Not often I find myself quoting Bomber Bradbury, but he has taken a respite from his 2,457th Bush is Evil post to comment on the Electoral Finance Bill:
Now I’m all in favour of curbing the excesses of money influence in democracy, a plutocracy is a real fear and is a direct outcome from unrestricted electoral financing rules, however Labour seem to have lost the plot on this. In the real areas they should work on, like anonymous donations, Labour have folded and seem hell bent on putting together a bunch of election rules that will give such a biased and vested advantage to the incumbent that anyone concerned with basic standards of democracy should be deeply worried about.
If National was trying to pull this crap people would be rioting in the streets, Labour have to be told they can’t run with this type of legislation especially if the rumours that they will force it through urgency are true.
As Bomber says, there would be riots from the left if National introduced such a bill. What will be amusing is if Labour passes the EFB, but still loses the 2008 election. I suspect they’ll be the first ones up asking for it to be repealed once they are not the Government.
I mean just imagine – National could introduce bulk funding in 2011, and the PPTA couldn’t spend more than $60,000 fighting against it. Even better also get rid of zoning the same year, and the PPTA having already spent $60,000 fighting bulk funding, will then not be able to spend even a single cent fighting zoning abolishment.
I have absolutely no desire to work in a future Government (I enjoy self employment far too much), but you know if the Electoral Finance Bill is passed, and National does gain office in 2008, I might seek a position just for 2011 as being in charge of introducing laws which will piss off Labour, yet leave them and their allies unable to campaign against them. Think of the fun one could have in such a role. One could do laws to:
- Rename Labour Day, National Day
- Privatise the entire prison service
- Bulk fund all schools
- Buy an aircraft carrier
- Remove union monopoly on collective contracts
- Make donations to the Business Round Table tax deductible
And Labour and its allies will be banned from effectively being able to campaign against any of them!!
And for the record I am only serious about three of the six above. And no I won’t say which thre!