Thursday, February 09, 2006

Labour bought the election?

Well of course it didn't - it isn't as simple as that, but it doesn't look like it played by the rules or the law.
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David Farrar has reported here and here on the Electoral Commission referring the Labour Party to the Police for an alleged overspend of $446,815 over and above the limit of $2,380,000. This is because Labour believes that the pledge card should be a government not a party electoral expense - because policy pledges are not about getting elected are they?
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Are they BOLLOCKS.
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Had National done this, Labour would have given it enormous grief - and would have claimed taxpayers bought National the election - well I don't think amount of spending is as important as the nature of the spending. What IS wrong is taxpayers helping fund party campaigns, particularly just one party - that is corrupt.
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The lame excuse is that "the electoral law was outdated and unclear". Oh dear, that's what to use in court - sorry judge, the law is outdated and unclear, I wouldn't have broken it otherwise, I'd like it to change. Outdated? So it should be legal for governments to spend taxpayers money on promoting the encumbent party in power?
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If Peter Dunne and Winston Peters have any conscience, they will pull support if Labour is found guilty - the election was too close a race to make this NOT worth pursuing. Labour has played on an uneven pitch - and kiwis don't like unfair play. If things pan out, then there will be prosecutions and the issue remains as to whether Parliament in its current form should continue.
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As much as the cost is something to baulk at, for Labour to retain any shred of credibility in this government, Parliament should be dissolved and another election called within 6 weeks. If Labour wont do it, National should call a no confidence motion and every party in Parliament should (Labour excepted) support it. What's a bet even the Greens and the Maori Party might even support it.
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Labour has handed National a gift horse on a plate, heated it and served it with cutlery - now is National smart enough to know how to carve it?

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