As Minister, she has oversight over their work and budget. Lower voter turnout favours the right. So… if she’s a bad egg, how much focus and budget is she going to put into, say, encouraging voter turnout? How well is she going to resource the department that works to get people to enroll/chases them if they don’t?
No Minister of Justice, not even the Demoness Judith Collins, determines the "focus" of the Electoral Commission -- which is an independent crown entity NOT part of the Ministry of Justice. That's laid out on in the Electoral Act, 1993 as amended by the Electoral (Administration) Amendment Act 2010.
And nobody has their budget set by ministerial fiat. If Ms. Harre is an MP after the election, I look forward to her being a strong advocate for increased resources to the Electoral Commission so they can even better do the job they already do with the utmost integrity and political independence.
As I said up thread, Judith Collins can take whatever slings and arrows come her way. But I think all politicians might want to think really hard about bringing electoral agencies into campaign argy-bargy in any way, shape or form.
I have no idea if they have enough money to do their job or not but Harre was not questioning the integrity and independence of the agencies, just the independence of their budgets. This is a big difference.
And that’s an entirely worthy sentiment, but she didn’t actually say any of that on Morning Report – and it was a underwhelming interview that only looked good by comparison with the preceding Key trainwreck. Judith Collins is a grown-up who can take whatever slings and arrows come her way, but I don’t see why the Electoral Commission had to be brought into it in any way, shape or form.
IMO, Harre was damn lucky Susie Ferguson didn’t ask the obvious follow up: “So, are you claiming Collins is politically interfering in the work of the Electoral Commission?” And she's actually going to have to learn to answer uncomfortable but legitimate questions without dismissing them as "dirty politics" and "amplifying Cameron Slater's agenda."
Laila Harre’s observation that Judith Collins was Minister for the Electoral Commission was thrillingly chilling.
No it really wasn't, Lucy. Know I'm on a hiding to nothing, but it might be a good idea if Laila Harre took a deep breath before passive-aggressively impugning the integrity and political independence of electoral agencies.
- “Particularly since she emphasised the word ‘allegedly’ umpteens of times.”
I took that as making a self-aware kind of joke about the whole having to say “allegedly” thing.
I’m really going to regret asking this, but what’s wrong about qualifying claims like Rodney Hide sent sexually explicit texts to a young woman?
I don’t want to get in the way of a good right wing media conspiracy theory, but it seems Hager frequently (and legally, perfectly sensibly) qualified a lot of claims in the book more heavily than they’ve been reported. I’ll defer to PASers with more legal expertise, but I have my doubts “I’m just quoting Whaleoil!” is a particularly strong defense for defamation.
But what’s new – or surprising – about that? As I’ve been banging on about for years, some alleged editors really need a refresher course on the non-trivial difference between an allegation, a criminal charge, and a conviction in a court of law following due process; let alone that no media outlet is a judicial body. I’ve given up on trying to convince the media that correlation (if it even exists) does not imply causation.
Perhaps we should all accept that this is how it really is in the internet age…NOTHING can be considered ‘private’, ‘confidential’ or ‘secret’ once you click ‘send’.
So we should all perhaps HTFU and move on.
Well, Rosemary, I’m sure Cameron Slater (and Hager’s source, who Hager’s hinted is going to release material he wouldn’t touch) would agree with that. If that’s the company people want to keep, that’s their call.
Thanks, Kracklite. +1 whole infinity.
Coming from the National right being personally responsible for your own actions is a big part of the ethos, Slater had better get with the program and stop tryin to blame others for hos own mistakes
What? I'm sorry, Paul, but can we just stipulate that death threats just aren't acceptable and leave it there? Of course it's as absurd as it is distasteful to try holding anyone but the perpetrators responsible, but Slater deserves that baseline courtesy as much as Hager.
Wut? How on earth is it Hager’s fault?
He decided to publish them. I don't know who else is responsible for what he decided to put in the book.
That’s the claim yes – backed up I expect by evidence.
Evidence that Rodney Hide sent "dodgy texts" to a young woman, or was putting an allegation of sexual harassment out there just acceptable collateral damage? I think that's a perfectly legitimate question to ask of Hager, whether you like Hide or not. And given Slater's rather irregular relationship with the truth, I don't think it's unreasonable to hope Hager did some due diligence on what he decided to publish.
It’s an allegation of a grievous abuse of ministerial power to help out a mate. And he declares he won’t even ask?
I know this is probably going to be an unpopular thing to say, but if he did "ask" (whatever the hell that means) wouldn't you be lining up to accuse him of political interference if the outcome wasn't to your liking?
That said, I just don't understand why she isn't being stood down since she's effectively a caretaker minister until after the election anyway.