Colin Craig is making up the law. And Jamie Whyte doesn't think rural people should have access to doctors. Or something like that.
A quick couple of points about some typically nutty stories provided by everyone's favourite comic puchlines - the Conservative and Act Parties.
[Craig] says it is "clearly in breach of the Electoral Act", and isn't surprised it was allegedly set up by "somebody who may have some association with the Greens".
Far be it for humble little old me to disagree with the handsome, intelligent and not-at-ALL-crazy Mr Craig (and please don't sue me for doing so ... please!!!), but I suspect this is not an entirely accurate account of the state of the law. In otherwords, I call bullfeathers on it.
Craig is referring to the fact that the colincraig.co.nz website doesn't carry a "promoters statement" on it. Such statements are required on any published "election advertisement" under the Electoral Act. However, such statements are only required on those messages that qualify as election advertisments under that Act.
And, in the definition of "electoral advertisements" in s.3A, there's an exclusion for:
any publication on the Internet, or other electronic medium, of personal political views by an individual who does not make or receive a payment in respect of the publication of those views.
That is why, when Tim Watkin inevitably issues his heartfelt cry in a future Pundit post for people to cast their support behind Peter Dunne and United Future, he will be able to do so without having to include his name and address on that post, or this site generally. His post will not constitute an "election advertisement", because (believe it or not) no one pays us anything to write what we do here. I know! Crazy, right?
So, anyway ... it may be possible that some money-bags has given Coyle a wodge of cash to set up colincraig.co.nz (and, just in case you missed the link and haven't visited it yet, that's colincraig.co.nz). But I'm thinking not. Coyle and some friends have had some fun at Craig's expense on the internet. And electoral law doesn't touch that.
Second point I want to make is that rural voters really, really should take note of the fact that the Act Party want there to be fewer doctors to service their health needs in the future. You see, according to its leader, Jamie Whyte, Act is strongly committed to this principle:
[S]ociety should not be a racket, no matter who the beneficiaries are – be they men (who continue to enjoy legal privilege in many countries), the landed nobility or people of [rural background]. Law-makers must be impervious to the special pleading of those who wish to set aside the principle of legal equality.
And as a manifestation of his (and his party's) fierce and unwavering commitment to this principle, one of the first programmes that they will demand be abolished after the election is the National Government's deeply offensive decision to provide guaranteed places at the nation's medical schools to a number of students who were raised rural areas. Oh sure, the idea might sound like a nice one - train rural kids to be doctors because they are more likely to return "home" and provide medical services there. But what you don't realise is that this evil policy undermines the very structure of our entire society, and makes us just like France in the 1780s. And not only that, it hurts those students themselves! Because who is going to want to hire, much less be treated, by some thick hick from Taumarunui who only has their degree because a truly meritorious student from Parnell missed out?
So, if you are a rural dweller who wants to see more doctors in rural areas, you might want to think long and hard about just how attractive you find Act's "one law for all!" and "no special legal privileges!" rhetoric. Unless, of course, you think that it just applies to brown people.*
* Note well - this is a publication on the internet of personal political views by an individual who does not make or receive a payment in respect of the publication of those views. So do you see a promoter's statement attached? No. No you don't.