Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The flip-flops have started!

New leader yesterday - first flip-flop today - the EFA was a mistake!!

New Opposition leader Phil Goff says it was a mistake to ram through the controversial Electoral Finance Act without widespread support and Labour would like to take part in a review.

The previous Labour-led government passed the Act with the support of New Zealand First and the Greens. National, ACT, United Future and the Maori Party opposed it.

The Act widens the definition of election advertising, caps spending by third parties and requires them to register and extends the election period from three months to the whole of the year.

It spawned numerous complaints about what constituted election advertising and in a speech this year Electoral Commission head Helen Catt said it had had a "chilling effect" on democratic participation.

National has promised to repeal the Act, but keep its tighter provisions on anonymous donations.

Mr Goff today said Labour would like to contribute to a review of the Act and National should seek consensus support for changes.

He acknowledged Labour had made mistakes.

"I don't think the way that the Electoral Finance Act was passed or necessarily its specific detail was as good as it could have been," he said on Radio New Zealand.

"I think we do need to look at that again. I think we need to look at that in a way that involves all parties.

"Any matter that's constitutional or electoral we should be seeking consensus for. We didn't have that consensus."

But Mr Goff said the reasons underlying the Act were still valid.

I wonder if Phil Goff has asked his new Deputy Leader, the former Minster of Common-Sense whether she agreed with his assessment!!


getstaffed said...

Hilarious. Like your comment about Annette King. She was VERY vocal in her support.

I suspect many/most Labour folks knew this legislation was (and remains) and crock... but they were to terrified to peek out from under auntie helen's skirt

Anonymous said...

Why do you think the EFA failed?

Labour was able to rake in about 10 MILLION from their union mates in various ways, 200K from the Velas just last week - and absolutely none of the BRT, EMA, Brethren, or corporates were able to come out and campaign for National.

National won in spite of the EFA, not because of it.

Now they are in the driving seat and they must capitalize on the majority and drive labour to the wall.

* Anti-corruption investigation into electoral theft from 1999. That should see the majority of Labour politicians, managers etc jailed and banned from further political processes, and chop all their publically funded perks. Oh and confiscate their passports so they can't sully NZ's name abroad.

* Change the EFA so that Unions cannot be involved in any political campaign whatsoever.
If they do, they are deregisted, their assets seized, and there members become individually liable for all the damage they have done to businesses!

that should do it

macdoctor said...

Not exactly an effusive apology for what was the most partisan, vindictive and badly constructed piece of legislation I have ever seen (and I come from Africa!).

And the timing makes Goff look obsessed with irrelevancies. Who cares about the EFA at the moment ?- it doesn't kick in for another two years.

bobux said...

It is good politics, and National would do well to take note. If you have to do a flip-flop, get it over with as quickly as possible, so the electorate has the maximum time possible to forget. At the moment all the attention is on john Key and the incoming government, so Labour may well back away from more unpopular positions over the next week or so.