Why we need an electoral law change

August 13th, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Soul and blues star Darren Watson’s satirical song Planet Key appears to have been banned from being broadcast.

Guitarist singer and songwriter Mr Watson’s song and its animated video by Jeremy Jones released last week pokes fun at the Prime Minister and his Government.

It features Mr Key playing a stinging blues guitar solo on an endangered Maui’s dolphin while an oil rig explodes in the background. It also depicts Finance Minister Bill English carrying Mr Key’s golf clubs and the Prime Minister plays golf with Barack Obama.

But Mr Watson posted on Facebook this afternoon that he had just had a “super interesting chat with The Electoral Commission just now”.

“It appears we may be gagged.”

He later posted that “the story is the Electoral Commission have advised a Access Radio station not to play Planet Key as it may be a contravention of the act.”

Hamilton’s Free FM station manager Phil Grey told the Herald the station had played Mr Watson’s music before but when it recently received a copy of the song, because of its content, the station’s programme director asked for the Electoral Commission’s opinion on whether it breached electoral rules.

“She got a communication back saying that outside of a topical news item about the song, airplay of that song would be considered to cross the threshold to be considered an electoral programme.”

The Electoral Commission is correct, in my opinion, in terms of the law.

However that is why I think the law should be changed.

We have archaic electoral laws that treat the broadcast medium as different to other mediums. All political advertising is banned on broadcast media, except those ads funded by the taxpayer through the broadcasting allocation, Effectively this means the state has a monopoly over broadcast advertising.

We should change the law to allow anyone to run advertisements on radio or television, so long as they identify themselves.

Of course the John key parody video can be viewed online. I blogged it here myself a few days ago.

Tags: ,

16 Responses to “Why we need an electoral law change”

  1. Nigel Kearney (970 comments) says:

    They are even talking about requiring an authorisation statement on the song. The station should just repeatedly run a recorded news story complaining about crazy free speech restrictions with the song playing in the background, since that appears to be legal.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. Simon (728 comments) says:

    Jobsworths hassling people as they go about their business is exactly what the Statists want for NZ.

    Darren Watson welcome to the real NZ. You voted for it.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Redbaiter (8,309 comments) says:

    The Electoral Law in question was proposed by Labour upset at the temerity of the Exclusive Brethren for actually publicising their political opinions, and then passed by a hapless National.

    Two left wing peas in a pod.

    Always said the law was an absolute crock when Labour wanted it and when National passed it.

    It should be completely wiped from the statute books.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. jackinabox (781 comments) says:

    Remember when National banned McFail and Gadsby?

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Nukuleka (297 comments) says:

    It is interesting that DPF posted the video online here a few days ago when it is purportedly an anti- John Key song. I thought it was very clever and amusing, and certainly didn’t take any offence at it at all. I’d have said it was satirical rather than propagandist. Just imagine our friends over at the Substandard posting a video sending up the temporary leader of the Labour Party in a similar vein!! Unimagineable.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Nukuleka (297 comments) says:

    jackinabox- no, I don’t remember, actually. Which century was that in?

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. tvb (4,319 comments) says:

    Every system has its problems. First Past the Post means parties with minority support can from a Government. Most people like the diversity MMP brings into the Parliament. The gaming caused by the coat-tail rule irritates some people. But there was a lot of gaming in FPP with marginal seats getting a lot of attention and money which those seats lapped up. And it delivered a lot of power to the single party Government often on a minority vote. Something in between, with a supplementary list would be better.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. jackinabox (781 comments) says:

    “jackinabox- no, I don’t remember, actually. Which century was that in?”

    1981 maybe?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Redbaiter (8,309 comments) says:

    Listen you anti Brethren arseholes.

    if you were the fucking “liberals” you profess yourself to be you would support the EB’s right to express a politcal opinion even though you hate them and everything they stand for.

    Fucking stupid silly little posturing childlike indoctrinated progressive wimps.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. jackinabox (781 comments) says:

    McPhail and Gadsby lampooned Muldoon at every opportunity so National banned their show during the election campaign. I see a pattern emerging here.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. labrator (1,897 comments) says:

    Fucking stupid silly little posturing childlike indoctrinated progressive wimps.

    It’s Wednesday. Take the pills in the container with a ‘W’ on top and come back later.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. backster (2,141 comments) says:

    The full story ( well re-arranged a bit) will be in the opening chapter of Hager’s book tomorrow.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. ross411 (494 comments) says:

    Who is Darren Watson? I’ve truthfully never heard of him.

    Simon (699 comments) says:
    August 13th, 2014 at 9:26 am
    Jobsworths hassling people as they go about their business is exactly what the Statists want for NZ.

    Darren Watson welcome to the real NZ. You voted for it.

    Well, yes. It’s what he wants. But like all those who want it, they want it to prevent other people doing the things they don’t want them doing.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. adze (2,086 comments) says:

    Jackinabox
    Yes, I can see why you would see a pattern emerging from two data points separated by more than 30 years.
    If you were sincere about such things you would have chosen the electoral finance act as your other example.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. jackinabox (781 comments) says:

    What are you talkin about adze? I thought we were discussing gagging orders?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. adze (2,086 comments) says:

    jackinabox
    Given that the EFA was drafted by the previous government in 2007 in direct response to the Exclusive Brethren publishing pamphlets critical of the Greens, I would have thought the parallels were reasonably clear.
    Even if you don’t accept that, it’s a much more recent example that would have made a claim of a gagging “pattern” slightly more plausible (but only slightly, given that the Electoral Commission is an independent body).

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.