Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Finance Campaign

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  • DaveC,

    Russell your rewrite on the HRC submission is still very misleading:

    Yesterday and today, the Herald has quoted the Human Rights Commission's scathing submission on the bill, and reported that the commission has called for the bill to be scrapped altogether. It's not actually true.

    The HRC submission, i is concerned, rightly, with the over-reaching definitions of election advertising and regulation of third parties, and wants the bill either rewritten from scratch or significantly altered to meet its concerns (it suggests alterations)

    Which part of the Herald's editorial do you think is "not actually true"? From the text of the HRC submission: The HRC "considers that the Bill is inherently flawed and should be withdrawn". (section 10.2).

    Section 10.3 continues: "If it is not withdrawn, the Bill requires substantial redrafting to ensure that it does not have a chilling effect on the right to freedom of expression during and in the run up to an election."

    So the HRC's preference is clearly for the bill to be withdrawn. They only suggest alterations if the government persists, against their advice, with this "inherently flawed" bill.

    Since Nov 2007 • 22 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    Remarkably, the Herald, insofar as its stance is explained in the editorial, does not endorse the objectives of the bill.

    Remarkably, the Labour Party, insofar as its intent is explained in the Bill it wrote, does not endorse the objectives of the same frickin Bill. It sees no problem in very wealthy individuals being able to anonymously pursue their interests by funnelling millions of dollars through secret party trusts that are opaque to the public.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Where is the supporting quote for "It [the Herald] sees no problem in very wealthy individuals being able to anonymously pursue their interests by funnelling millions of dollars through secret party trusts that are opaque to the public."

    Anonymous donations were not addressed in the Herald editorial, nor were they addressed in Labour's draft bill (well they were initially, then Labour pulled that part).

    And I was fairly appalled when they did pull it -- it should have been the key feature of the bill -- but it seems that it will be back in the redrafted version. I'd feel differently if it wasn't.

    But 'cmon Dave: I gave the quote. The Herald editorial's attitude to big anonymous money was basically c'est la vie.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    And bring on state-funding of political parties too -- the more generous the better. You wouldn't believe how many arse-numbingly tedious fundraisers, blue-rinse bats with raffle books and begging letters I've had to put up with over the years. :)

    So you're not a fan of DPF's position that those events are a vitally important part of a healthy and dynamic democracy? I thought not getting salmonella from BBQ chicken for $8 a kebab to fund "Kiwi vs Iwi" hoardings was the moral equivalent of putting Key under house arrest! Personally I think fundraisers in our politics are a harmless irrelevance, an enjoyable (for some) once-three-yearly chance to grab your ankles for the party if that's your bag, preaching to the converted, pass the hat around for the Lord kind of thing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    So you're not a fan of DPF's position that those events are a vitally important part of a healthy and dynamic democracy?

    A damn sight more healthy and dynamic than the feral rat-bastardry that seems to be part and parcel of state-funding of political parties and political campaigns. I'm just the kind of person who needs to meditate for a couple of hours before going to a party, and a week to recover. DPF is a wee bit more sociable.

    If the National Party can't convince enough people like me to keep paying our subs (and donating millions of dollars in unpaid labour each electoral cycle), then it doesn't deserve to survive.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Martin,

    I note that at one stage and quite recently,National ( hat tip Gerry Brownlee) had no real problems with the parliamentary spending bill,other than wanting a shorter election period.

    One can only wonder the why of this change in policy.

    Hon Bill English: If a publication of a similar nature to the 2005 pledge card produced by the Labour leader’s office were to be released in the final 6 weeks of the election campaign next year by the parliamentary Labour leader’s office, provided it did not state “vote for me” would it be legal under the bill tabled by him yesterday?

    Hon Dr MICHAEL CULLEN: I think it would be treated in almost exactly the same way as this public advertisement put out by Mr English in 2002 on parliamentary spending, which he subsequently tells us was completely inappropriate and immoral. I might further note that Mr Eagleson was the person who told us that what National sought was to extend the current bill.

    Gerry Brownlee: I have in my possession a document that sets out the fact that National was happy for a rollover, provided it would lead to a much shorter election period. I seek leave to table that document, along with the document of Mr Eagleson.

    Madam SPEAKER: Leave is sought to table those documents. Is there any objection?

