A threat to free speech

September 20th, 2006 at 2:07 pm by David Farrar

I don’t have a problem with some sort of cap on third party campaigning during an election campaign, but on Radio NZ this morning Pete Hodgson supported a total ban on third parties being able to criticise political parties.

This should be of great concern to people. In their hatred of the Brethren, Labour may end up banning all criticism during a campaign. Look at this transcript from Radio NZ;

HODGSON: Well, I haven’t seen the draft of any law, I haven’t seen any cabinet papers, but the law would work in such a way that that advertising, one assumes would become forbidden or if it happened, would need to be included in the cap of the party who had benefited. Now, the more likely of those is that you would simply forbid it, that you would simply say you’re not allowed to have a campaign.

PRESENTER: You see, that appears at first glance to be an astonishing attack on the democratic rights of any organisation or individual wishing to express their views at this time?

This could stop Federated Farmers protesting against the fart tax if it was close to an election, Greenpeace unable to campaing against parties that allow GM food etc.

A very very bad sign from a Government that already is known for being intolerant of sustained criticism.

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