Thursday, August 21, 2014

The heavy hand of the electoral laws

Darren Watson’s Planet Key video is a wickedly clever piece of political satire, perhaps more so for Jeremy Jones’ visuals than for the song itself. That it has now become snagged in the electoral laws is ridiculous and dangerous. University of Otago law professor Andrew Geddis suggested on Morning Report that the Electoral Commission is being super-cautious because newish electoral laws, passed in 2010, haven’t yet been tested in court. Whatever the explanation, something’s seriously wrong when the heavy hand of the law stifles legitimate political expression. If the law as written leaves the commission uncertain as to whether Planet Key is permissible, then it’s bad law and should be reviewed.


Marc said...

Myself and most others except the Electoral Commission seems to think there is nothing wrong with this song, including John Key. Maybe the Commission is taking a precautionary approach not so much because it is new law, but because they are aware of where a precedent may lead. Next, the haters and wreckers will produce an anarchistic video, and when it is barred, then the barring will become the news. It happens now with the MSM - it's not the message that's important, but how it is delivered. And if it is controversial and disruptive, then for them, so much the better. The MSM are full of it as we write.

Karl du Fresne said...

My inclination would always be to favour a law that errs on the side of free expression rather than suppression.