30 hours left to make your submission on the Electoral Finance Bill

September 6th, 2007 at 3:24 pm by David Farrar

Okay sorry this is late and abbreviated but you still have 30 hours left until end of Friday to have your say on the Electoral Finance Bill.

The bill in its current form will regulate almost all political discourse next year. Participation in the political process will be something you have to jump through hoops, not a given right.  Labour, Greens, NZ First are showing little signs of accepting how flawed the Bill is.  In fact the Government is blatantly lying about its effects.

So please please take 30 minutes out of your day or evening to make a submission.  It does not have to be long and you can do it online.  They should be in by the end of Friday.  Here is how:

  1.  Go to this page about the Bill.
  2. Click on “Make an online submission”
  3. Select Yes or no as to whether you wish to appear before the Select Committee to speak to your submission.  Unless the thought of doing so freaks you out I encourage people to say yes.  Your submission will have more relevance if they hear from you directly on why you do not want your rights interfered with.  It also makes it harder for them to rush it into law.
  4. Enter in your name, and contact details.  Also if you are appearing, list your name and number as a witness.
  5. Then click next page
  6. Now you can either import a word document with your submission in it, or type in your submission in the box provided.  Then click Submit.  It is as easy as that.  Just be aware the page times out after 20 minutes so write your submission first and then follow through the process.

Now comes the question – what do you say.  Well first of all you need to say what do you want them to do with the Bill.  There are broadly three choices.  To pass it unamended.  To pass it with amendment.  Or to reject it by recommending to the House it does not proceed.  I think people should say something like:

“I ask the Justice and Electoral Select Committee to reject the Electoral Finance Bill and recommend to the House it does not proceed because it seeks to impose draconian restrictions on political advocacy and speech for which there is no electoral or public mandate”

I would then expand on the point that there is no mandate for these third party restrictions in the Bill. Point out that there has been no public policy process around the Bill.  Point out that it has not been possible to even debate it until a few weeks ago and that one would expect sweeping changes of this nature to come at the end of a lengthy public debate, not at the beginning.

Also point out that why you don’t want the bill merely amended is because you will then have no chance to have meaningful input into the revised bill.  State that your preference is for a public policy process to be used to explore issues and develop options around electoral reform, and then for legislation to be advanced.

Then you may want to highlight some features you find undesirable. Below I give some examples you can incorporate.  But at the end do it in your own words.  Here’s a short list of undesirable features:

  • It extends the period of “regulated speech from 90 days to around 11 months, meaning New Zealanders will spend one third of their lives restricted as to their advocacy.
  • It defines as an election advertisement taking a position on any proposition that a party or candidate is associated with, which will elevate parties and MPs to first class citizens, as the moment they take a position on an issue, it becomes a restricted topic for all other New Zealanders
  • It covers not just traditional advertising, but is worded so that every e-mail and every website (except non commercial blogs) fall under the regulated speech regime
  • It has an almost unworkable bureaucratic system of sworn statutory declarations for any person or organisation spending even $1 expressing a view for or against a party in election year
  • It bans any unincorprated society with even one member under the age of 17 from spending more than $100 a week on political issues
  • It bans political parties from being able to run issue advertisements
  • It requires every organisation that spends more than $100 a week or $5,00 a year on “taking a position on any proposition that a party or candidate is associated with” as having to register with the Government and reveal all non trivial sources of income.  This will affect hundreds if not thousands of organisations
  • It requires third parties ot hand over anonymous donations over $500 to the Government yet allows political parties to accept anonymous donations of no limit at all.
  • It restricts an organisation to $60,000 expenditure in a year on so called election advertising, which barely covers two full page newspapers ads in our largest newspaper, over 11 months.  This is a ridiculously low limit to apply for such a long period of time.
  • It will legalise Labour’s illegal pledge card over-spending in 2005
  • It does not provide for significantly greater penalties for parties that deliberately breach the as happened in 2005
  • It prevents a wronged party, attacked by a politician, from defending itself during an election campaign by requiring third parties to register prior to the issuing of the election writs
  • It does not crack down on anonymous and trust donations to political parties despite there being a clear public consensus that it should.
  • The definition of advertising and publication is so wide that e-mailing a press release, stating your views on a website (other than a non commercial blog), or even making a placard for a protest march will be regulated by the Bill
  • That both third parties and political parties are greatly restricted for all of election year which will prevent them from being able to effectively respond to Government initiatives such as the Budget

