election law

We say that it should be the voters and the voters alone that determine who is and who is not a member of Parliament. At least, up until we say that pure chance should decide that matter.

The provincial election in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island finally came to an end a couple of days ago when its last MLA was declared elected following a judicial recount.

(What - you didn't know that Prince Edward Island has just had an election? What are you, prejudiced against Anne of Green Gables or something?)

Tweeting who to vote for at a by-election on the day the poll is being held is silly, but it isn't exactly the worst thing that any politician has ever done. Hell, it may not even be illegal.

So the whole David Cunliffe storm-in-a-Twitter-cup thing needs settled. Here's how I see it.

First of all, he was dumb to send out the tweet. Especially if, as I understand it, the Electoral Commission specifically warned candidates and parties not to tweet on the polling day. Sometimes you just need to put the phone down and walk away.

Could the United Kingdom's 2010 general election become the new Florida?

I'm writing this as the first indications of the United Kingdom election result filter in - the exit polls are predicting that the Conservatives will be the largest party, but still falling short of an overall majority in the Commons. But of course exit polls are not the real result, so the suspense continues ...

According to the Electoral Commission, the political parties received far less in big donations for the 2008 election than in 2005. So just how did they fund their campaigns?

One of the more positive features of the much derided, now defunct Electoral Finance Act 2007 was that it attempted to tighten the rules around public disclosure of large donations to political parties.

It's not exactly what I would have done, but National's process for reviewing electoral finance laws is largely to be commended

A quick, upfront disclaimer. In 2008, the Labour government appointed me to chair an "expert panel" on electoral law reform, which in turn would help a 70-person  "Citizens' Forum" deliberate on what rules New Zealand should have to govern the use of money at election time.