    Documents not tabled.
    Hon Bill English: Can the Minister confirm that the effect of the Labour Party’s policy on electoral reform, for the first time ever done on a purely partisan basis, is that private citizens and organisations will be heavily and tightly restricted on what they can spend rebutting Labour’s propaganda but the Labour Government will have at its disposal millions for Government advertising, and that all MPs’ expenditure has been exempted from tight electoral spending rules, meaning that taxpayers’ dollars will be sprayed around everywhere in Labour’s cause and privately raised money will have to be very carefully restricted?

    Hon Dr MICHAEL CULLEN: What I can confirm, thanks to the very helpful intervention by Mr Gerry Brownlee, is that Labour’s position is exactly the same as National’s on the parliamentary spending bill, except that National members want a shorter period of time for electoral spending because they have so much money in their pockets they cannot spend it if the limitations in that regard start on 1 January. They have been caught out by their own front bench on this question

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 187 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    One of my best culinary memories is as a child getting platefuls (or was it old ice-cream containers?) of spit-roasted, rosemary-scented lamb from Labour party fundraisers at The Narrows outside Hamilton.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    But wouldn't it be prudent to wait a week or two and actually find out what changes have been made to it

    Try "hour or two" (or maybe day, at the most). While the bill has a report-back date of January 25, there's a strong convention that you don't dick around with electoral law in election year, so it has to be done and dusted by the end of the year. According to the sitting programme, there are three sitting weeks left until the House rises. The bill will need to lie on the table for one of those weeks following the select committee reportback, and I expect the committee stage to take another as National and ACT use every trick in the book to disrupt the passage of legislation (note, not oppose; disrupt. They won't be trying to make arguments, because they have none; rather, they'll be trying to make the House unmanageable to protect their fat donoros and fat wallet - just as they tried to do over the ERB back in 1999). A day for 2R and a day for 3R, and if it doesn't come out today, they'll be cutting it very fine.

    Unless, of course, they use urgency...

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    A damn sight more healthy and dynamic than the feral rat-bastardry that seems to be part and parcel of state-funding of political parties and political campaigns. I'm just the kind of person who needs to meditate for a couple of hours before going to a party, and a week to recover. DPF is a wee bit more sociable.

    Aw Craig ... you were a hero at my birthday party. Then again, I guess the kitchen at most parties isn't crammed with people vigorously discussing theology ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    If the National Party can't convince enough people like me to keep paying our subs (and donating millions of dollars in unpaid labour each electoral cycle), then it doesn't deserve to survive.

    I'm not a member of a political party but at first glance I'm in favour of this too.

    I've never looked at state funding of political parties, so know nothing about how it would work. Anyone care to enlighten about the hows and whys? Linkage?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    I read it as another attempt by the Herald to perpetuate the "dishonest Labour" meme (I'm not saying there's nothing to it, but there's such a thing as balance).

    With regard to the Herald's self-interest, there's a lot more to it than merely ad revenue. A National-led coalition government would clearly be more capital-friendly, providing more favourable Industrial Relations and Tax regimes, etc.

    I found some irony in yesterday's headline. For me 'democracy' neccesarily includes having a balanced and honest informing of the public. On that basis democracy is under attack from the NZH every week.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Well Ranapia has had a narrow escape, i had to spend five minutes calming my dear old Mum down, a more formidable women I wouldn't care to come across.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And I see Russell Brown consulted/quoted nearly as much as the sensible sentencing trust or some Union source... and I quite like that :)

    The keys to being quoted a lot in the media are as follows:

    (a) Be available, always

    (b) Fire out press releases (or, second-best write a blog) on a roughly daily basis.

    (c) Have your issue be "hot". Or, if not, be prepared to hold forth on any old thing, regardless of whether you really know what you're on about.

    (d) Be good talent: ie, offer bold quotes that'll give the story an angle, whether the angle is valid or not.

    Bob McCroskie of Family First is a master of this stuff. I keep half expecting him to come out with a Family First perspective on telecommunications reform ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Never mind this "democracy" carry-on. I'm excited:

    Sonic Youth bring their Don't Look Back show -- a complete recital of 1988 Daydream Nation album, plus more, to the Bruce Mason centre on Feb 16 next year.

    I squealed with delight when I read this news. And it's at the Bruce Mason so it gives audiences the luxury of sitting down at a Sonic Youth concert.