That probably gives people some stuff to go on.  You can also mention that the Governments are set up to serve the people, not to take away their rights to criticise the Government.  That any restrictions on these rights should not be rushed into law but only be legislated into law after there has been significant public consultation and input, and widespread consensus.  Point out the only consensus amongst the public is that the Bill is anti-democratic.

So get to work people.  It sounds melodramatic to say if you don’t have your say on this law, you will lose your say on other laws.  But in fact sending in a submission to a Select Committee will actually be defined as a publication and an election advertisement and be illegal next year unless you sign a statutory declaration that you will not spend more than $5,000 on “advertising”.

Also next year if there is a proposed bill, and you are a registered third party and you have already spent your $60,000 on other activities, then you will be banned from spending even $1 on publishing your submission on a law.

Do not trust that Labour, Greens and NZ First will magically make this Bill less draconian.  The Government is blatantly lying about what this Bill does. The Greens will agree to almost anything so long as it stops the Brethren and National.  Winston I hope will show some sense on this, but I don’t want to rely on that.

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65 Responses to “30 hours left to make your submission on the Electoral Finance Bill”

  1. sonic (2,818 comments) says:

    Don’t forget it will also stop the Brethren running $1 million advertising campaigns for the National Party at the next election (disguising their real identity of course)

    An awful situation that I’m sure none of us want to see

    [DPF: Actually it might not. It will stop everyone else but if 20 Brethren each decide to spend $60,000 they can, and it may not be collusion if each spends on a different issue. But hey Sonic thinks it is okay to muzzle every NZer so long as it also muzzles the Brethren. Luckily he is in a small minority]

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  2. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    KILL THE BILL

    :
    :

    and ignore the hedgehog!

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  3. Graeme Edgeler (3,267 comments) says:

    30 hours – shoot, I’d better get started, then :-)

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  4. vto (1,128 comments) says:

    1. What was so wrong about the brethren having their say again?

    2. What is wrong with anonymity?

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  5. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    Sonic, why wouldnt you want the EB to to undermine Nationals election campaign? I thought you’d want the left to have all the help they can get quite frankly.

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  6. Barnsley Bill (975 comments) says:

    I have asked many times before, with no answer from the trolls but what they hey, it is a slow day.
    WHAT DID THE EB SAY THAT WAS SO WRONG?
    Not the fact that they published but the actual content!

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  7. iiq374 (262 comments) says:

    Don’t forget it won’t stop the Government spending $15 million on its own propaganda next election…

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  8. vto (1,128 comments) says:

    yes yes barnacle bill, what my post is getting at.

    Any decent answers out there?

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  9. sonic (2,818 comments) says:

    Bill they tried (in collusion with National) to sneak their way around electoral law, which to most of you seems to be unimportant as it was for your side.

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  10. Shout Above The Noise (27 comments) says:

    “Bill they tried (in collusion with National) to sneak their way around electoral law, which to most of you seems to be unimportant as it was for your side.”

    Of course ‘your side’ just broke the law outright, to the tune of $800k.

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  11. vto (1,128 comments) says:

    sonic, so did labour. ban them too then if the logic is to have any cred.

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  12. Castafiore (263 comments) says:

    QT Just Occurred,

    An absolute give away just now from Burp-ton responding to Gerry Brownlee- he stated that submissions to the Mugabe EFB Bill should be submitted taking into account of the Ministers intentions of the bill.

    What sort of Zimbabwe legislation is this country coming to when a bill is produced after months of planning and the people are then instructed to submit in relation to the minsters intentions and not what is written in the bill.

    It should then go back to first reading and have the ministers intentions elucidated and added as a clause so submitters can respond accordingly.

