Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Election funding: ending anonyminity

The Dominion Post reports that the government has got the message on the Electoral Finance Bill and will be moving to end the practice of anonymous and laundered donations. Good. The failure to plug this gap and prevent the rich from secretly buying influence over policy was the biggest blunder in the bill, and I'm glad to see it fixed. And with changes to the definition of "electoral advertisement" and membership of third parties also looking likely, it looks like the final bill will be far closer to the model advocated by the Coalition for Open Government than the loophole-ridden status quo National favours. As a plus, it also allows them to put National on the spot, and challenge them to either live up to their rhetoric, or demonstrate their bad faith on this issue. Somehow, I think their hollow men will choose the latter.