Keeping Stock has revealed what appears to be another case of the Green Party employing people to gather asset sales petition signatures – Blowing the whistle.
The Green Party are known to have already used parliamentary funds to employ signature gatherers when the petition was first launched. See Green Party use (and abuse?) of “support staff”.
While it’s not certain the Green party is behind current advertising for Promotional Team: 5 week campaign touring New Zealand it looks very similar to what they have already done, and someone has directly claimed theyb are behind it.
On this alone there are important questions that should be asked, like…
- Is the Green Party employing people to gather signatures?
- If so how is this being funded?
They may be within the strict letter of the law on this, but the political ethics involved in the funding of this are highly questionable.
The total cost of promoting the petition is also an important issue. According to Elections NZ:
There is a $50,000 spending limit on advertising promoting or opposing a petition.
Would this be regarded as advertising promotion? The cost of employing a team ($4000 each plus accommodation plus food plus travel) would on it’s own be quite possibly in the vicinity of $50,000.
On top of all that I think there’s a more important issue. The job advertisement states:
Engage needs a team of intelligent, confidential, professional staff for this exciting and lucrative campaign.
The total fee for completing the campaign is $4000 plus food allowance and bonus.
I’ve been told personally and I’ve also read reports of how pushy some of the petition signature gatherers have been. How many of them are being paid for the number of signatures they get?
The Green Party may or may not be involved again this time, and this may or may not be another case of blatant misuse of the intent for parliamentary funds for parties.
But it raises serious questions about the prostitution of democracy, where a process that is supposted to be Citizen Initiated is being dominated by buying signatures with dollars.
I thought the Green Party used to pride itself on being different, on being more ethical in politics the other parties.
This seems to be another case of rorting parliamentary funds and abusing the CIR process, and abusing democracy itself. For a referendum the Greens know can and will be ignored by Government.
One of the key aims of CIR is to enable a level playing field – but Greens seem to be just cynically gaming the system.
And it’s not just CIR they are abusing here, they appear to be using parliamentary funds to run a perpetual political campaign.