Friday, 7 September 2007

Electoral Finance Bill

Submissions on the Electoral Finance Bill close at 5pm today. This is the Bill described in parliament yesterday as produced by "a fascist tyranny, and anti-democratic." The commenter was too kind.

In the Libertarianz submission on the Bill, Bernard Darnton -- whose suit against the Clark Government for misappropriating public funds to pay for their electoral advertising led to Clark and co. passing so called "validating" legislation to legalise the theft, and set in train the moves towards this Bill -- makes clear he "opposes this Bill in the strongest possible terms."
It is an unprecedented assault on free speech and violates the trust between citizens and the government that undergirds a peaceful and prosperous country.

Vendors in third-world markets often start by making an outrageous offer and then haggling their way down to the price they actually want – a price that would have seemed outrageous if it had been offered initially. Those selling third-world political ideas should not be allowed to get away with the same trick.

This Bill is beyond repair. It cannot be fixed. We urge committee members not to make the mistake of meeting its authors half-way and declaring a successful compromise. This Bill cannot be watered down; it must be drowned...

The stated intentions of this Bill include the maintenance of public confidence in the administration
of elections and the promotion of public participation by the public in parliamentary democracy. In
1946 George Orwell wrote, “Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder
respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

We propose that, in the interests of honesty, the wording be changed to
3 (a) deflect attention from the public's lack of confidence in the administration of elections in the wake of the misappropriation of public funds to pay for electoral advertising and the subsequent validation of such misappropriation.
(b) deter public participation in parliamentary democracy and limit political expression to approved parties.
The hard-hitting Libertarianz submission can be found online here: Submission on the Electoral Finance Bill - Libertarianz.

UPDATE: David Farrar has info on how to make an online submission. Do it NOW!


  1. I have made a submission -- a first time for me.

    Presumably, submissions are public, and can be analysed statistically? What has happened in the past (eg the Anti-Smacking Bill) -- can the Select Committee "go through the motions" regarding submissions and then recommend whatever they like back to Parliament?

  2. I was at a breakfast today and bill english was the speaker.

    he promised to not be political, but let it slip when someone mentioned the EFB.

    he described it as the most draconian attack on free speech in the world. and said that they would fight it despite the fact that more left wing groups attack them when they are in govt than right wing groups attack labour when they are in power.

    he was quite riled up (for bill) and you could tell he is pissed off.



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