Act says electoral spending cap unfair

NZ Herald Dec 9, 2010
Act is the only party which will oppose reforms to electoral finance laws, claiming a $300,000 spending limit restricts concerned citizens to one sixteenth of the amount political parties can spend. Politicians had their first chance to debate the Electoral (Finance Reform and Advance Voting) Bill yesterday after significant changes were made in a compromise between Labour and National. That compromise saw National cave in to Labour’s requests for a $300,000 spending cap on lobby groups for three months before an election, in return for a $5000 increase to the current $10,000 threshold at which donations must be disclosed. Other donation caps have also been increased by modest amounts. National had initially proposed no limit on the third parties provided they made their identities clear and registered if spending more than $12,000.
…Mr Boscawen quoted one of those third parties – Family First national director Bob McCoskrie – who had said that while it was unlikely Family First and other groups would spend $300,000, the people who voted should have the same right to be heard as politicians. “This is not a triumph for democracy. It is an act of arrogance and paranoia on behalf of the politicians and shows utter contempt for voters who may be members or supporters of non-political groups who wish to highlight certain issues during an important election year.”