Thursday, February 8, 2018

ON THE ELECTORAL INTEGRITY BILL ... SO CALLED

One thing you can say about Sue Bradford is that she never walked away from her principles (along with Kennedy Graham and David Clendon).   In that context her caning of the Green Party for their support of WRP's Electoral Integrity Bill as being opposed for everything they have ever stood for cannot be dismissed lightly ... but it will by by a Party whose MPs have sacrificed their integrity in return for the baubles of office.

When the Bill first came along and without reading it I assumed it was a mechanism for preventing List MPs going walkabout (and of course Winston First has achieved gold star status for the number of their MPs gone walkabout and/or being dumped down their Party list to unwinnable positions for arguing the toss with el supremo).   After-all, List MPs owe their election solely to their placement on the Party list determined by their Party hierarchy and not by the electorate as such.

But I wuz wrong.    S55A(1) of the Bill makes it clear that the ability of a Party to expel an MP  applies to all MPs including an electorate MP.    That is unprecedented in the Westminister Parliamentary system.   An electorate MP is answerable to his/her electorate and must be free to act in what he/she believes are in the best interests of the electorate.   That might extend to crossing the floor and voting against their own Party and it is for the electorate to determine whether, in doing so, they did the right thing.    This right was eloquently expressed by a senior member of the House when he said back in 1996 .... "MPs have to be free to follow their conscience.   They were elected to represent their constituents, not swear an oath of blind allegiance to a political party".

Who was that member you ask  ... answer ...  a certain Winston Raymond Peters.    You might be forgiven for wondering if he can lie straight in bed.


To be fair to the man and it must be acknowledged that at least one other 'sovereign' parliament has similar legislation in place ... Mulgabe ramrodded such an Act through the Zimbabwe Parliament.   Begs the question.   What other similarities are there between Mulgabe and Peters?   I can think of several but we digress.

This obnoxious piece of legislation is an attack on Parliament and an attack on democracy.  It came about because of the inability of Peters to retain the loyalty of his own caucus.    Labour, to their everlasting discredit, are prepared to go along with the charade.   Not as bad as the Greens who appear prepared to sacrifice their principles (if any) on the alter of power.

Bradford has my respect for standing by her principles.   Peters, Ardern and Shaw are deserving of none.

C'mon Snowflakes one and all ... defend the indefensible.

p.s.   One thing for sure.   You won't see any criticism of this Bill from another blog which positions itself on the 'right'.   That blog doesn't do criticism of WRP ... wonder why?


20 comments:

Pete said...

Thanks for the informative post.

I read the sections of the bill and take the view electoral integrity would be not achieved or enhanced by passing this bill into law.

The person selected by an electorate should not be included in this bill. The words of the Hon Winston Peters, as recorded in your post, are very clear on that point.

I could take a view a list member who got offside with the party should retire rather than seek to become an independent. That is surely a matter of personal integrity not requiring legislation to enforce.

I reject this poorly titled bill. It is not required and is a distraction from the more serious issues this country faces.

Allan said...

Peters is past his use by date. He is a mumbling, rambling geriatric who is of no use to anyone. He should be removed from Parliament and put out to pasture before he does even more damage. He will not be remembered fondly by a large majority of the people of NZ. His track record and life of swilling from the Public trough will see to that. This dreadful piece of legislation is there because he knows that without it he has not got a snowball's chance in hell of lasting 3 years. This legislation should be stopped at the Select Committee stage and consigned to the rubbish bin where it belongs. It is a direct attack o n our Democratic system.

The Veteran said...

Allan ... this Bill will not be stopped at the Select Committee stage. It is a Government Bill. The Justice Select Committee is equally divided 4/4 between Labour & National. The split means it is unlikely they will agree to any amendments to the Bill which be be referred back to the House for consideration. The Government has the numbers to pass it so it's a slam dunk UNLESS the Greens suddenly rediscover their principles and vote accordingly.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Just as is happening in the USA, you fellows are going to have a hell o a lot of repealling to do.

Paulus said...

What an episode to the life and times of Winston Peters.
After many years at the trough this is the best epitaph that he will get.
Drunken Lying Dwarf who damaged his homeland New Zealand over so many years.
Sad really.

David said...

Allan, why are you opposed to Democracy?

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

David. Why are you addicted to meaningless comments?

David said...

Just channeling your usual 1 line inanities. :-)

Anonymous said...

David, how is this corrupt piece of legislation possibly democratic in the least?
It will be a stain on this govt, and especially Labour, who rolled over for whatever Peters wanted. MMP be damned, and let Peters fall on his own sword, eventually.

Ron

Wilbur said...

C'mon. This will be Winnie's last hurrah. And all he wants is to eat, drink and root in the knowledge he's not gonna get shanked like he was in the '90's by Jenny Minister-Of-Selling-Out-To-The-Chicoms Shipley and get a Mauri Pacific turncoat job done on him.

Root in Peace Winnie, Root In Peace.

The Veteran said...

David ... you have excelled yourself with your inane comment that the EI Bill is democracy personified. It may be democracy according to you and certainly is democracy according to Mulgabe (and Stalin and the Kim dynasty) but it certainly ain't democracy according to the IPU and all other 'normal' people.

Wilbur ... think you had an 'o' too many in your last line.

David said...

Veteran, I did not, repeat did not, claim that the Bill is democratic. I don't believe it is at all.

