Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Among the millions of words written about the Electoral
Finance Act, I’m not sure anyone has summed it up
better than Norm Drexel, of Halswell, who has written a
letter to the editor of the Christchurch Press (March 24)
telling John Boscawen, of the ‘Freedom of Speech Trust,’
that the act threatens not freedom of speech but freedom
of paid speech. Under the act, says Norm, Boscawen can

...write letters or newspaper articles, blog, phone talkback
radio, hold meetings, organize demonstrations, canvass,
poll and travel the country to address crowds without the
Electoral Commission lifting an eyebrow.

What he can’t do is spend money for TV, radio, newspaper

advertising, leaflets, etc, to influence votes without
fulfilling formal requirements that tell the public who is
paying for it. He can’t spend unlimited money even then.

That means that the size of his wallet can’t be used as a

substitute for the strength of his arguments.

There you have it. Quote that, next time someone chews
your ear about this supposedly fascist legislation.

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