That's the question that Keeping Stock is asking this morning after two conflicting decisions by the Electoral Commission in recent days
Decision #1 - the Democrats for Social Credit filed its 2007 return 19 days late, without excuse, and the matter has been referred to the Police for investigation.
Decision #2 - New Zealand First is given a "last chance" to file its 2005, 2006 and 2007 returns, which it has already filed, while not disclosing ANY donations. The party is already under investigation by the Police and the Serious Fraud Office over its funding, and its leader is before the Privileges Committee over another funding issue.
By any measure, this is an astounding approach by the Electoral Commission. on one hand the EC beats up on the little guys (the DSC got a total of 1097 party votes NATIONWIDE in 2005), and on the other, is being exceedingly tolerant to a party which has misled the EC, possibly wilfully. And Keeping Stock believes this must be said - the tolerance is towards a party that the government is relying on to enact legislation before the 48th Parliament is dissolved.
The Electoral Commission is effectively the referee for this year's elction. Decisions such as these provide little confidence in the impartiality of the referee.