Paper insistence

June 12th, 2013 at 1:19 pm by David Farrar

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So, is apparently ready to re-register as a party, but has been held up by the ’s insistence on paper membership records.

As someone who has grown up in the internet age, this is simply backwards. In an age where I can get a passport, do my taxes, or submit on legislation online, the idea that I have to fill out an actual paper form to join a political party (as opposed to any other organisation) is just arcahic. But its also possibly illegal. Why? Because in 2002, Parliament passed the Electronic Transactions Act 2002, the thrust of which is basically “electronic stuff counts”. …

So basically the Electoral Commission could accept electronic membership records; they just choose not to. And that choice appears to be contrary to S 8 of the Electronic Transactions Act 2002.

Administrative decisions cannot trump the law. The Electoral Commission needs to drag itself into the 21st century and start accepting electronic memberships. And who knows? Perhaps if you don’t need to use bronze-age technology to participate, people might actually start joining political parties again.

Basically I agree 100%. I don’t belong to organisations that I can’t join online. My membership of National has been done electronically for many years.

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14 Responses to “Paper insistence”

  1. Black with a Vengeance (1,552 comments) says:

    Then why can’t we vote online by now…grrrrrrr!!!!

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  2. tas (527 comments) says:

    One of the two times I’ve ever had to use a fax machine was to vote from overseas…

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  3. peterwn (2,932 comments) says:

    Surely this means that National, Labour etc should review their situation and decide whether to de-register to be on the safe side.

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  4. Pete George (21,789 comments) says:

    My membership of National has been done electronically for many years.

    National has probably never had to have it’s members verified.

    This is another example of how the system is heavily weighted against new party initiatives.

    You can enrol to vote online – http://www.elections.org.nz/voters/enrol-check-or-update-now

    It also seems bizarre that just because UF admitted they had dropped below 500 members they are now considered a new party. All that’s changed is they have got their numbers up again – to over 1000 (thanks to the publicity and Winston).

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  5. Daigotsu (444 comments) says:

    Another ridiculous crusade from know loony lefty Idiot Savant (real name Malcolm).

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  6. simonway (356 comments) says:

    Yes, what a typical left-winger, promoting this bizarre, socialist “computer” technology.

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  7. peterwn (2,932 comments) says:

    Pete
    Perhaps it never occurred to the Commission that National, Labour or Greens would have such a membership ‘issue’. As far as I remember, National would not have had accepted membership applications on a central file. Each electorate had its own membership list compiled from receipt book butts.

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  8. jpollock (7 comments) says:

    As a software expert (20 year software developer, Bachelor of Mathematics. Honours Computer Science), I can tell you categorically that voting via software is a bad idea.

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  9. tas (527 comments) says:

    jpollock: Agreed. Computers are too opaque to be trusted. (I’m also a CS major. There is plenty of research on electronic voting. It all falls apart if you have some malware on your computer.)

    But why is faxing OK, but email not?

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  10. bhudson (4,720 comments) says:

    I think I see a case for urgent reform (clarification) that would have multi-party support.

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  11. wrightingright (132 comments) says:

    It is incredible that we can get private companies to create a system to deal with our all complex banking requirements online, but the government can’t get their act together to provide the same simply for voting.

    Yet another public sector fail.

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  12. Colville (1,765 comments) says:

    A couple of months back I submitted a building consent application by email…when I asked for an addy to email it in the building guy was like “dunno if we can do that” but it turned out that they did in fact have an addy just for consent applications…

    I was the first ever emailed application…in May 2013…FFS.

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  13. Steve (North Shore) (4,313 comments) says:

    Try it with a Bank.
    New borower – sign everything, they insist.
    Equity is word of the mouth over the phone – do it or I drop you

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  14. ChardonnayGuy (1,023 comments) says:

    Poor old Pete. I’ve never understood why he’s never managed to rebrand “United Future”, given his repeated statements that he’s a Liberal Democrat at heart. Which is entirely possible, actually, as the LibDems do have their own centre-right classical liberal wing…which may explain the current UK governing coalition’s origins and survival.

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