    This is preposterous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  13. Castafiore (263 comments) says:

    But I say,

    Kill the Bill

    Kill the Bill

    Kill the Bill

    Kill the Bill

    Kill the Bill

    Kill the Bill

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  14. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    I’ve just emailed 113 contacts with this link and a cover note. Anyone better that?

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  15. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    done !..and done..!

    i asked to make a personal submission..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  16. Castafiore (263 comments) says:

    And Sonic,

    What was actually wrong with what the EB did ???????????

    In a free country every citizen of that country should be able to publicly express their ideals.

    They paid for it.

    You stole it [with your pledge card.]

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  17. Nicholas O'Kane (168 comments) says:

    There is one simple reason to make a submission on this Bill, if you don’t have your say on it, you won’t have much say on any issue next year. What should we say?

    Call the EFB for what it is- a bill to silence our free speech. Tell Labour to KILL THE BILL.

    Every single new Zealander should make a submission, no matter how short, and importantly ask to appear in person before the committee. This may make the committee have to travel all around the country and delay the bill.

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  18. Shout Above The Noise (27 comments) says:

    OK guys, lets not give that malodorous little twerp any further oxygen on the subject, and start making our submissions.

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  19. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    Sonic, listen to yourself. Of course we don’t want politicians to ‘sneak their way around electoral law,’ do we?
    Even if it involves a pledge card over-spend?

    Oh of course, I forgot, that was subsequently made legal to erradicate any future ambiguities, wasn’t it? But to the point – did the EB actually break the Law? Say opposed to the Pledge card over-spend?

    The Labourites have managed to blind themselves to some relevant facts:
    1) This Bill was flawed at its inception and did not do what it was stated it would do – curtail anonymous donations.
    2) The Select Committee isn’t supposed to be the Government’s rubber-stamp, so appointing favourites to oversee it raises concerns about its constitutional bias.
    3) An issue this important should have had prior public and cross-party consultation
    4) It’s a rort, and no amount of whittering about the EB can disguise that fact
    5) It will institutionalise the purchasing of elections through the media by the incumbant government, by limiting what you or I ARE ALLOWED to say for up to a year, while the governemnt will be able to advertise its policies on the tv and through the other media.
    6) It will teach the coming generation of New Zealanders that freedom of speech is something that you get in other countries, or if you want it, you have to be able to buy it..

    Those who support this Bill have selfish political motives, and should be ashamed of themselves. Instead they try to justify their craveness by accusing their enemies of doing the very thing they wish to enshrine in law. It is sad to see the amount of twisting and double-talking they are prepared to engage in to assist its progress. Ask yourself this: If National were in Government and they had brought this Bill forward to a Select Committee headed by a former National PM, would they be quite so keen to support it? USE YOUR BRAINS BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE.

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  20. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    Anyone know if my teenage children are able to make submissions? ie is there any minimum age?

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  21. kiwi in america (2,436 comments) says:

    The key to killing this Bill is lobbying the Greens, NZ 1st and United Future who seem to have given Clark and Burton enough of an expression of support for Labour to bring this Bill before Parliament.

    phil u – whilst you have mentioned run ins with the Green Party heirarchy in the past, surely you know influential party members who must be uncomfortable with the draconian nature of the Bill and would use that influence to try and stop it.

    I am pretty good mates with Ron Mark in NZ 1st and I have written him a ‘please explain’ email. Likewise I still keep in contact with a few former colleagues from my Labour days and I’ve decided to give them a piece of my mind. If any of you have connections to Peter Dunne, do likewise. If we can spook the 3rd party supporters to withdraw, this Bill dies.

    Anyone who reads this blog who has any connections with the 3 Labour members on the Justice and Law and Order Select Committee (Charles Chauvel, Lyn Pillay and Ann Harley) or Nandor Tancos should write them about the most egregious aspects of the Bill. I’d imagine Ann Hartley is the most likely to respond to community pressure as she is less doctrinaire. Lyn Pillay is a constituency MP (Waitakere) – with a majority of under 5,000, on current polling she is vulnerable.

