Protest shows need for electoral reform

Published: Thu 12 Apr 2007 11:31 AM
Protest shows need for electoral reform
An extraordinary statement from a group who was exposed as attempting to subvert the last election shows the need for electoral finance reform before the next election, Justice Minister Mark Burton said.
"News of changes to the electoral system, which would end the ability of secretive interest groups to rort the democratic process, has brought the Exclusive Brethren out of the woodwork.
"This group was clearly planning to repeat their covert activities in the next general election. If further evidence was needed for carrying out electoral funding reform, we're seeing it.
"The covert behaviour of the Exclusive Brethren and others who contributed to the National Party's campaign showed that the electoral funding laws were found to be wanting at the last election. The government intends to address this and in so doing strengthen the public's confidence in the electoral system.
"The government, in developing proposals for reform, has drawn on best practice from other western democracies.
"The only people these reforms disadvantage are those who are out to rort the system. Secretive interest groups know that the writing is on the wall and that planned reforms will protect the electoral system from abuse.
"Though National and the Exclusive Brethren may protest we believe that the electoral system must be fair, open and accountable.
"Is there any evidence that National has distanced themselves from this group and their conduct. New Zealanders must know the answer."

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