Thursday, September 07, 2017

A corrupt practice

A Māori Party candidate is being investigated for bribing voters:

The Electoral Commission is investigating a Māori Party candidate's campaign for allegedly offering online cash credits to potential supporters.

The investigation involves complaints that Botany candidate Wetex Kang's campaign sent messages offering credits to people on Chinese social media message app WeChat.

The Electoral Commission said it had received complaints about the use of "hong bao dollars" on WeChat as part of Mr Kang's campaign.

Bribing voters is a corrupt electoral practice, with a penalty of two years imprisonment and a $40,000 fine. Those convicted are also automatically barred from voting and standing for office in the next election. This is such a basic part of our electoral law (and any fair democratic system) that you really have to wonder how a political candidate possibly thought it was acceptable.

Not that anything will happen, of course. Because while the public and the Electoral Commission take electoral crime seriously, the police don't. They're too busy harassing harmless drug users, spying on protesters, and sucking up to Ministers than to protect our democracy.