A third Labour breach

August 17th, 2011 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

The Electoral Commission has announced:

On 15 August 2011, the Electoral Commission referred the following matters to Police:

  • MP, Ohariu Census,
  • Party newspaper advertisements in Sunday Star Times and NZ Herald
  • Party ‘Prices are Rising Faster than Wages’ flyer.
It is the Electoral Commission’s view that the publication of each of these items constitutes a breach of sections 204F and 204H of the 1993 because the items are election advertisements that do not contain a valid promoter statement and were not authorised in writing by the party secretary.
The referral of Chauvel to the Police is new. Whale blogged on his survey back in July.
ACT should also know better, and should have authorised their newspaper ads. They are not even borderline calls.
No Right Turn comments:
This isn’t rocket science. The requirement for a promoter statement has been a core part of our electoral law since 1977, and something every party should be complying with out of habit. Failing to do so is a basic failure of political competence. After all, if you can’t publish a fucking ad properly, how do you expect us to believe you can run the country? Sadly, I don’t think Labour will acknowledge that failure and commit to fixing it. Based on their past performance, we’ll be treated to more arrogant whining instead.
The Police should be able to decide on these breaches quickly. I have heard a whisper that the Police will delay any decisions on electoral law breaches until after the election, so they are not seem to be interfering with the election.
I hope this is not true, as it would be quite wrong to let political considerations interfere with the law.  If the Police have adopted this attitude, it will actually encourage more and more people to break the electoral laws, if they know there is no chance of charges being laid before the election.
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12 Responses to “A third Labour breach”

  1. Murray (8,838 comments) says:

    Well then I may as well punt though the photos i took of Labour and Act at Massey when they were both in breech as well if we’re finally going to get serious about enforcing the law for a change.

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  2. Whaleoil (766 comments) says:

    Do it Murray, send them in with details. The more the merrier. It is time to take back out democracy through the rule of law.

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  3. smttc (692 comments) says:

    It is obvious that our law on electoral advertising is piss weak. I say three strikes and you lose your tax payer funding for an election compaign. That would focus their minds on getting the adverts right in the first place.

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  4. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Obviously both parties full of common criminals. Pillory them.

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  5. Inventory2 (10,100 comments) says:

    Agree wholeheartedly with your closing comment DPF. If the police believe that ANY party has broken the law, charges should be laid before the election so that the voting public can choose whether or not the alleged breaches are an issue which might affect how they vote.

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  6. lastmanstanding (1,204 comments) says:

    Whilst i would find it easy to take the piss out of them as i usually do this time is much more serious.
    By not taking action until AFTER the election the POlice are failing in their fundemental duty to uphold the rule of law and are actually interfering in the policital process by not doing so.

    They are showing both biase and prejudice.

    As a citizen I demand the police follow the rule of law with fear or favour. They are not doing this.

    Of course it also shows that our policans are either deliberately or woefully ignorant of the laws they pass.

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  7. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    So if a politician got their wang out on Cuba Mall, or assaulted, or say murdered someone, would charges be laid before or after the election? You know, cause the Police wouldnt want to be seen to be interfering with the election now would they….

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  8. Grendel (951 comments) says:

    So what are the rules around having parlimentary services pay for stuff?

    i was at an expo recently and grabbed the greens propoganda and while it does all have the promoter statement, its all (even the pack of seeds and the pamphlet on why MMP is ‘fairest’) got the parlimentary crest on it. it all seems pretty much like promotional material for the party, so where is the line?

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  9. Whaleoil (766 comments) says:

    Grendel, best thing to do is write to both the Electoral Commission and to the Speaker seeking clarification. You never know where it will all end up.

    That’s what I did and now Labour are facing three prosecutions.

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  10. burt (7,812 comments) says:

    Whaleoil

    …. and now Labour are facing three prosecutions.

    That’s very very funny… Come on you know better than that – it’s not in the public interest to prosecute, others were doing it too, the law is confusing, it’s the way we have always done it… Prosecutions…. ha ha ha.

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

    Consistently now for at least the previous five years and longer if you look at mis-use of funds Labour has consistently trumpeted the message that they consider electoral law a bit of a joke. Tht is when it is applied to them or their allies. But when their opponents dare to do anything they disapprove of they leap to ‘democracy’s’ defence with frightening speed.

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

    Given the failure of the police to uphold the law – Labour actually prove the punchline to the old one:
    Question: ‘Why does a dog lick it’s balls?’
    Answer: ‘Because it can…’

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