Friday, March 30, 2012

The laws still mean nothing

The police have announced that they will not be laying charges over John Key's pre-election radio show. Their reason? "Insufficient evidence". Because obviously, merely having recordings of the thing, and the paper trail showing that the Prime Minister had his grubby paws all over it isn't enough.

(The police might credibly have been able to argue that the law wasn't clear, due to the disagreement between the BSA and Electoral Commission - but they didn't)

Its a highly convenient decision for John Key - and highly convenient for the police, who won't end up offside with the people making their budget decisions. But it again shows the flaws in our electoral law. Once again the police have been handed clear evidence of a breach, and once again they have failed to act. They've also failed to act on any of the dozen other cases handed to them last election cycle, and its hard to escape the conclusion that they just don't see it as a "real" crime. Unlike, say, recording politicians in a public place at a media event they called...

Again, it has to be pointed out: this is a real crime, and it threatens the integrity of our democracy. If the police are unwilling or incapable of dealing with that crime, then its time we gave the job to a body which can. And that body is the Electoral Commission.