Friday, June 07, 2024

A post I hope is incorrect

In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to prosecute.

Sadly, from past incidents, we know how this will go: despite the enormous amount of money involved and the clear threat to the integrity of our political system, the police will ignore it, fail to investigate, drag out the clock, and then say "whoops, too late to bring charges". Or just nakedly go "not in the public interest" (which is police for "he's rich and white and powerful"). They've done it before, and they'll do it again. Which is why we need to take this power off them, and give the Electoral Commission the power to prosecute electoral crime in their own right. Because unlike police, they at least take it seriously, and don't see their primary role as being bodyguards and bootlickers to the powerful.

I desperately hope that this is a post which will prove to be incorrect, and for which I will have to issue a correction. But from the police's past performance, I'm not betting on it.