Saturday, August 12, 2006

Make Your Own Rules.

Here’s a scenario for you. Imagine your political party is just weeks away from Election Day and the result is likely to be close. In fact there’s an even chance you could lose. Any little thing you can do to sway the voters could be of crucial importance.

So someone comes up with the idea of re-running the pledge card ploy that had been so successful in the past. The only problem is the Party’s used all the money allowed by electoral spending rules. How to overcome this? Well a bright spark suggests using the pledge card as an educational tool. We’ll be educating the voters on policy, not electioneering, so we can take it out of another budget. Hmm think the party apparatchiks … sounds like we’ll be sailing close to the rules here, but if we can play a few semantic games perhaps we can get away with it?

Then a blow, the Chief Electoral Officer says your plan goes against the rules and is an inappropriate use of $447,000 worth of taxpayer money. Here’s a real conundrum; heed his advice and lose the election, or ignore him and have a chance at clinging to power. Option one consigns you to the opposition benches, something you want to avoid at all costs. Option two could see you back in Government, yet with a breach of electoral spending rules hanging over you. A breach you can use your power as the Government to confound, confuse, ameliorate, and legislate away.

Do you reckon that’s a risk worth the taking? Well it seems someone within the Labour Party did.

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