Monday, July 11, 2011

Goffing it up

Is there anything Phil Goff can't stuff up?

Earlier in the year, they distributed 800,000 "Stop Asset Sales" postcards, designed to raise awareness of the government's plans to give our state-owned electricity companies to their rich mates. It was a simple message, and well crafted. But thanks to Labour's arrogance and its continued refusal to admit they were wrong over their pledge card in 2005, they've now been referred to the police for breaching electoral advertising rules.

The problem? The cards did not bear a promoter statement, as required by the Electoral Act. Why? Because, in an effort to avoid the headline "Labour uses Parliamentary funds for election advertising - again", Labour pretended that they weren't election advertisements. But that's bullshit. The cards can clearly reasonably be regarded as encouraging people to vote Labour, or at least not vote National. Which makes them election advertisements.

Contrary to Grant Robertson's attempts to minimise the crime, this is not a "minor technical breach". It is a serious violation of electoral law, with a penalty of a $40,000 fine. And Labour deserves to be socked with it. They have deliberately and premeditatedly flouted a core provision of the laws which ensure our elections have integrity. We should have no pity on them when they are held to account.