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An Assault on Democracy

An Assault on Democracy

Labour’s insistence on ramming The Electoral Finance Bill through the House is an assault on democracy says the Party’s constitutional spokesman Wayne Hawkins

This thoroughly bad law, aimed at hobbling National while advantaging Labour, rides roughshod over the rights of New Zealanders to be heard on policy matters

The Exclusive Brethren can still spend large amounts of money while a legitimate lobby group like the Automobile Association, representing over one million members, is limited to $120,000 for campaigns on roading issues or traffic laws.

And it will do nothing to advance the need for transparency. There are a myriad of loopholes that will lead to less disclosure than current law.

He said the Republic of New Zealand Party believes that New Zealanders have the right to know who is funding what political party.

“The issue is transparency not money.”

Mr Hawkins was critical of the definition of election advertising.

The current campaign by the Motor Vehicle Dealers Association against government policy on car imports will be regarded as election advertising after 1 January 2008 and come under the restrictions imposed

“This is political censorship of the worst kind. The MVDA is not an advocate for any political party, it is simply stating its case on a policy issue.”

He said there is a long-standing convention that all parties in parliament seek consensus on major changes to electoral law.

“The fact that the government has so blatantly flouted this convention to gain electoral advantage, plus its other abuses of power, show more than ever how important it is for New Zealand to have a written constitution to protect us from power hungry megalomaniacs in the Beehive who twist everything to their own advantage and trample over peoples rights without even blinking.”

And to add insult to injury taxpayers will be paying for Helen’s pledge cards next year.

“She’s even seen to that one too.”

Mr Hawkins said the Republic of New Zealand Party will promote proper constitutional government.

“We desperately need a written constitution now, that sets out the principles and practice for a transparently fair electoral system.”

He said the Party would support the repeal of the Electoral Finance Act.

“We will work with all parties to develop electoral law that New Zealanders can believe in.”

ENDS

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