If you ever needed proof the the EFA was a cynical and calculated attempt by Labour to tilt the electoral process in its favour, you need go no further than this morning's NZ Herald - http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10503960
Labour hates big money. Labour thinks big money steals elections. Labour is jealous of National's ability to raise big money. So what does Labour do? It goes to the biggest source of big money of all - the taxpayer - to fund its election campaign. Read this:
"The Labour Party is planning to use the resources of Government departments to campaign this year on its flagship policies, confidential strategy notes from the weekend Labour Congress in Wellington show.
In a private session on the election strategy, run by president Mike Williams, delegates were advised to distribute pamphlets on KiwiSaver produced by the Inland Revenue Department and on Working for Families produced by Work and Income.
They were also advised to tell voters when handing out the pamphlets that National voted against both measures.
Distributing Government department material explaining how new policies work is not unlawful.
But such publicity has never before been directly tied to political campaigns, and in the context of the new Electoral Finance Act, the move could be seen as inappropriate use of Government publicity."
Bill English, quite rightly, smells a large and smelly rat:
""It confirms Labour's strategy, which has been to use the Electoral Finance Act to shut the critics up and use the resources of Government to broadcast its message with no competing views.""
Is it any wonder that people use terms like "hypocricy", "morally bankrupt" and "corrupt" when they talk about Helen Clark and Labour. As Lord Acton famously said, Absolute Power corrupts absolutely..............
UPDATE - 3pm - Flip-flop from Helen Clark - from the NZ Herald:
"In a statement, the Prime Minister's spokeswoman said Helen Clark had asked for an explanation from those who attended various conference sessions following the Herald's story this morning.
The spokeswoman said: "She has been advised that the suggestion about using material from government departments was raised from the floor by a delegate.
"She has since instructed that such material is not to be handed out by canvassers, or for campaigning.
"However electorate offices serving MPs across all parties can continue to have the material on display as part of the interface between constituents and government agencies.""
"She has since instructed..." - that says to me that she has changed her mind. Clearly, this policy was never supposed to see the light of day. And even left-leaning bloggers like Idiot/Savant at No Right Turn have criticise the government - I/S referring to "moral bankruptcy" - hmmm - now where have I seen that term today????