A pissed off NZ Herald

Good God the Herald is not happy and not shy at showing it.  I only picked up yesterday’s edition last night as I flew home.  The front page story was expected, but on Page Three they have done a half page montage of all the MPs who voted for the Electoral Finance Act and have said they will be republishing the montage *every* month until the general election.

All praise the Herald.  It is vitally important that MPs understand that what they have done is so bad, that there will be consequences.  Destroying the constitutional conventions around the Electoral Act is not a minor escapade.

Also have to enjoy their sense of humour as the montage is headed up “In order to Inform, Enlighten and Entertain”, with a note that this is the only things the media are allowed to do from 1 January under the Act.

Their editorial pulls no punches:

The Electoral Finance Bill’s passage through Parliament late yesterday corrodes democracy and shames those whose names stand beside it as it enters the statutes. From January 1, political discourse will be less free, except for political parties – those private organisations that happen to provide the incumbent members of Parliament.

Today’s Herald has a story on the billboards and also Tim Shadbolt’s plans.

Audrey Young also blogs the Best of the Electoral Finance Bill Awards.  Best Speech gone to Maori Party MP and longtime protester Hone Harewira.  You must read this speech:

Yes folks money talks, but nothing talks quite like the truth, and the truth about this Bill is that it’s nothing but an arrogant dismissal by this Labour-led government to deny the citizens of Aotearoa / New Zealand the right to participate in one of the fundamental rights of any so-called “democratic society”  how you elect your government.

It’s about the sweet scent of power, and the lust for control. It’s about the decadence of corruption, the stench of deceit, and the refusal to accept the reality of impending defeat.

Yes, there have been amendments, hell we even voted for one of them, but given the constitutional importance of legislation that will play a critical role in determining how the next election will be fought  stitching up this deal behind closed doors, and then adding a veneer of democracy through a select committee process, is nothing but a sick joke.

We will not be party to this desperate attempt by Labour to stay in power at the expense of the fundamental human rights of the citizens of this country.

We will not be party to a bill designed to put fear into those who would speak their mind, by forcing them to run the gauntlet of registration, audit, notification, financial agency, monitoring, reporting, scrutiny, and penalty.

Madam Speaker, money is not what drives people to vote, it is truth …

And I sincerely hope and pray, that those who have sacrificed the truth for the delusion of power, that overwhelms this decadent and depraved piece of legislation, will come to see the folly of their ways when the people reject this sham, come Election 2008.

Again what a great speech.  Now for the other awards from Audrey:

Worst speech went to Winston Peters and no one could disagree.  A bizarre rambling speech.

Best quote went to John Key:

“If you are in favour of free speech then you are in favour of freedom of speech precisely for the views you despise. Otherwise you are not in favour of free speech.” They are not the word of a random right winger. They are not the words of a former treasurer of the Act Party… They are the words of Noam Chomsky, a man who is not from the left but from the far left.


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