Wednesday, July 30, 2008


The Electoral Commission has decided that the EPMU is not involved in the administration of the Labour Party, and thus allowed it to register as a third party under the Electoral Finance Act. Naturally, DPF - who attempted to silence them - is spitting tacks, but I couldn't really see the decision going any other way. Affiliation simply means that EPMU members are automatically Labour Party members (and thereby entitled to appropriate representation in the party's decision-making). If that is considered to be "involvement in the administration" of a party, then so is ordinary membership - something clearly at odds with Parliamentary intent.

Not that I expect DPF or the National party to see it that way; they simply see critics to be shut down by force of law, and an opportunity to posture about how evil it is that everyone gets to speak their mind on a level playing field (a complete abomination to the would-be-aristocrats on the right). And thanks to the EFA, National has a large pot of money they cannot legally spend trying to buy the election, which means they might as well spend it on legal fees. So, I fully expect them to challenge this decision again in court. Fortunately, given the clear parliamentary intent to only restrict candidates, financial agents, and party officials, and the requirement to interpret the EFA through the lens of the BORA, I expect them to lose.