Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Labour Party labelled "Thieves of Democracy"

It was Wellington's turn today to protest against the draconian and anti-democratic changes to New Zealand's electoral law, planned by Labour and their cohorts.

The Electoral Finance Bill is a scary statement revealing the true level of arrogance the current minority coalition Government has for democracy, free speech, and everyday New Zealanders.

As the protesters rightly cried out, "We don't want this fascist law!" The Labour Party are moving this country further and further away from a free and open society... and more towards the kind of "democracies" enjoyed by the likes of China and North Korea.

The bill has been drafted by political parties intoxicated by the baubles of power, who believe they have a god-given right to govern, and that right shouldn't be dictated or affected in any way by the general public.

The select committee charged with amending the hugely unpopular draft of the bill gave officials just two days to add in rules governing anonymous political donations. (The additions were demanded by the Green Party, in return for their support).

The select committee also ignored all other official advice, and went about making token amendments to the original figures, which inserting additional anti-free speech measures like including anyone who speaks over a megaphone or loudspeaker!?
The new rules would mean any political donations over $1,000 (officials recommended at least $3,000-$5,000) would have to go through the Electoral Commission, and parties couldn't receive more than $240,000 in anonymous donations over a 3 year election period.

MPs on the select committee also rejected the recommendation of the Electoral Commission to set an election year spending limit of up to $300,000 for "interest and advocacy groups"... instead going with a more miserly $120,000.

Personally I am against the whole idea of legislating against free speech in any form at all. Unlike some others who are opposing the bill, I believe there should be no restrictions at all on how much an individual/group/party wants to spend on "political advertising", and no restrictions on what they want to say. True freedom for all.

* Kill the Bill - The Free Speech Coalition
* Whale Oil: Compilation of protest march coverage
* Excellent ongoing coverage also at Kiwiblog

* NZ Herald: Donation law devised in just two days
* Stuff: Labour’s paranoia stamped all over electoral bill

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