    If committee members are overwhelmed with negative emails they will sit up and take notice. Labour’s strategy is in the yawn factor. This issue does not have the easy resonance of the anti-smacking law change and so Labour will be counting on it being an inside the beltway issue. Ordinary NZers across the political spectrum needs to show that it is an issue of huge concern.

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  22. Linda Reid (396 comments) says:

    I have made my submission. I was clear that the bill was so flawed it should be killed.

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  23. berend (1,634 comments) says:

    I think this bill should go ahead. Nanny state already regulates almost everything, so why not our speech as well? We should actually ask Chavez to speak in defense of the bill. I’m sure he would be happy to do so.

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  24. red neck (64 comments) says:

    shades of the film 1984, sonic reivents the future(and PAST) with every post , david, ban him for a week for its own good. , The barren witch has my local mp DUNNIE wrapped around her lying toxic finger, but this boring old shit must have passed his used by date, hopefully

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  25. Julian (160 comments) says:

    DPF I simply copied your suggested intro and bullet points as am pressed for time.

    Here’s hoping it’s axed!

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  26. Graeme Edgeler (3,267 comments) says:

    krazykiwi – there is no minimum age.

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  27. Reg (544 comments) says:

    Lee C asked:
    But to the point – did the EB actually break the Law?
    Thats the ridiculous thing; they didn’t.
    If the had they would have been prosecuted and a paranoid Labour party would have been satiated. But the governments opponents kept to the law to the letter, while the kleptocracy stole an election with our money.
    Now they’ve had to validate their theft and are in the process of invalidating the right of every NZer to criticize the Government.

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  28. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    I think it is time to start suggesting the myriad ways that one will be able to break the Law (if this bill passes) during an election year and then expose it for the piece of work it is.

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  29. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    The Electoral Finance Bill fixes the EB ‘problem’ like sculling Ten-80 fixes plaque!

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  30. red neck (64 comments) says:

    My gods the EB ,they bash and kill their kids ,They are terrorist , are P dealers , can speak english , shit what a threat to our country , hey SONIC ( labour supporters are thick so you have to shout to get there attention) I understand these devil lovers pay taxes, ,wheres the problem, LIAR LOVER, are you sutch a brain washed idiot that you cannot tell me why i have to fear HARD WORKING NEW ZEALANDERS, EB ???im more scared of parkistanis( BOMBS)ie Germany , britian, usa ,etc,,islamist nutters

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  31. David Baigent (172 comments) says:

    Yeh done,
    Bits of Farrar, bits of Stephen Franks and a lots
    of heart felt ME.

    If it comes to pavement tagging use “tail paint” from Agricultural suppliers of Farm Vets. At least these type of aerosols paints dry quick and will degrade out of sight with time..

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  32. Reg (544 comments) says:

    Lee C said
    I think it is time to start suggesting the myriad ways that one will be able to break the Law (if this bill passes) during an election year and then expose it for the piece of work it is.
    Great idea Lee!
    1. Start a Newspaper. Its about time we had a decent right of centre rag.
    2. Form a union or trade association and communicate to your members via the media on the basis that there are so many of them its the only possible way.
    Any more ideas.
    We’ll see how long it is before Burton closes these “loopholes”.

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  33. Oliver (22 comments) says:

    Have just submitted asking them to axe the bill.

    Does anyone know if you can find out how many submissions have been made and a for/against count or do you have to wait till they’re all tallied up and see if anyone chooses to publish?

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  34. Clueless (3 comments) says:

    test

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  35. vto (1,128 comments) says:

    test

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  36. Grant (426 comments) says:

    Just wondering…. When do the EB guys get out of jail?
    Surely they must be doing a long stretch for whatever crime has sonic and co so worked up and ready to defend this piece of crap legislation.
    G

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  37. Frank. (607 comments) says:

    The Bill doesn’t define :Bribe”: “Policy” or “Official” (A person in the Service of the Crown) It doesn’t point out that those in the Service of the Crown are subject to Special Sections of the Crimes Act – They cannot use their position to advantage themselves to the disadvantage of others (In this case the Voters)

    The members of this Select Committee who voted for the passage of this Bill through the House and those that abstained from voting, thus assisting it’s passage through the House should declare a conflict of interest and excuse themselves from the exercise. These people have a vested interest, their self preservation, by this flawed Bill, endorsing the Appropriation (Parliamentary Expenditure Validation) Bill, which validated unlawful expenditure, theft of Parliamentary Services Funds etcetera – breaches of our Statutes during the last election.

