Electoral Commission consideration of Electoral Finance Act matters
The Electoral Commission met this afternoon (2 Apr '08) to consider a range of matters raised with it under the Electoral Finance Act.
- A decision on whether to list the EPMU as a third party was reached after careful consideration of submissions and legal advice. This decision will be written up and communicated to the union and the objector to its listing by early next week, and made public at that time.
- The commission considered whether two different pamphlets produced by separate parties were election advertisements encouraging people to vote in a particular way and so required promoter statements. It determined that one was and one was not. It resolved, in keeping with its general practice, to seek compliance in the first instance and to use the examples for education of party secretaries and financial agents. Parties would be put on notice that any similar breaches would be referred to the Police for consideration for prosecution unless inconsequential to the public interest. This communication to parties will be published here when completed.
- The commission resolved to seek Crown Law advice relating to:
- legal arguments made by the Labour Party about the correct form of promoter statement that a CD it distributed should have had on it.
- whether a party passing to a journalist a pamphlet (that might be regarded as an election advertisement if published to the public) was published when handed to a journalist at a party conference. It determined that the pamphlet would be an election advertisement and require a promoter statement if this was the case.
- The commission deferred consideration of whether a balloon bearing a party logo and website address was an election advertisement pending Crown Law advice previously sought, while a range of complaints relating to online activity remain under consideration.
The commission will not be making further public comment relating to these decisions beyond that published here or mentioned as pending, above.
The letter available under 'downloads' relates to the second and fourth major bulletpoint and second minor bulletpoint, above.