Wednesday, February 18, 2009

EFA - gone

It started with the Labour Party changing the law to stop Bernard Darnton suing them over their 2005 pledge card, continued with their Electoral Finance Act by which they attempted to squelch free speech and hog-tie their opponents, and now after many months of shouting in the end it (eventually) took take less than a day to excise that incursion into Mugabeism from our law books.

And even Labour voted for its removal, and new Labour leader Phil Goff had the grace to concede it was a mistake.

Unfortunately, reports do not record what Helen Clark’s face looked like when she was required to file into the lobbies to vote against the mechanism by which she hoped to achieve a permanent Premiership.

Honourable mentions in the battle to exterminate this affront to democracy:

  • Bernard Darnton *
  • David Farrar, Cameron Slater and their Free Speech Coalition. *
  • John Boscawen, who organised protests around the country that attracted thousands of affronted New Zealanders.
  • The NZ Herald, who front footed the theme of Democracy Under Attack, and showed there is a backbone thereafter all.
  • The National Party (yes, the National Party), who with the exception of one clause have kept their election promise to remove this travesty from the law books. Since this will probably be their only move in the direction of freedom this term (notice that it’s only a temporary restitution of previous law before the reinstitution of something else before the next election, let's take the opportunity to celebrate.

* That these two protest websites are now covered in cobwebs is proof enough of the measure of their success.

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8 Comments:

Anonymous Marcus said...

What got me was that there were 9 supporters of the damn thing still in parliament.

The only supporters of a bill that clamped down on free speech were the GREENS? I always thought they were supposed to be AGAINST the suppression of free speech? Makes you wonder how many other bills got passed under a Labour-led coalition that were a case of a bullshit minority party pushing some fucked-up agenda eh?

Fucken Hippies.

2/18/2009 08:09:00 am  
Blogger Dinther said...

NZ Herald: "United Future leader Peter Dunne said he regretted not withdrawing his support for the bill earlier..."

Typical for this pretentious prick. No backbone then and no backbone now. He lost and he went straight into damage control.

How the hell can they look at themselves in the mirror each morning?

2/18/2009 08:31:00 am  
Anonymous twr said...

God knows why you thought that about the Greens Marcus. They are clearly completely devoted to controlling as much of peoples' lives as they can. They wouldn't stop at speech, they'd be happy to regulate what people thought if they could.

2/18/2009 08:42:00 am  
Blogger Elijah Lineberry said...

I am delighted at this repeal.

One thing which struck me about the campaign against the EFA was how all the libertarian/right wing elements in New Zealand came together and put the Labour chappies 'in their place'; showed that we are not prepared to tolerate their evil attempts to abolish democracy.

It was a delight to see the workers accepting who is in charge and the Labour people slinking into Parliament to do as they are told by their betters.

A great victory for the forces of good.

2/18/2009 09:41:00 am  
Anonymous Sus said...

"What got me was that there were 9 supporters of the damn thing still in parliament."

Not only in Parliament. I heard that socialist John Pagani on Newstalk ZB on Sunday morning bemoaning the overreaction by the Herald in particular re its criticism of the EFA. I can't recall if he specifically supported the Act per se, but he certainly sounded sorry to see its passing.

"Elections will be bought!", he said, forgetting to add that Helen Clark already did -- and then just changed the law to right the wrong.

He just doesn't get that he has no *right* to know which political party the next voter chooses to support, if any.

Dinther: Spot on.

2/18/2009 10:42:00 am  
Anonymous Marcus said...

twr - I guess I lumped the greens in with the 'live and let live' philosophies of the proper hippies back in the late 60s, and I'll even give them the benefit of the doubt that they largely started with positive intentions. However I'm learning fast what a dangerous, odious organisation they've become.

2/18/2009 11:20:00 am  
Blogger Stevew said...

Greenie Russell Norman said that there was no need to reform the act and that National were "only doing it because it was an election promise"
That certainly betrays his own attitude towards the voters of New Zealand. What the hell does he think politicians are supposed to do if not keep their election promises?

2/18/2009 11:21:00 am  
Anonymous Marcus said...

Sus - I somewhat shamefacedly admit that I also thought the Herald (and probably a good many of you here) were guilty of over-reacting at first. That was up until I heard of cases where the EFA was being used to squash freedom of speech. I think it was the clamping down on Andy Moore's 'dontvotelabour' website.

2/18/2009 11:25:00 am  

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