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Awaiting Arrest: Offence under the New Zealand Electoral Act

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After standing as a candidate in Auckland Central I decided not to file a return re expenses and donations as a matter of principle re no mainstream media coverage. I am now awaiting arrest.

Awaiting Arrest: Offence under the New Zealand Electoral Act.

5pm, Tuesday, March 9, 2009 - Awaiting Arrest. The following emails are self-explanatory: the first email is from the Chief Electoral Office to myself on March 8, 2009, in response to my email to the Office on the same date, which is the second email.

Mr Ravlich

Thank you for your e-mail explaining your reasons for not providing a return of your electorate expenses and donations for the 2008 general election.

Failing to file a return is an offence under the Electoral Act. If the Chief Electoral Officer does not receive your return by 5pm tomorrow, the Act requires that he refers the matter to the police.

Yours sincerely

Kristina Temel
Chief Electoral Office

Attention: The Chief Electoral Office

I was a candidate for Auckland Central standing under the banner of the Human Rights Party (unregistered).
Two other candidates stood under this banner - one in Epsom and the other in Mt Albert. Anthony van den Heuvel stood in the later - he paid my fee to stand. I received no other monies apart from that minimum requirement

However although legally required to I have decided not to fill out the required forms i.e. the 'Return of Election Expenses and Donations' and swear before a JP, as a matter of principle (see below). I consider our policies were discriminated against by the mainstream media and as a consequence we received no publicity. My book (released prior to the elections), 'Freedom from our social prisons: the rise of economic, social and cultural rights' (Lexington Books, Rowman and Littlefield Pub) described the ethical position of the Human Rights Party which is really an Ethical (for all) rather than a Political Party. The reason why I consider we were discriminated against on ethical grounds is because our party emphasizes addressing the human right violations of the most disadvantaged with respect to civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights (although the latter are not yet in law). For instance freedom of speech and democracy requires that the most disadvantaged have a voice of their own in the mainstream media so they are able to influence the democratic process (this is the principle upon which I am taking this action). The mainstream media and the establishment are able to discriminate against the poor because non-discrimination with respect to social origin (contained in the covenant on civil and political rights) has been excluded from the Human Rights Act 1993 and the NZ Bill of Rights. This also prevents affirmative action to be applied to the most disadvantaged as well as enabling the mainstream media to discriminate against the poor and marginalized.

Prior to the elections I contacted a number of media outlets. However, my book, which spells out the ethical base of the Human Rights party, was ignored by the mainstream media and they also gave no publicity to the party. I also provided them a list of top human rights experts who provided significant support for my work. If the people are not informed how can they make an informed vote. In a democracy the media have a duty to inform people of matters important to the their interests. Because this did not happen apart from the ballot paper on election day in terms of policies the Human Rights Party may as well not even have existed.

It seems the media as with the establishment, in general, are more concerned not to give parties policies they perceive as a threat to their interests any credibility in the eyes of the people. I have little doubt that should this action result in a court appearance the media will show very little to no interest in it but this will also prove the point I am making about the media's discrimination also remembering that the latter includes both private and public media.

Since 1991 I have been promoting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights focusing on economic, social and cultural rights which are not in law. No mainstream employer has been prepared to employ me so I have lived in poverty mixing with beneficiaries and the underclass. The book, which involved 15 years research and two years of writing, provides a more democratic, 'bottom-up' human rights plan (a far more just world in my view) which initially promises to considerably civilize neo liberalism. In terms of the right to development, for example, unlike the present parties in parliament, who emphasize big business, we emphasize empowering people through small business as a way of addressing the economic crisis. For example, microloans have empowered millions around the world and the money is nearly always paid back.We also intend to empower people through human rights education which is necessary in a democracy and a 'human rights world'. Televised human rights debates would be an excellent way of getting people up to speed with human rights. This effective place the control of the human rights agenda in the hands of the majority not simply a liberal elite which is presently the case. In addition, it includes the need to immediately address core minimum obligations e.g. eliminate homelessness, children going to school hungry, the use of food banks, serious cases on the hospital waiting list etc. with respect to both civil and political and economic, social and cultural rights (the whole approach includes both these set of rights). In addition present human rights law (which now given the gap between rich and poor almost solely benefits the middle classes) are still protected by non-retrogression (any curbing of civil liberties requiring a high democratic standard) although there will be a need to ensure that the core minimum obligations of these rights are emphasized. The former empowering rights will help ensure that economic, social and cultural rights will eventually gain equal status to civil and political rights so human rights will be fair on everyone. And also that core minimum obligations are included in human rights law to make sure States do not simply focus on the human rights of elite groups. We want to empower people not socially control everyone.

