LexisNexus hosted a forum yesterday on Electoral Finance Law. They were kind enough to allow me to attend as media, so I could report on it. I couldn’t afford the $900 fee as I have no commercial interest in the area. There was a great line up of speakers including:
- Associate Professor Bill Hodge
- Electoral Commission CEO Dr Helena Catt
- Mai Chen
- Peter Kiely
- Bryce Edwards
- Nikki Pender
- Doug Bailey
- Catherine Marks
I only attended some of the afternoon session, and will blog on these later. What I want to cover is the session in the morning with Electoral Commission CEO Helena Catt. I was not physically present for it, but was given a copy of the written notes Dr Catt used. Some extracts are below:
- A lack of broad political consensus through the passage of the bill has resulted in difficult law delivered into a litigious environment.
- “It is clear that having uncertainty remaining within the regulated period has had a chilling effect on the extent and type of participation in political and campaign activity”.
- The meanings of significant sections of the legislation are obscure.
- The commission is not confident that it will be able to reach informed positions on the interpretation of some provisions within the election period.
I stress again that these are the views not of a partisan political player, but by the Chief Executive of the Electoral Commission.
Need more be said?