    Aside: Parliament after 5 years is having a third reading of the Independent Police Complaints Now Conduct) Authorities Bill. The idea is to give the public confidence in Police operations?

    Maori want their own Independent Conduct Authorityt??

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  38. Nicholas O'Kane (168 comments) says:

    “You can also mention that the Governments are set up to serve the people, not to take away their rights to criticise the Government”

    Good point. Only problem is that Labour see the purpose of Government as to help ensure they remain in power, including stealing our money to finance their pledge card and ban us from criticisng them if nessescary, instead of serving us.

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  39. Flagging Red Dog (27 comments) says:

    Come back for another whinge Franky,
    Could Roger or Sonic please explain the reasoning why we are continuing to proceed with this bill when it is so abundantly clear that the public are very unhappy with it which will only further affecting our ratings. I know the righties will pounce on this but it does seem like polling suicide.

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  40. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    kiwi in america..

    if you go here..

    http://blog.greens.org.nz/index.php/2007/08/23/can-we-be-constructive-now/

    you will see that i have been beaverung away in those quarters..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  41. simo (150 comments) says:

    Shadup Sonic, want a tour of the 1950′s with Josef, go on, send a submission supporting the EFB, why don’t ya, look out for the laser dot on the forehead – dont tell me you have already got one, along with the barcode on the back of the neck

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  42. JesusCrux (88 comments) says:

    David Farrar I am disgusted that you are shamelessly promoting the defamation of the Bill’s process. Maybe it’s easy for you to object to it because you are a rich man who owns a company but many of us are poor people and Labour is the only party who supports us. The only thing that defeating this Bill will achieve is to allow people like you to try screw us over at the next election. Well for your information we aren’t as stupid as you think and I hope this Bill passes so I can laugh in your face because your anti-Left crusade failed.

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  43. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    JesusCrux you’re taking the piss, right!? Have you been following any of this? This really is bigger than Party Politics. This cuts to the very core of the democratic process. It isn’t about which party you support. Like I said before. Honestly, now, if the National Party were in power and had introduced this Bill, would you support it?

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  44. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    G. You were, weren’t you? Taking the piss I mean. Shit. I fell for it. whoops. Sorry all. Thought he was serious. Sorry.

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  45. Nicholas O'Kane (168 comments) says:

    jesusCrux, I hope you still support the Bill if national get in and ban you from spending more than $60 000 criticising anything they do in an election year.

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  46. toms (301 comments) says:

    Meanwhile, the party of privilege and crony capitalism torpedoes greater scrutiny of MP’s assets – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10461723&ref=rss

    What has National got to hide I wonder? Where HAS John Key got his money? Still, at least National is consistant in their defence of crony capitalism.

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  47. Insolent Prick (417 comments) says:

    Ah, the Lord Haw-Haw of the Labour Party speaks again!

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  48. scrubone (3,048 comments) says:

    Great post David, thanks for pointing this out.

    Forwarded it to some key people.

    I see you agree with my point re: the EB’s. :)

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  49. Gooner (995 comments) says:

    TomS, you wouldn’t know an asset from a piece of used toilet paper especially one that is owned by trustees, as most of the Labour Party’s MP’s assets are.

    Are you still in favour of the EFB Tom because I recall you saying once that you wanted legislation to control the media. Now that wouldn’t make you a Lord Haw-Haw of Labour. Rather, it would make you certifiably mad.

    I know what I pick.

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  50. Peter Bickle (35 comments) says:

    Hi all

    Put in my submission,

    kill the bill, kill the bill, kill the bill,kill the bill,kill the bill,kill the bill,kill the bill,kill the bill.