Apart from my occasional meetings with Rosslyn Noonan, Chief Human Rights Commissioner, I am virtually persona non grata in New Zealand. And although there is very little likelihood of mainstream media coverage I intend to let her and others know of my action.

thankyou,

Anthony Ravlich
Chairperson
Human Rights Council Inc.
10D/15 City Rd.,
Auckland City.

New Zealand.

Ph: (0064) (09) 302 2761

website: www.hrc2001.org.nz
email: anthony_ravlich@yahoo.com

Comments

Re: Awaiting Arrest: Offence under the New Zealand Electoral Act

So essentially you wrote a book that the "mainstream media" was not interested in, so you feel hard-done by? Thus excusing you from following the laws of the country? (The validity of the law being a seperate issue).
Besides writing a book describing the policies of your party, what other campaigning did you do? Did you organise rallies? Print pamphlets? Post articles or something on indymedia?
Stop whinging.

Re: Re: Awaiting Arrest: Offence under the New Zealand Electoral

Re comments by Frank Cobain:
I am not the only New Zealand author being disregarded (e.g. reviews) by the liberal mainstream media - contact the New Zealand Society of Authors (International Pen) for more information.Do you believe in censorship especially when we are constantly told by the same media that they uphold press freedom, intellectual freedom and freedom of speech. But actually I was prepared to overlook this until I realised there was a principle (see above) at stake which I had articulated myself in my book Freedom from our social prisons...

Re: Awaiting Arrest: Offence under the New Zealand Electoral Act

"we emphasize empowering people through small business as a way of addressing the economic crisis" - the lack of "social, economic and cultural rights" that exist within our westernised democracies are a product of big and small business enterprise. if such strategies have been tried once (microloans, business enterprise grants etc.) they have been tried millions of times. at best, all that happens is that those prepared to enter the labour force as an employer or employee become more able and motivated. Yet this shifts the "balance of power" so marginally it is not noticeable. and say it made larger ripples and more "beneficiaries, [working classes] and the underclass somehow became empowered through such a strategy? what then? do you really think they would eventually use their new found wealth and power to conspire to liberate our "social, economic and political rights"?

ultimately, all such strategies condemn our democratic system without understanding the economic dynamic which allows wealth and power to be accumulated. therefore this same dynamic is all that can ultimately be offered to the working class/beneficiaries/underclass as a way of attaining sustenance/wealth/power.

Re: Re: Awaiting Arrest: Offence under the New Zealand Electoral

Re anonymous who is opposed to small business. There are a number of plans for a better world e.g. socialism, liberalism, neo liberalism,an Islamic State etc.Why mine (see above) is particularly different is because it deals with such basic human rights which if people are deprived of they would be living in conditions of extreme violence. So if other belief systems do not have my plan included then in my view they would have no more credibility than neo liberalism. While the latter included liberal rights i.e.civil and political rights - they do not do what they say in fact their deprive millions of these rights i.e. powerlessness, voicelessness and subjected to discrimination. Unlike myself you dislike small business (I only have a problem with it when it exploits people which could not happen under my plan e.g. have to eliminate benefits below poverty line which would increase basic wage. also a bottom line re lifestyle is ensured - people cannot be pushed down a bottomless pit). However, the right to development is only concerned that people can make use of their talents and abilities and follow their dreams. So if you have a better way than small business that would excellent

Re: Awaiting Arrest: Offence under the New Zealand Electoral Act

"We leftists were right when we foresaw the crisis of capitalism, when we said that it leads us to social and environmental catastrophe," said Hans-Juergen Urban, head of IG Metall, the largest German union of metal industry workers. "But now that capitalism has effectively failed, we have no proper answer to the crisis. We have forgotten to think critically about capitalism."

Re: Re: Awaiting Arrest: Offence under the New Zealand Electoral

Re anonymous the 'crisis of capitalism'. In my view this crisis has been created. But this is not a conspiracy theory - it is the decision of the global elites meeting and discussing economic and social rights over the past four years - information available to all on the internet - see ch5 of my book 'Freedom from our social prisons' (in libraries - paperback due out in July). Also see my recent article on this website - The neo liberal elite seize their opportunity to increase unemployment globally.Incidently you may be interested to know how the liberal dominated UN excluded the right to property in the covenants although it was in the universal declaration of human rights - this ensured that society would be divided into public and private because the right to property was to be dealt with more independently by the World Bank and the IMF which as we all know embarked on structural adjustment progammes which severely cut welfare, leading to the halving of trade union membership (where is the male pride of our trade unions?) and a considerable focus on the needs of the corporations.