Simon Power’s announcement that there are no limits on what third parties can spend trying to sway our votes next election is obscene. Even more obscene is his justification:
This package comes after extended consultation with all parliamentary parties and the public. As a result the Cabinet has decided to progress reforms only where there is broad public and political support.
Unfortunately for Mr Power, we know he’s lying, at least about public support, courtesy of the Ministry of Justice releasing it’s summary of submissions from the public, which said:
§ 29 submissions wanted to the cap on anonymous donations to be at or below $1,000 (nine wanted it at $0), while only five wanted the cap raised or eliminated.
§ Nineteen submissions wanted to cap the total of all donations coming from one person, while only thirteen opposed this.
And how about the poll – admittedly unscientific – at Stuff at the moment? 80% of voters want limits on lobby group spending. Because we know who will be able to spend money influencing our vote – those that have it.
It sure won’t be young Maori and Pacific people – one of three of whom are unemployed, figures we haven’t seen since the glory days of Ruth Richardson.
When will we stop calling this government centrist, and acknowledge they are making economic and political decisions which benefit a very small number of people?