A confused Herald editorial

Today’s Herald editorial is rather confused. They mix up the Local Electoral Act and Electoral Act, and also do not know how MMP works with by-elections.

should not be permitted at all but they have been allowed under strict conditions because political parties say few wealthy or corporate donors would contribute if their names had to be made public.

Anonymous donations are basically not permitted under the Electoral Act, unless they are of relatively small amounts (under $1,500), or are done through the Electoral Commission with strict declarations. However the Local Electoral Act is very very different and does have any strict conditions at all. They have in fact no conditions, except a badly worded definition of an anonymous donation.

This case warrants a reconsideration of campaign finance law to require the naming of all contributors of more than $1000 to a candidate or party. 

Again the Herald seems confused – are they talking the Electoral Act or the Local Electoral Act or both? The reference to parties suggest the Electoral Act.

Again the Electoral Act already bans anonymous donations of greater than $1,500. And candidates must disclose the names of all donors of over $1,500, while parties must disclose donors of over $15,000 (which is a sum which represents around 0.5% of a major party’s revenue).

The Local Electoral Act has no ban at all on anonymous donations, but requires disclosure of donations of over $1,000 already.

His departure would create a byelection in Epsom that National would need Act to win if the Government was to retain its majority.

Totally incorrect. If National won the by-election they would go from 59 to 60 seats in the House and with United Future would have a majority.

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