Monday, April 09, 2007

On speech rationing

I'm happy to say that between them Rodney Hide and Cactus have the Clark Government's plans for electoral speech rationing nailed. First Cactus:
This is totally disgraceful. But a useful reminder of what Labour has become.

"It also plans to attack an important source of money for National by limiting anonymous donations from anybody, including trusts, to $5000.

National received $1.8 million in 2005, all but $140,000 of it from six trusts.

People can maintain their anonymity by donating to trusts, which then pass the money on to the party".
And look after their own:
* Exempt from the new third-party rules groups such as unions or companies when they are communicating directly with their members...
Talk about hypocritical -- and Cactus does. At length. And then Rodney delivers the principled one-two:

There’s a huge reluctance in New Zealand politics to talk principles. . . Our electoral spending laws are an affront to free speech. People should be free to say what they want. They should be free to spend their own money promoting whatever cause they choose. Period.

We now have Labour proposing to clamp down further on freedom of expression through our electoral law. Through this debate there is never any mention of any principle. I would have thought freedom of speech and political expression were things worth talking about ... and trying to defend.

Bravo!

LINKS: What's wrong with free speech? - Rodney Hide's blog
A matter of trust for Labour - Cactus Kate

RELATED: Free Speech, NZ Politics

1 Comments:

Blogger Eric Olthwaite said...

This scares the shit out of me. There's a letter in the Herald today comparing Helen Clark to Hitler, a comparison often made on talk radio and one usually shrugged off as a bit of hyperbole, but I really struggle to argue against it with this.

Calling it speech rationing is too kind, it's democracy rationing. With any other piece of disagreeable legislation you at least knew that you be able to get out there at election time and put your case forward to get it changed. This resticts my ability to do even that.

One of the most spine-crawling episodes of last year was the equation of private citizens using their own resources to campaign for their beliefs as "corrupt", and Tony Milne's Orwellian label for this democracy rationing idea as "democracy funding". Democracy is already funded every day by voters using their resources to promote their ideas as they see fit.

This must be fought.

4/10/2007 11:37:00 am  

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