Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Labour's taxpayer funded election supported by their Electoral Finance Act

In 2005 Labour stole over $800,000 of your money to print pledge cards to buy the election that year and when taken to task decided to change the law retrospectively to make what they did legal.


December 2007 the Electoral Finance Act was passed by Labour and its lap dogs in Parliament.

The law was sloppy, badly drafted, contradictory, anti free speech, impossible to use clearly and favoured the incumbent government in an election year, in terms of election funding and right to speak freely.

Less than 3 weeks before the 2008 election and it is 2005 all over again, except this time the passing of the EFA means that what was illegal in 2005 is now legal.

The contentious issue in 2008 is Labour's "information kit for the over-60s", a 50 page volume (it ain't a pamphlet as Labour call it) that has cost taxpayers more than $60,000 when you include postage and other costs and has gone out to 64,000 oldies.

My argument here isn't about the fact of whether or not it is electioneering at taxpayer expense because it clearly is, what is in question is the passing of the EFA by Labour to make election advertising at taxpayer expense such as this legitimate.

The "information kit" was designed by Labour to circumvent statutes in their law that would otherwise deem it advertising and thus make the cost of it come back on the Labour Party not the taxpayer.

It is also clear that the part of the EFA that pertains to Labours ability to circumvent its own law is the only part of the act that is clear otherwise the Electoral Commission wouldn't have given the document their approval-even though they have previously said that the EFA was hard to define, impossible to interpret clearly and highly contradictory.

A cynical ploy to get around previous laws and allow Labour to do what they did in 2005?

You bet ya.

Not only did it make spending by legitimate third parties like the Brethren illegal unless they went through the expense and electoral red tape of registering themselves as a third party, in effect it made it OK to steal taxpayer funds to run your election campaign but for a willing individual or group it becomes very difficult.

Once again mainstream media is found wanting when it comes to questioning the Labour Party over what is now a "mis-use" of taxpayer funds and not the illegal act that it was in 2005, to persuade over 60s voters to vote for labour but in 2005 a legitimate organisation, the Brethren and the National were run over the coals for doing the same thing, except it was done willingly with private money, not hard earned taxpayer dosh.

It seems my reasons for protesting twice over the last year have been vindicated and I can only shake my head in disbelief as we roll hopelessly toward a Mugabe like dictatorship.

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