Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Don't vote National

Okay, as most of you and New Zealand now know, Andy Moore started up attack website Don'tVoteLabour, and he's in trouble with the Electoral Commission.  I like what he's doing.  I like it a lot.  And guess what: Friend Richard Goode has started one called Don'tVoteNational.  I like that one too.  I like it a lot.  An awful lot.  ;^)

UPDATE:  From this morning's Herald editorial:

How absurd that New Zealanders can no longer make a political statement in an election year without satisfying a welter of petty regulation...
... it is on the web, a new frontier of attempted regulation, that Labour's red tape will be most resented. The act's restrictions on election material expressly exempts "the publication by an individual, on a non-commercial basis, on the internet of his or her personal political views ... "
Bloggers might have little difficulty fitting that definition but they will need to be aware that should their site acquire more than one author or, heaven forbid, make some money in some way from their political observations, the speech patrol could be down on them. It is outrageous that they even need to concern themselves with such rules.
When people come to wonder what has happened to a freedom they once took for granted, the answer is seldom a single, memorable edict. It is more often a hundred trifling rules, requirements and restrictions, each defensible within the logic of the law but together oppressive in their effect.

That's the way that freedom ends. That's the way that freedom ends. Not with a bang but a whimper. If you've never understood how to boil a frog alive, then here's your answer: not with a single bold move to turn the tepid water hot, but by a hundred trifling raises of temperature until the frog has ceased to wonder what happened to the tepid temperatures it once took for granted.   So it goes.


  1. Oh VERY well done!

  2. This part of the editorial really jumped out at me:
    "The commission explains that an "authorising" statement is required on exempted material just as on paid political advertising."

    So, in reality, no political speech is truly exempt! Free speech has just been killed in NZ.

  3. they will need to be aware that should their site acquire more than one author

    That's an interesting comment. So blogs are exempt, but not group blogs?

    The legislation looks more and more confusing.

    I'm already getting emails on how to avoid advertising your address to some Greenie nutjob that happens to live around the corner and has a spare brick: A really good offer

  4. dontvotenational linking to everybodies faaaavorite website? Ha ha :) Good score!

  5. Oh dear, looks like you just made some money from your political observations ;)

  6. Problem is that the "boil a frog" thing is a myth.

    Professor Doug Melton, Harvard University Biology Department, says, "If you put a frog in boiling water, it won't jump out. It will die. If you put it in cold water, it will jump before it gets hot -- they don't sit still for you."

    So perhaps there's hope for us. Most of us like to think we are a little bit smarter than frogs.

  7. "Problem is that the "boil a frog" thing is a myth."
    really? amazing!
    Wodathunk it, eh? /sarc

  8. I've certainly boiled a lot of eggs in my time, and not one of them ever thought of escaping.

  9. Obviously, they weren't laboratory eggs Zen.

  10. As several people have pointed out today, this website is now also in breach of the EFA:

    Seems that they have neglected to add an authorization.


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