Jun 18, 2008

Labour Caught by Its Own Legislation

When the history is written we are cobvinced that the Electoral Finance Act and The Emissions Trading Scheme will be seen a huge blunders by the 5th Labour Government. John Armstrong has another look at the problems that the EFA has caused Labour in today's Herald.

If the law is sometimes an ass, then the Electoral Finance Act has proved to be a real donkey when it comes to stupidity, inflexibility and sheer unworkability.
If anything, last year's dire predictions of the measure's potential impact on political discourse have proven to have been on the conservative side.
Things have reached truly Kafkaesque proportions when it is considered necessary to remove references to the "Labour-led Government" from Budget press statements for fear they will be deemed to be election advertisements and breach the act by not being properly authorised as such.
Such rich ironies abound. Labour thought that by getting the legislation through Parliament last year, the public fuss would die down going into election year.
To the contrary, Labour has suffered continuing embarrassment as Justice Minister Annette King, her officials, the Electoral Commission and the courts have grappled with what interpretation should be given to the act's wording.