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Pakistan and New Zealand Must Hold Free Elections

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Pakistan and New Zealand Must Hold Free and Fair Elections

Libertarianz Party leader Bernard Darnton today applauded the government's welcoming of Pakistan's suspension from the Commonwealth.

"General Musharraf's disregard for democracy and the rule of law is flagrant. He is not fit to rule his country. Libertarianz welcomes Pakistan's suspension from the Commonwealth and support the New Zealand government's positive comments about the desirability of democracy and the rule of law in Pakistan. I hope that that will translate into respect for democracy and the rule of law here in New Zealand."

"The New Zealand government's record in this area isn't good," continues Darnton. "In 2005 they flouted election laws by stealing public money to buy propaganda. In 2006, they abandoned all constitutional norms and retrospectively changed the law so that they wouldn't be called into the High Court to answer for that action. This year the government has passed legislation allowing them to steal far more at the next election. Worst of all, the Clark regime is now trying to ram through legislation that would ban me from pointing out that they are behaving like tyrants and telling people not to vote for them."

Darnton called for New Zealand to hold free and fair elections as scheduled next year, to remove the requirement to register with the state before speaking, and to lift the proposed restrictions on free political expression.

Prime Minister Helen Clark is currently in Uganda, picking up tips from other leaders of third-word pseudo-democracies.

ENDS

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Gordon Campbell:
On First Time Voting (Centre Right)

For the next two days, I’m turning my column over to two guest columnists who are first time voters. I’ve asked them to explain why they were voting, for whom and what role they thought their parental upbringing had played in shaping their political beliefs ; and at the end, to choose a piece of music.

One guest columnist will be from the centre right, one from the centre left. Today’s column is from the centre right – by James Penn:

As someone who likes to consider himself, in admittedly vainglorious fashion, a considered and rational actor, the act of voting for the first time is a somewhat confusing one. I know that my vote has a close to zero chance of actually influencing the outcome of Parliament. The chance I will cast the marginal vote that adds to National or Act’s number of seats in Parliament is miniscule. The chance, even if I did, that doing so would affect the government makes voting on a strictly practical level even more spurious as a worthwhile exercise.

But somehow I have spent a large amount of time (perhaps detrimentally so, depending on the outcome of my upcoming exams) agonising over how to cast my first vote in a national election. More>>

 

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