Amid a maze of me-tooisms that only Ariadne could navigate with certainty, one of the few policies National leader John Key has been clear about is that if elected National will repeal the Electoral Finance Act (EFA).
Many otherwise honest people have drawn great comfort from this promise, eager to have this assault on our freedom of speech repealed. But the talk about repeal made not so much to abolish a law that tramples our freedom of speech, but to replace it in Key's words with "something that works."
So what exactly is this promise worth, then? What precisely will he replace it with? Will free speech be protected, or rationed? Do we want the same authoritarian law with a different name, in a different package, just "working better"? Not me, but that looks to be what Flip Flop Boy thinks is all we're going to deserve.
On Morning Report this morning [audio here] John Boy "clarified" his approach is to be exactly as mealy-mouthed on this as in everything else. He confirmed his intentions regarding the EFA's replacement have nothing to do with free speech ... the main concern is "consensus," to make the electoral process "workable," to seek "cross-party support" -- and further, many of the "aspects" of the Electoral Finance Act will be retained, says Key, who predicts no "dramatic changes" in any replacement legislation ...
So if anything at all is clear after that it's that nothing will be clear until "consensus from all parties" is sought, and found, and free speech is cut up, repackaged and rationed out by agreement among our political 'masters' who are all supposed to be our servants.
So what's a Key promise worth when it's examined?