Tag Archive: election laws

Terrible bill, terrible delivery

Today, justice minister Andrew Little “banned” foreign political donations.

Everything about this is awful.

First, the “ban”. The bill is advertised as a blanket ban on all foreign donations when it literally isn’t. Rather, foreign donors have a cap of $50 dollars compared to the previous threshold of $1500. Last time I checked that isn’t a ban.

Because anonymous donations up to $1500 are allowed, the onus is on party secretaries to make sure that a donation over 50 dollars is not from any one foreign. As such, someone foreign could anonymously give $1499 dollars to a party. As long as the secretary has no reason to suspect that the donation comes from anyone foreign, it’s fine.

There’s also nothing to stop foreigners from donating to organizations such as the NZ First Foundation, which can then promptly loan the party that money without the scrutiny of donations.

If that isn’t enough, companies that are NZ registered but foreign-owned will still be allowed to donate to political parties. So this bill does nothing to stop foreign money from getting into NZ Politics.

All of that’s without mentioning the true problem with political donations – big companies practically buying parties. But the bill does not address that.

That’s four (maybe five) paragraphs briefly detailing the flaws with this law. All of these could be fixed had the bill gone through proper process – being edited first by a select committee, and then by a committee of the whole house.

But Little and Labour decided to pass this law under urgency, meaning that it has to be passed, consulted and edited in a singular day.

This is unacceptable. Laws should only be passed under urgency during, ya know, urgencies.

But for something as important as electoral law there needs to be a lot of review. This is something that has to be gotten right regardless of the amount of time it takes.

But no. Little and Labour went for the flashy headline that solves nothing, whilst abusing democratic process to try and hide the lack of fixes.

Repugnant.

Should the public know if candiates are criminals?

National MP Matt King has proposed a bill that requires political candidates to disclose prior criminal offenses – if it warranted a prison sentence over two years.

I personally think that whenever this bill gets taken out of the ballot, it’s going to pass – but that doesn’t mean that I agree with it. I don’t know what to think of it, actually.

One of my longest-held and strongest political views is that businesses should not be able to deny employment based on past criminal offenses. This is essentially the same thing, but instead of an employer, whether these people get the job is entirely up to the NZ public – and I don’t have much faith in either the public or the media to focus on anything but past convictions.

On the other hand, you’ve gotta do something pretty serious for it to warrant a two year sentence.

I don’t know. This is a catch 22, I really don’t know what the correct choice is. I’m gonna say I agree with King here, but it’s not a strong held opinion and I’m very much open to being convinced otherwise.

And yeah, I’m back, trying my hand at this again. Hopefully, I’ll stay at this longer than I did last time I came “back.”

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