Post of the Day

Post of the day goes to Stephen Franks, pulling apart the decision of the Electoral Commission.

A purposive interpreter might have assumed that Parliament intended to stop third parties acting under the influence of, or in collusion with, or congruently in campaigning with the party. Such an interpreter might have given a wide meaning to “involved in” so that it impedes that two way coordination of plans and interests. Instead this interpretation says the literal words require that the involvement be by the EPMU in administering the party, and not the other way.

The decision will be a comfort for those who’ve been struggling to make sense of the Act. In effect this decision says don’t bother. If the words do not make sense in relation to the probable objectives of the Act, the Commission is not going to strain to find a way to turn nonsense into sense.


It’s hard to tell what’s worse. The EFA being so badly written, or the EC ignoring the parts that are inconvenient to the government.

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