I am looking forward to the second reading speeches on the Electoral Finance Bill bt National MPs. Whale has dug up some quotes from the last time there was a law passed to restrict the ability of citizens to advocate against the Government dueing an election campaign.
- Lindsay Tisch: This is a Government that purports to support human rights in Zimbabwe and Fiji, yet at the same time wants to limit Kiwis in having their say.
- Jo Goodhew: . I can assure her that we are responding to the many, many New Zealanders who have told us how much they dislike this bill and who have said they do not want their freedom of speech shut down.
- Allan Peachey: : I was particularly anxious, after days of trying, to get a call on the Committee stage of the Electoral Finance Bill, because I want it recorded for all time in the annals of this House that I am one of those members who spoke against and voted against this attack on the democratic tradition of this country—and that is what this bill is.
- John Key: We know that after this legislation New Zealanders will no longer be free. They are used to operating in a democracy in New Zealand where they are free to express themselves on political issues, they are free to criticise the Government, they are free to criticise the Opposition, they are free to promote policies they like and to protest against policies they do not like,
- John Carter: This is an absolute restriction on the freedom of speech in this country, and if people ever thought that one day we would have to be here defending the democratic right of people in this country to express their views
As I said, I am looking forward to hearing the speeches about how a $120,000 limit was an attack on free speech but a $300,000 limit (admittedly over a smaller time period) is fine.