United Future gets it wrong – again

This is getting irresponsible.  United Future has once again put out a publication that is inaccurate regarding the Electoral Finance Bill.  They have just done an e-mail to supporters (thanks to those who passed it on) and in it Peter Dunne says:

In essence, what it says is that where a lobby group is explicitly promoting a particular party, there is a limitation on how much that group can spend in support of that party.

This is 100% wrong.  Under both the current law and the Electoral Finance Bill a lobby group can’t spend a single dollar explicitly promoting a party, without it counting as part of a party’s limit (which needs their consent).

The Electoral Finance Bill covers campaigns such as the motor vehicle industry campaign against “Labour’s crazy car policy”.  That is not an explicit campaign in support of a party. It is a genuine campaign against a policy which they see as harming their industry.  And because they mention the name of the party in Government, it is now going to be seen as an election advertisement – even for ads in January.

The real irony of the United Future newsletter is this statement:

At the outset, I have to say that there have been a number of inaccurate and extreme comments about this bill and its implications that should be debunked.

Indeed, and those inaccuracies have been from United Future, Labour, Progressive and Greens who time and time again have either not understood their own legislation or are deliberately misrepresenting it.  For witness the next sentence:

For example, it does not restrict any citizen’s freedom of speech, nor does it limit the ability of lobby groups to participate in the election process.

Both statements are quite wrong of course.  An individual advocating for or against a party next year will be deemed to be running an election advertisement and need their name and address on it for stuff such as protest march placards or posts into Usenet.

And the statement about lobby groups is clearly wrong – the motor vehicle dealers being just one example.

And Peter Dunne doesn’t mention why he voted for a third party spending limit which is less than half that recommended by the neutral Electoral Commission.

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