Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More
Parliament

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

 

With Partisan Electoral Law Changes In Time For Election, Labour Attacks Democracy Itself

“Fresh from causing a constitutional crisis with its attempts at entrenchment, Labour is now using its parliamentary majority to hamstring political opponents a year out from an election with the Electoral Amendment Bill, it should be ashamed,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“There are issues with electoral law evidenced by the recent NZ First case High Court finding. This bill partially addresses New Zealand First’s behaviour, but it wasn’t created for that. It was introduced before those High Court made those findings. The real agenda is harming their opponents’ fundraising.

“Labour will have you believe that recent Serious Fraud Office cases involving NZ First, National and Labour itself are precedent for these changes. Ironically, they’re making things worse. By reducing what can be given legally without disclosure, the same sorts of people who end up in court under the current donation laws will work even harder to hide donations. Our democracy will, if anything, become less transparent as a result of this law.

“To put Labour’s changes into perspective, if the law was in place last election and all donors giving between $5,000 and $15,000 all reduced their donations to $5,000. ACT would have lost $304,807 of funding, National $573,952. Labour and the Greens would lose $169,399 and $67,800 respectively.

“ACT predicts Labour’s next step will be taxpayer funded election campaigns. In effect you’ll be forced into donating to a party’s campaign whether you like their policies or not.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

“Labour hasn’t been able to provide any clear reason for the change in threshold. As ACT’s main fundraiser for almost a decade, I can tell you that nobody receives undue influence for $15,000. To run a half decent campaign, you need at least $1.5 million and $15,000 is only one per cent of that. Nobody can get undue influence over a political party for funding one per cent of a campaign.

“We should value that fact that many people give money, with no tax deduction, simply because they want a party’s people and policies to reach a wider audience and have a chance of winning power.

“Without donors, our democracy would not function, but they are being made out to be something sinister. In actual fact, donors often fear repercussions for being publicly identified for supporting a particular party.

“Labour’s changes mark an absolute nadir of policy-making. They’re knowingly limiting parties’ ability to promote their views and policies – and in effect, limiting Kiwis’ choices at the ballot box.

“It’s a sad day for democracy when the governing party uses its majority to screw the scrum. But as we’ve seen repeatedly from Labour, democracy is not something it values.”

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The Perils Of Joining AUKUS Pillar Two


The lure for New Zealand to join the AUKUS military alliance is that membership of only its “second pillar” will still (supposedly) give us access to state of the art military technologies. As top US official Kurt Campbell said during his visit to Wellington a year ago:
...We've been gratified by how many countries want to join with us to work with cutting-edge technologies like in the cyber arena, hypersonics, you can go down a long list and it's great to hear that New Zealand is interested...
More


 
 

Government: Backs Police To Crackdown On Gangs
The coalition Government is restoring law and order by providing police new tools to crack down on criminal gangs, says Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Police Minister Mark Mitchell. “Over the last five years gangs have recruited more than 3000 members, a 51 per cent increase... More


Government: Retiring Chief Of Navy Thanked For His Service

Defence Minister Judith Collins has thanked the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Proctor, for his service as he retires from the Royal New Zealand Navy after 37 years. Rear Admiral Proctor will retire on 16 May to take up an employment opportunity in Australia... More

Government: Humanitarian Support For Gaza & West Bank

Winston Peters has announced NZ is providing a further $5M to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank. “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling," he said... More


Government: New High Court Judge Appointed

Judith Collins has announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English Literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996... More

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels


 
 
 
 

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.