ODT on bad laws

The ODT looks at the issue of bad laws:

Parliament passed some poorly-drafted law during the term of the Clark Government, notably the Electoral Finance Act 2007, a most controversial set of laws widely condemned across the legal and quasi-legal community.

The Electoral Commission noted that it had had a “chilling effect” on political participation, but even before it was passed into law the Law Society and the Human Rights Commission had condemned it.

But then we had the example of a bad practice being retrospectively tidied up to legitimise the original activity, in the Appropriation (Continuation of Interim Meaning of Funding for Parliamentary Purposes) Act, which legally permitted political parties to continue to spend our money in the election campaign for purposes the Auditor-general had earlier determined were illegal.

Of course the two laws, were designed to work together. One was designed to silence critics of the Government while the other was designed to allow the Government to use taxpayer money for its own election campaign.

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