As I blogged last week, Annette King was due to reveal today a new interpretation of the parliamentary exemption, so that Labour’s pledge card. She has been forced into this humiliating backdown because her original intepretation excluded statements made outside the House on policy to be enacted by a future Parliament, and the 9th floor realised this ruled out Labour’s pledge card and related campaign activities.
You see Labour is broke and needs to both have the taxpayer pay for its campaign, but also in case they do raise some money, not have the taxpayer spend count towards the limit.
So King has to back down. And she did so today in the third reading. She said:
My original view was too narrow.
She went onto to say that the exemption for MPs should include
provision of policy options and analysis to the electorate
A 180 degree flip-flop from her earlier view. Sounds much like an election campaign to me – providing policy options and analysis to the electorate.
And then finally she referred to how
MPs behaviour governed by Appropriations Act 2007 and Speaker’s Guidelines
In other words having amended one law to over-ride the Auditor-General, they now want the other law (the Electoral Finance Act) to exempt from spending limits anything approved by The Parliamentary Service.
This final act of Annette King’s is the final proof that the motivations of those voting for the Bill is entirely self seeking – it is to allow them to run taxpayer funded election campaigns, and not even have them count as part of the limits they place on everyone else.Tags: Electoral Act