Monday, February 19, 2018


One of the reasons James Shaw gave for the Greens support of Winston's Electoral Integrity Bill (so called) was that for an MP to be expelled from Parliament it would require a two-thirds vote from his/her caucus to trigger the expulsion and that was democracy in action.     Straightforward ... not on your nelly.

Since the late 1970s there have been many occasions when a Party has been represented in the House by just two members (started with Socreds Bruce Beetham and Garry Knapp while in the 51st Parliament it was the Maori Party).   Under the Peters' Bill a member of a two member party can walk free because you can't get a two-thirds vote from a two person caucus.   Under Peters' Bill we end up with the situation where parties having three or more members in their caucus can expel MPs and parties with only two members can't.    Perhaps James S can tell us just how that represents democracy in action.

The Bill is both fatally flawed and fatally compromised.     It's in the name of the Minister of Justice and Andrew Little should seek to withdraw it ... but he won't because Winston Peters will never admit that he got it so horribly wrong.    That leaves the Greens who were sandbagged into supporting it to first reading.  Now that it's shown to have holes big enough to drive a truck through will they have the gonads to withdraw that support?    I think not ... their track record is of a Party prepared to sacrifice their principles for the baubles of office.  

The Bill is a shambles; it's undemocratic and it confers privileged status on MPs belonging to a two member caucus over all other MPs ... and all this because Winston First doesn't/can't trust his own caucus.


pdm said...

Vet I don't think you stated clearly enough that in NZ First the vote of Winston is the only vote that matters - any member that does not vote his way is toast - burned toast at that and shall be expelled.

That is democracy according to Winston.

The Veteran said...

pdm ... but not if that Party had only two members as it did in the 44th Parliament ... Peters and Tau Henare. If this odious piece of legislation had been in place then each of them would be running round in circles trying to expel each other and then finding they couldn't.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

So what's new?

Today, Peters is running round in circles trying to express himself and finding he can't.

Johno said...

One News poll today has WinstonFirst sinking fast at 3% and Greens likewise at 5%.

No wonder these shysters are supporting this bill.

Anonymous said...

Yes, that poll is good news re Winston First and the Melons. Next election may be FPP in all but name. Labour ahead though, not much of a surprise, considering the endless fawning of Ardern and baby bump in our MSM. She gets nothing but an easy ride. Bring on Collins, bring back the punch in politics.


Psycho Milt said...

It may be "good news" for the right as far as NZF is concerned, but the left parties on 53% and the right parties on 43% is way better news for the left.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Love the subtle humour there, Ron

Punch and Judy indeed.

The Veteran said...

So Milt ... you support the Bill warts and all???????

Psycho Milt said...

I don't have strong feelings about it one way or the other. Same with having shitloads of taxpayer cash blown on a racetrack - there are some hefty downsides with having Winston Peters in your government, as both major parties are well aware. Nothing much to be done as long as there's a rich supply of dumb cunts who keep voting for him, though.

The Veteran said...

Milt ... you should have strong feelings about this Bill. It's an attack on the Westminster system of government and for the Greens to be supporting it puts them in the same space as the not so much lamented Robert Mulgabe who ramrodded a similar provision thru the Zimbabwe Parliament. Thought 'your' Party was better than that ... perhaps not.

Anonymous said...

It's different when the Left do it, Vet!


Anonymous said...

Not that I doubt you Veteran but I can't seem to find links re: Zimababwe. I find it difficult to accept that Ebagum would need to.

Lord Egbut

The Veteran said...

Egbut ... thank you for not doubting me but I didn't post a link. Go to the Zimbabwe Constitution Section 129(1)(k). The last time it occurred was just 31 days ago when Zanu-PF expelled eleven MPs. Prior to that another five has been expelled in December.

In Zimbabwe politics being a government MP is probably more dangerous than being an opposition MP.

The sight of Winston First trying to expel either 'Medals' Mark or Tracey Martin would be a sight to behold as would Labour expelling Stuart Nash as advocated by Psycho Milt

David said...

Slightly OT, but I hear ... the Westminster system of government ... a lot in Oz, but first time I have heard it in relation to NZ.

Just what is meant by that?

In Oz we have something akin to a Washminster system, with the combination of state and federal governments and a Senate elected by statewide electorates.

NZ could in no way, shape or form be said to mirror Westminster as you have a Unicameral parliament.

The only commonality between London, Canberra and Wellington would seem to be the shared HoS.

The Veteran said...

David ... from 'our' parliamentary website

New Zealand’s system of government is described as a constitutional monarchy. It means that, while our Head of State is a hereditary monarch (the Sovereign), the powers and functions of the Sovereign are exercised within constitutional constraints.

Although New Zealand has no single document that is a constitution, the elements of our constitutional arrangements are contained in several Acts of Parliament, such as the Legislature Act 1908, the Constitutional Act 1986, the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990, and the Electoral Act 1993. These laws include provisions on how we vote, the term of Parliament, the formation of the Government, and individual rights.

The function of these Acts is to constrain the actions of the Sovereign and place political power in the hands of representatives elected by the people and accountable to the people. They are based on centuries of hard-won struggles that have gradually transferred power to the people, both in New Zealand and Britain, from where our system is derived. Our parliamentary system is known as the Westminster model after the British system based at Westminster in London.