Analysing the PM’s “assurances” on advertising

This is almost comical.  NZPA reports that the PM has said there is no need to worry about government agencies being exempted from the Electoral Finance Bill, because:

Government departments will err on the side of caution when promoting policies during election year, Prime Minister Helen Clark said today.

Are these the same Departments who have Ministers in charge of them who approve the advertising campaigns?  The same Departments whose Working for Families advertising in 2005 was so over the top, the Auditor-General had to step in and reduce it?

Are these the same Departments who sack staff members because they may refuse to implement huge taxpayer funded campaigns which align with the Government’s re-election campaign?

Miss Clark said government department promotion must be within guidelines approved by the auditor-general.

Is this the same Miss Clark who spent most of last year attacking the Auditor-General and is in the midst of passing a law to over-turn his decisions that her parliamentary spending was illegal?

“Government departments can’t electioneer.”

Of course Helen is changing the definiton of electioneer so activities like her election pledge card are now a public information service, not electioneering.

“… but I think you’ll find that come election year, particularly as the months go by, government advertising becomes pretty sparse.”

Wait a second.  Is Helen now saying that it does matter how close you are to an election?  Surely not because she is ramming through law changes which will allow her to have taxpayer funded newspaper ads appear the week of the election?

How stupid does she really take people for?

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