Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I haven't read the booklet yet, but it makes commonsense to use a loophole in the law if there is one. We are fighting an election for the political souls of New Zealanders:
A legal expert believes Labour has made smart use of a loophole in the electoral law.
The party has issued around 64,000 booklets for people aged over 60, which give advice about government entitlements and the impact of this year's tax cuts on the pension.
Associate Professor of Law Andrew Geddis from Otago University says the electoral law still allows MPs to communicate with their constituents.
"Labour has just chosen to do that around election time to remind everybody of what their MPs are doing. If they had used the word 'Labour' or they'd even used the colour red, that may have fallen foul of the election spending rules."
Mr Geddis says the way Labour has crafted the pamphlets means the money spent on them is kept outside the Electoral Finance Act rules.
But National is accusing Labour of dipping its finger back in the public purse in a bid to round up votes.
MP Gerry Brownlee claims the booklets are a twisting of the rules. He says the intention is to have the candidate photograph sitting on the coffee table with the subliminal message that they should be voted for.
Labour was caught out at the last election for spending $800,000 on its pledge card.
© 2008 NZCity, NewsTalkZB