Should Banks be convicted and should he resign?

In the John Banks case summary Justice Edwin Wylie said it was “reasonable to infer that Mr Banks requested that the donation be split so they did not stand out and so that the donations would be consistent with other donations of $25,000 that his campaign team was endeavouring to solicit”.

That seems a reasonable inference.

It’s not uncommon for politicians and parties to arrange donations and hide sources by a variety of means. Banks has been judged guilty of doing this illegally.

Banks is unlucky in that his case was pursued and prosecuted. Many complaints, including from the last two elections, disappear into a police black hole.

Labour leader David Cunliffe was found to have breach electoral law during the Christchurch East by-election but no action was taken.

It might be relatively tough on Banks but taking a legal dim view of electoral abuse has to start somewhere, with someone.

So I think a conviction for Banks would be in the interests of the greater good for our electoral system.

Banks can remain in Parliament unless/until he is convicted. That will be in August at the earliest. Unlike what some politicians are claiming and intimating no one can make him resign.

But for the greater good of Parliament (and probably the ACT Party) I think Banks should resign from Parliament.

Over the years I’ve not been a fan of Banks. I’ve heard him speak in person and met him once, last year at an ACT regional conference, and he came across well, as decent and genuine.

But he has erred with his electoral return, and he hasn’t handled the scrutiny of that well, nor has he handled his dealings with Kim Dotcom well.

I wouldn’t be surprised that Banks assesses his current situation and decides to resign. I think that would be a wise and correct decision.

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