Archive for the ‘Sedition’ category

The Electoral Finance Bill by example

October 29, 2007

Our sedition laws are gone. Yay.

But meanwhile Labour is trying to pass the Electoral Finance Bill, which represents the biggest attck on free speech in New Zealand history. prior to the bill being passed, the blogger idiot/savant at No Right Turn constructed a sedition by example index detailing all the abuses of sedition laws in New Zealand history. I decided to see if the people prosecuted for Sedition could also have been prosecuted under the Electoral Finance Bill if it was law at the time, and it was an election year, and the person who committed the crime of sedition failed to register as a third party or make a statutory declaration to spend under $500. The results are:
II: Peter Fraser (1918), No, because he only spoke and did not publish anything.
III: Bishop James Liston (1922): No, same reason as above.
IV: Charles Davis (1865): Yes, he printed and distributed political pamphlets.
V: Rua Kenua (1916): Yes, not for the speech, but his flag (which was used as evidence) could be counted as a election advertisement.
VI: Hatty Weitzal (1921): Possibly, section 5(2)c exempts newspapers, but so long as the newspaper material is solely to entertain readers.
VII: Harry Holland (1913): No, same as II.
VIII: The Green Ray (1918): Possibly, see VI above.
IX: The NZ Celt (1868): No, the newspaper was merely reporting on other events
X: Tim Selwyn (2004): Yes, the pamphlet counts as an election advertisement.
XII: Walter Nash (1921): No, he had not distributed the pamphlets.
XIII: Robert Semple (1916): No, see II above.
XIV: Christchurch Sedcond Division League (19170: No, were comunicating to internal members.
XV: Edward Hunter (1913): No, see II above.
XVI: Te Whiti and Tohu (1881): No, see II above.
XVII: OF Nelson: No, didn’t print or distribute anthing.
XVIII: Maoriland Irish Society (1918): Yes, the advertisement is clearly an election one.
XIX: Tim Armstrong (1916): No, see II above.
XX: Thompson (1927): Possibly, see VI above.
XXI: Reverend James Chapple (1918): No, see II above.
XXII: Christopher Russell (2006): interesting, can an e-mail count as electioneering? It appears yes. This is incredibly scary, if you mention a political issue in an e-mail to a friend next year, without registering (or making a statutory declaration), you will be breaking the law.
XXIII: Sidney Fournier (1917): No, see II above.
XXIV: Father John Roche (no date, WWI): No, see II above.
XXV: Paddy Webb (1917): No, see XIV above.
Even in the silly “petrol-soaked coach” pamphlet which didn’t become too funny once the police laid sedition charges, could be prosecuted under the Electoral Finance Bill.

Irony

October 16, 2007

One of the very few good things Labour is doing at the moment is helping repeal archaic sedition laws, which have began their second reading at Parliament. Sadly, Labour’s positive contribution towards free speech is undone by its Electoral Finance  Anti-Free Speech Bill, which seeks to crinimalise free speech without registration, and all free speech involving spending more than $60 000 in an election year. Rodney Hide gave a good speech on this irony. Also interesting is which Bill passes first? The sedition Bill or Electoral Finance Anti-Free Speech Bill. I suspect the Anti-Free Speech Bill will pass first, because of Labour’s desire to silence its critics as fast as possible, and thus will be desperate to have the new law on its books before the christmass break (so it can take effect 1 January), despite Sedition being introduced in June. Labour has even gone to have the committee meet outside normal hours to speed it up. Fortunately for free speech I hope the christmass deadline will beat the Anti-Free Speech Bill, so we can enjoy another two or three months of free speech. Sadly, Labour can rush the bill through under urgency, and I’t won’t surprise me if this happens at the end of the year.

Sedition back

August 24, 2007

The Parlimentary select comittee has reported back on the Bill to remove the crime of Sedition, and it has recomended that the Bill proceed unamended. Good. it’s ironic that Labour is trying to ban people from advocating the otherthrow of the Government by democratic means, while at the same time legalising people from advocating its overthrow through non-democratic means.

Sedition submission

July 17, 2007

I made my first submission to a parliamentary select comittee today. it is based largely on the excellent ones drawn up by David Farrar and Idiot/Savant. The text of the submission is below: (more…)

Sedition laws on their way out

June 21, 2007

On Tuesday Parliament voted unanimously to send a bill to repeal sedition laws to select committee. This is a great victory for free speech. Congratulations to No Right Turn for his work on the issue. NZ First, although voting for it on the first reading, is worried about the effect the law will have in allowing islamic fundamentalist terrorists to spread their message of hate here. In my opinion everyone, even Islamic fundamentalists have a right to free speech. This right should stop when it comes to encouraging people to kill others, but we already have laws against inciting to murder.

Sedition laws to be repealed

May 9, 2007

Sorry this post came a few days late, but there is some excellent news for all those who value freedom of speech. The archaic sedition laws are going to be repealed. Although no bill has been introduced yet, Labour has anounced it will suport repealing the sedition laws. Given Act, United future, the Maori party and the Greens also support repealing sedition laws, a bill removing the sedition laws should easily pass into law. No Right Turn has done an excellent series of posats showing clearly the danger sedition laws pose, which is exemplified by the fact police decided to charge a Dunedin bar owner with sedition for offering students a chance to win a petrol soaked couch (although the charges were latter dropped). The sooner the sedition laws are repealed the better.