People should listen to this interview on National Radio Nine to Noon with Steven Price. Steven isn't a dirty rightie like me. Steven is a respected media law commentator, a spokesperson of the Coalition for Open Government and nicky hager's lawyer. i say this just to make the point that the language used to describe the bill comes from someone who thought he would be the chief supporter of the bill.
Steven starts by saying:
Let's rip the flesh off this Electoral Finance Bill and incinerate it
Then on the 3rd party restrictions:
They're also shut down an awful lot of political speech, almost everybody's political speech
kathryn ryan upon learning that these restrictions will not just be the traditional 90 days but all of election year commented:
Steven goes on to explain the definition of election advertising is so wide
It captures almost all political discourse in that year
Submissions on this draconian bill can now be made, and close on 7 September.
If ever there was a bill you should do a submission on, it is this. It will affect the rights of almost all NZers to have their say on political issues. Do not assume that the MPs will magically fix it.
Under this bill it will be illegal to upload a video to You Tube attacking the Government unless you sign a statutory declaration.
It will be illegal to promote an online petition against a Government policy without a statutory declaration or registering.
Have you say, while you still can. Details of how to submit are here.
I will provide some ideas and suggestions for people to help with their submissions closer to the deadline. So don't worry if you are not an expert on the bill. But please take the time to make a submission.