Two interesting decisions by the Electoral Commission.
The first is hilarious. It is about Richard Green pruning his hedge so it displays “Green”. Yes the EFA even covers hedges. Some quotes:
The hedge does not appear to contain a promoter statement, and there is no evidence that the publication of the hedge was authorised by the financial agent for the Green Party. Therefore if the hedge is an election advertisement then the failure to provide a promoter statement and to have authorisation in writing for that publication would appear to contravene sections 63(2) and 65(1).
Heh, imagine a hedge having to have a promoter statement.
Luckily for Mr Green, the Electoral Commission decided any breach was not wilful, and even if it was, not significant. Interestingly, they didn’t actually determine whether or not the hedge was an election advertisement or not!
Then we have the late disclosure of donations from the Family Party – as previously covered here:
The Family Party have been referred to the Police for possible prosecution. This may be seen as a bit unfair, as the Greens got off for a similiar offence. However that was in the early days of the EFA, and the Commission points to an explicit notice to political parties in May reminding them of the need to report donations that aggregate to more than $20,000 within ten days.
Whether the Police prosecute is another issue. To date the Police have not prosecuted for any offence referred to them.Tags: Electoral Commission, Electoral Finance Act, Family Party, Police, Richard Green