I blogged on a column by Colin Espiner last week on the electoral law changes, and disagreed with aspects of it. One area I critiqued was the assertion that under the new law third parties could spend unlimited money in support of a political party, and not have it count as part of a party’s limit.
Now I was correct, but as Colin writes here the error was not his:
Power said the requirement that lobbyists register with the Electoral Commission if they spent more than $12,000 would ensure the system was open and transparent.
However, after an outcry from Labour and the Greens, Power said he was prepared to revisit the proposal if a select committee could agree on a suitable alternative.
He also announced that lobbyists running supportive campaigns for a party would have to seek the party’s consent, and they would count towards that party’s spending limit.
Earlier, his office had insisted that positive campaigning would not count towards party spending limits.
So it was a stuff up in the Minister’s office (and hey we have all made them), and one can’t criticise Colin for relying on the advice from the Minister’s office.