speech is the very bedrock of our society. It is what makes our entire system of government work. Democracy relies on educated and informed citizens who have thought through the issues before they vote. The Bill’s severe and sweeping restrictions on “third parties” would dangerously weaken democracy,” says Alex Penk, Maxim Institute’s Policy and Research Manager.

“The Bill would restrict anything a third party wanted to say about an issue that a party or a candidate was associated with. But these are the issues that the parties and candidates themselves have decided are most important, and so they should be debated and discussed vigorously. Instead, the Bill would shut down discussion of these issues—it would only allow full and free debate on issues that are not in play.” 

“The Bill would impose onerous registration, reporting and auditing requirements on third parties, and even if someone is prepared to go through that process, the Bill does not allow them to spend very much to have their say. The restrictions would apply for an extended period of the year, from 1 January right up to the election. There can be little doubt that much public debate about vital issues such as the environment, education, the media and tax will be stifled.”

“The requirement to report donations is likely to scare donors away from third parties, reducing their ability to have their say. The virtual prohibition of anonymous donations to third parties is uncalled for and would infringe on people’s freedom to support causes they care about. Democracy is all about the people getting involved and having a voice. This Bill completely fails to understand that principle,” says Alex Penk.  

“Despite suggestions that the Bill might be significantly altered by the Select Committee, it is so deeply flawed that even a radical re-drafting will be inadequate.”

“Free speech should not be limited in this way. In fact, it should be encouraged. It is deeply concerning that a Bill which is apparently designed to “promote participation by the public in parliamentary democracy” would have exactly the opposite effect.”

 
 

ENDS

 

 

 

 

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On War Crimes And The Afghan Insurgency

Truly, with friends like former defence Minster Wayne Mapp, the SAS does not need enemies. At the very least, the Hit and Run book has raised the possibility that the New Zealand SAS committed war crimes in the attack they led in Afghnistan upon the villages of Naik and Khak Khuday Dad...

Mapp’s attempted defence of the SAS on RNZ this morning unintentionally indicated that collective punishment was baked into the planning exercise for the raid, and also into how the raid proceeded on the ground. More>>

 
 

Little Heading For Court: Apology Over Donation/Hotel Contract Claims Not Accepted

Today I want to publicly apologise unreservedly to Mr Hagaman for any hurt, embarrassment or adverse reflection on his reputation which may have resulted from my various media statements. I have offered that apology to the Hagamans. More>>

ALSO:

Biscuit Tin Of Democracy: World Heritage Site Protection, Ombudsman and Equal Pay Bills Drawn

On Thursday, 23 March 2017 three places are available on the Order Paper for the first reading of a Member’s bill. The ballot was held, and resulted in the following bills being drawn... More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Plan: NZ Needs More Science, More Trees, Fewer Beasts

A combination of technology breakthroughs, much more plantation forestry, and a big switch away from pastoral, particularly dairy farming, are identified as the key elements of any approach New Zealand takes to reducing its carbon emissions to a net zero level, according to a new report sponsored by the New Zealand chapter of GLOBE, a multi-party, global parliamentary grouping. More>>

ALSO:

"Backed To Win Seats": Labour Māori Seat MPs Won't Stand On List

The Labour Party is backing a request from its Māori seat MPs to stand as electorate MPs only, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. More>>

OutsKey: John Key's Valedictory Speech

I rise to address this House for the very last time. It has been a huge privilege to have served the people of Helensville as their member of Parliament, and, of course, the people of New Zealand as their Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Productivity Commission: New Models Of Tertiary Education Are Coming

The report is a broad-ranging inquiry into how well New Zealand’s tertiary education system is set up to respond to emerging trends in technology and the internationalisation of education, and changes in the structure of the population, and the skills needed in the economy and society... More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: Water Everywhere

Monday's Post-Cabinet press conference focused on water, with the Prime Minister fielding questions about the possibility pricing water taken for export. Mr English said the government was directing their water allocation technical advisory group to include export water in considerations. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news