My comment was directed at Allan who stated in regard to Peters "He should be removed from Parliament..." Like it or not, Peters was elected under the rules that were approved by the NZ electorate at large. Removing a duly elected member by any means other than an election, is, by definition, anti-democratic, a concept that seems to elude Alan and Adolf.

That is the Kim, Stalin, Trump, Mugabe, et al way of doing politics.

Anonymous said...

Veteran....Your words..."That is unprecedented in the Westminister Parliamentary system. An electorate MP is answerable to his/her electorate and must be free to act in what he/she believes are in the best interests of the electorate. That might extend to crossing the floor and voting against their own Party and it is for the electorate to determine whether, in doing so, they did the right thing."

That is absolute nonsense from both you and Peters. When the whips start flogging, MP's vote with the party machine or face deselection ie. the DCM. In the last six months there have been two instances where Tory MP's in the UK were forced to vote for Brexit legislation against their conscience and against the wishes of their electorate. It's a handy sound bite by Peters at the time but in the real world it is meaningless. When the rigid party machine says jump all the rank and file ask how high.

Lord Egbut Nobacon

The Veteran said...

Egbut ... you are defending the indefensible and you know it. We're not talking about de-selection whether it be by the Party or enginered by shadowy organisations operating on the fringe of a Party (like Momemtum); we're talking about a duly elected MP being expelled from Parliament during the parliamentary term.

S55 of the Electoral Act 1993 details the circumstances in which a seat becomes vacant. They include where the MP ceases to be a NZ citizen; where the MP is convicted of an offence punishable by imprisonment for life or two or more years imprisonment; is convicted of a corrupt practice; dies or becomes mentally incapacitated. These are all serious matters. Disagreeing with your Party leader and/or caucus hardly cuts the mustard measured against any of the 12 criteria set out in the Act.

Sorry Egbut ... your infatuation with Jacinda who can do no wrong in your eyes has completely coloured your judgement this time round. Your attempt to muddy the waters and equate de-selection with expulsion reinforces that perception.

It is perhaps instructive that many on the left are silent on the issue ... even David admits to the Bill being undemocratic. Clearly they abide by the old adage 'when you're in a hole, stop digging'. Recommended.

For the record the last MP to by expelled from Parliament was Labour's Reg Boorman, MP for Wairarapa 1984-88. Convicted of a corrupt practice.

Anonymous said...

Veteran .....you are taking my post weeeelll beyond where it was meant to be. Merely said that the utopian world of Peters statement and your reference to it does not exist in the real world. Don't care about the rest. Burying replies in procedural bullshit and scoring obscure political points only muddies the water.

Lord Egbut

David said...

Veteran, I have had little to say on this bill, not because I am a "lefty", but because I no longer live in NZ and am no longer eligible to vote in NZ elections.

I am far more concerned with the fight against the attacks on Australian democracy by Tony Abbott's glove puppet, Peter Dutton. Dutton has no respect for the law, for precedent, for human rights, or even human decency. His attacks on the legal system, like Trump's, are designed to undermine the integrity of the courts. The Dutton/Abbott axis of evil have seen George Brandis removed as Attorney general, Brandis also ushered in some horrific laws, but at least he still understood the need for the separation of legislators from judges.

/threadjack

David said...

Under the party political system it is hard to maintain a balance between the wants of the party and the wishes of the electorate. With very few exceptions, all MPs are decided by a party, the electorate simply being asked to rubber stamp the party's choice.

Small parties, in particular, can complicate the issue of selecting a replacement and holding that replacement true the the original party's line.

SA Senator Bob Day, Family First, was removed from the Senate because he breached disqualified under section 44 (v) of the Constitution. He was replaced, as is the tradition in Australia (exception Albert Field) by the next candidate on that party's list. In this case, Lucy Gichuhi. She barely had time to be sworn in before she decided she no longer wanted to put families first, it was Lucy Gichuhi first and foremost. How well did that serve the electors of SA who wanted a Family First Senator?

Lucy Gichuhi got a bit lonely as the only black woman on the cross benches, and a bit nervous of all the Hansonites around her, so she has now thrown in her lot with The Liberal Party and South Australia has one more Liberal Senator than the voters required.

Should Lucy Gichuhi be allowed to hold her Senate seat, or should there be a mechanism to ensure that only a Family First Senator holds it?

The Veteran said...

David ... if the convoluted system by which Oz elects the Senate (especially how someone can be elected with only 2.4% of the primary vote) is confusing to you then you can rightly assume that I am even further in the dark.

But I see nowhere in Aust electoral law that allows a Party to expel a duly elected Member from either the Federal or State legislatures during his/her term of office.

Egbut ... I read your post VERY well. Some might describe it as running interference ... in some sports that gets you a red card.

For all ... I see some reports have it that Julie-Anne Genter, contender for the co-leadership of the Greens, is suggesting the Party needs to have another (real) conversation about their continuing support for the Labour/NZ First Electoral Integrity Bill. Now that could be really interesting.

Paranormal said...

I saw that JAG had said that too Vet. Call me cynical or is she saying that coz she means it, or is it a sop to concerned members so she can get elected as the non-willy endowed joint leader?

The Veteran said...

Paranormal ... I know some 'heavy hitters' in the Green Party who are really concerned that their Party voted for the First Reading of the Bill. You want my honest opinion and I think JAG is picking up on widespread concern and is signalling her preparedness to champion that concern with the added advantage that it creates another point of difference between her and the other two candidates,