Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Quantum effects in Electoral Finance Bill

I have worked out what has happened to the Electoral Finance Bill. It's been put through some form of particle accelerator. Nothing has been created or destroyed, it's just reappeared elsewhere in a different form. Take, for example, the deleted clause exempting government departments from the effects of the EFB (Section 119AA). The souped-up EFB has much the same effect appear elsewhere, in the definition of who can or can't be a third party. Section 4 (2) (e):

14 Persons eligible to be third party
(2) The following are ineligible to be a third party:
(e) each of the following persons or bodies:
(i) the chief executive (however described) of a
department of State or Crown entity: 20
(ii) a department of State:
(iii) a Crown entity:
(iv) a State enterprise (within the meaning of section
2 of the State-Owned Enterprises Act 1986) or a
Crown-owned company: 25
(v) any other instrument of the Crown

If government departments by definition cannot be third parties, then they are exempted. N'est-ce pas?