    And having been previously initiated into the Cult of Direen, I think I may have to journey over the harbour for his gig.

    A little entertainment news: people in this town are paying to go out and see live music.

    Yeah, somehow things have come together and going out is fun. It's a different experience to what it was like when I was younger, but it's still hugely enjoyable. And it's hard to consider a $20 ticket to see a good band as being expensive when a movie costs $15.

    a remarkable singalong by hundreds of punters for 'Fingerpops' -- it was a happy room.

    So happy! As soon as they started playing - Fay Ray - I started smiling and I couldn't stop the awesome happy feeling. Yay, Garageland.

    Ok, back to politics.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    Since Robyn has picked up on the other part of RB's blog ... can we just take a moment to consider:

    A little entertainment news: people in this town are paying to go out and see live music. On Thursday night, both the Veils and Liam Finn sold out their shows, and the Electric Confectionaires packed 'em in to their abum launch at the Dogs' Bollix. On Saturday...

    Sad isn't it that this is something worth noting?! Why back in my day, when I was a lad, last century, you could go to any one of 317 venues in Auckland to watch live music. Gluepot, Mainstreet, Powerstation, etc, and all sold out.

    (Meanwhile I've been on hold with Qantas [planning my next international observation] for 8 minutes, they're not coming back are they??)

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Thomas,

    On Thursday night, both the Veils and Liam Finn sold out their shows

    tell me about it, the kings arms was jam packed - i was about 10 metres back and it still felt like a mosh pit. The Veils were awesome though. Finn sang like he was going to die and their drummer totally kicked ass.

    By comparison, I thought the Phoenix Foundation were a bit lacking in energy. Languid is a nice way to put it i suppose. They're like the dire straits of NZ music

    so, did i miss my last chance to see garageland, or will they be playing again soon?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 317 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe,

    Screw the politics, if Sonic Youth can convince the Dead C to support again I might get a bit excited too.

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 574 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna,

    I'm going to join Robyn in a jumping up and down with excitement, but about things that will soon all be revealed, but have something to do with the Second Annual Wellingtonista Awards...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 746 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Thomas,

    uh, was this you, russell?

    Hacker targets Herald free speech poll

    nzherald.co.nz"s technical team has established that a single hacker managed to vote more than 5000 times in a period of about 10 minutes.

    The hacker was using a dynamic xtra IP address - 222.152.66.116. (The "reverse lookup" is 222-152-66-116.jetstream.xtra.co.nz.)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 317 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    I digress:

    'The public'? Oh, you mean a self-selecting sample in a poll where it's possble to vote multiple times? (I know it's possible because I did it.)

    The Auckland City Council do the same thing when they 'consult' with ratepayers about various issues. Anyone from anywhere can log on to their website and vote on whatever issue the council is interested in. And they make no attempt to verify your identity (in fact they don't even ask where you live) which is why I always smile (through gritted teeth) when some councillor/beauraucrat makes a media statement claiming support for their pet project based on this BS internet consultation process.

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Well Ranapia has had a narrow escape, i had to spend five minutes calming my dear old Mum down, a more formidable women I wouldn't care to come across.

    Tom, I thought we were keeping our kinky fantasy scenes on the downlow...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Jimmy Hayes,

    From that Herald link above...

    The Herald's main competitor, Fairfax-owned newspapers and websites, carry differing views.

    A Dominion-Post editorial opposes the intent of the Electoral Finance Bill, calling it "outrageous".

    ...

    But curiously a political blogger on Fairfax's stuff.co.nz, Colin Espiner, claims the opposition to the bill is overstated...

    Yes, how curious. Media under the same multinational ownership umbrella should always ensure that they don't EVER include contrasting viewpoints.

    Grow up, Herald.

    Since Apr 2007 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Jimmy Hayes,

    Ha - surely the restrictions being put on someone's IP address in the Herald polls are a restriction on free speech?

    Since Apr 2007 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I'm going to join Robyn in a jumping up and down with excitement, but about things that will soon all be revealed, but have something to do with the Second Annual Wellingtonista Awards...

    Oh yes. Wellingtonista and Public Address both have a pending announcement on that puppy ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • kmont,

    Oh yes. Wellingtonista and Public Address both have a pending announcement on that puppy ...

    Sqweeeeeeeeeeeeee (or however you spell that)

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

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