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Labour says election law change was a compromise

Labour says it reached a "workable compromise" with the Government over changes to electoral finance laws.The Electoral (Finance Reform and Advance Voting) Amendment Bill was reported back by a select committee yesterday, and it has been changed

NZPA
Tue, 23 Nov 2010

Labour says it reached a "workable compromise" with the Government over changes to electoral finance laws.

The Electoral (Finance Reform and Advance Voting) Amendment Bill was reported back by a select committee yesterday, and it has been changed to put a $300,000 cap on third party spending during election campaigns.

Third parties are organisations that are not political parties, like unions and business lobby groups, and the amount they have spent in previous campaigns has led to claims that they have been trying to "buy" election results.

The cap, which Labour wanted, was a trade off against an increase in the disclosure threshold for candidate donations, and the prohibitions on overseas and anonymous donations, from $1000 to $1500.

Labour's justice spokeswoman, Lianne Dalziel, said last night the increase wasn't her party's policy but it would support it as part of the package.

"The critical issue for us was to have spending limits imposed on third parties to avoid the Americanisation of our political system, and we have achieved that," she said.

"We will be monitoring aspects of the proposed new law to see how it works out in practice."

Prime Minister John Key has also confirmed there was a trade off because the Government wanted bi-partisan support for the bill, which also redefines election advertisements and the regulated campaign period.

"There's always a bit of give and take. From our perspective while a $300,000 cap was not our preference, it was a level we could live with," he said yesterday.

NZPA
Tue, 23 Nov 2010
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Labour says election law change was a compromise
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