Previous Versions of the EFA

Prof. Hodge made a comment at the last Electoral Finance Act protest.

He mentioned this act: the “Political Disabilities Removal Act”. No guesses who’s “Political Disabilities” it removed.

 2. Power of certain associations to apply funds in furtherance of

 political objects---(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, the

 funds of any society may be applied in the furtherance of political

 objects if the members of the society so decide by a resolution for the

 time being in force, passed on a ballot of the members of the society

 taken in accordance with its rules.   (2) For the purposes of this section, a resolution shall be deemed to

 have been passed on a ballot of the members of the society if a majority

 of the total valid votes recorded at the ballot is in favour thereof.

(3) Any such resolution may be at any time revoked by a subsequent

 resolution passed in the same manner as the firstmentioned resolution

 was passed.

(4) The provisions of this section shall apply to any society

 notwithstanding that there is no provision in its rules authorising the

 use of its funds for the furtherance of political objects.

(5) For the purposes of this section, the term ``society'' means---

   (a) Any society of public servants consisting of not less than 15

         persons, and primarily associated for the purpose of protecting

         or furthering their interests in connection with their

         employment; or

   (b) Any industrial union registered under the [Industrial Relations

         Act 1973]; or

   (c) Any trade union registered under the Trade Unions Act 1908.

     Cf. 1936, No. 23, s. 4; 1948, No. 77, s. 40

In subs. (5) (b) the Industrial Relations Act 1973, being the

     corresponding enactment in force at the date of this reprint, has

     been substituted for the repealed Industrial Conciliation and

     Arbitration Act 1954.

Translation: Unions can give money to political parties.

The first version of this act was put in place in 1936 – the year after the first Labour goverment was put in place. It still stands today.

So Labour has been tilting the law it’s own way for years – it’s just this time it’s gone further than usual.

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