    Regards
    Peter Bickle

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  51. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    Oh submission feels soooooooo good. PSB would be proud of me….

    And in other news my whole family (wife+kids) have just made submissions against the bill. And the neighbours family. And my parents. And my sisters

    KILL THE BILL

    KILL THE BILL

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  52. Joely Doe (31 comments) says:

    Mine’s in.

    Thanks DPF.

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  53. red neck (64 comments) says:

    i have posted my submission on the supplied link(thanks DF)
    I spit in the eye of any brain washed labour supporter, and you fools know who you are.Freedom for New Zealand.

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  54. Calculus (76 comments) says:

    NZ First have just been shafted by Burton today about a rates report that NZF apparantly help commission and maybe this will help them re look at supporting this Mugabe EFB Bill.

    NZF Brian Donnelly went as far as asking him to resign

    Cullen unusually quickly rose to Labours defence and tried to grovel back by saying he didn’t think the spat would harm their relationship, he said “he didn’t think there were huge cracks appearing.”

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  55. Ed Snack (1,737 comments) says:

    Well, another reader has made their first submission to a select committee. This goes past party affiliation, hells bells, in this I am even in favour of allowing groups with a deeply held total aversion to the truth such as the Labour Party to have the ability to speak to their beliefs.

    My further suggestion, FWIIW, is that John Key should come out and state that in the event of National winning the next election, this bill, in what ever form it eventually appears, is repealed and a proper public consultation process be undertaken with a view to introducing legislation, via an open and democratic process, that the great majority of the public can support.

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  56. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    Ed, I think JK has already stated as much… but perhaps deliberately quietly. Keeping the powder dry

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  57. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    (disguising their real identity of course)

    A cowardly smear and lie…

    The names on the pamphlet were accurate and the persons correctly identified.

    The claimed justification for this totalitarian style legislation is nothing but a shallow leftist lie.

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  58. Matthew (167 comments) says:

    Hi,

    done my submission too. I too want the Bill dropped because not only does it represent wrong thinking, it proves that the Labour Party do not want to champion anyone’s right to say what they think.

    Since when did Sonic agree with the businessmen anyway?

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  59. red neck (64 comments) says:

    Theres one thing about this bill thats good ,it SHUTS up,sonic and selma and the other boring left idiots up in election year, lifes going to boring in mrs mugabe/nee davis kingdom

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  60. Monty (962 comments) says:

    I also have made my first submission – thanks David for the information and the topics to discuss. I hope it gets released how many submissions have been made and how many are in favour or against (who could possibly be in favour of a bill that intends to corrupt democracy?
    )

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  61. Murray (8,838 comments) says:

    I wanted to make a personal submission but they wouldn’t let me bring the trebuchet.

    Cultrual rights oppressed again.

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  62. tim barclay (886 comments) says:

    I have just done so. Thank you for facilitating this process. As a former Clerk of a Select Committee I will not comment on what I said but I have asked to be heard.

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  63. Bryce Edwards (248 comments) says:

    Deadline: extended to Tuesday

    According to the Secretariat of the Justice and Electoral Committee the deadline for submissions on the Electoral Finance Bill has been extended until Tuesday. Unfortunately they have decided not to put this information up on the website.

    It would still be worth getting your submission in today, but if that’s not possible you still have until Tuesday.

    In the absence of any official online information about the extended deadline, you probably shouldn’t take my word for this, and instead contact the secretariat office on: 04 471 9021. Or maybe DPF can confirm this for everyone.

    Bryce
    http://www.liberation.org.nz

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  64. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    kk said..(on wether key/national would pledge to repeal this legislation..

    and go about instigating election finance reform in a democratic manner..

    “..I think JK has already stated as much..but perhaps deliberately quietly. Keeping the powder dry..”

    where did key state this..?..kk..?..however ‘quietly’..?

    or have you just pulled that one out of you-know-where..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  65. PM of NZ (66 comments) says:

    Submission done – my first ever!
    DPF – BZ for laying out the ‘How To’.

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