Blog: Best of the Electoral Finance Bill awards – It's that season again, the season of goodwill and superlatives, when every man and his blog dispenses awards.
So in the spirit of me-too-ism here are my own awards based on the very narrow subject that has pre-occupied much of… [NZ Politics]
Audrey Young has done a best of for the year with a twist, she has focussed only on the Electoral Finance Bill. From the sarky comments and knife stabbing one can almost say that it is game on against Labour and Aunty Aud will be joining Fran O'Sullivan in being labelled a "Right Wing Blogger" by Clark.
[quote]1. BEST SPEECH
Hone Harawira, Maori Party.
Stunning not only for the force of its attack on every aspect of Labour's defence of the bill but notable for its significance in ending the myth that Harawira is such a mate of Labour's he would be the hold-out an any alternative Government forming. The full speech can be read here.
2. WORST SPEECH
Winston Peters, New Zealand First leader
His research unit probably wrote him an excellent speech. If he had ignored it and spoke from the heart he may have delivered and excellent speech. Instead he botched it, combining the two and wasted the opportunity to rail against something no one said about him in 1993 – so forgettable, I forget, and the sale of the BNZ in 1992.
3. BEST DEFENCE
Jill Pettis, Labour MP.
Mastermind she might not be but she is an Olympic class heckler. The only MP to put her off her stride for all of two seconds during two hours of valiant heckling was National's Bill English who informed the House that Pettis, herself, had received $9500 in anonymous donations last elections – "from the elocution society," Maurice Williamson chipped in.
4. BEST QUOTE
John Key, National leader
"If you are in favour of free speech then you are in favour of freedom of speech precisely for the views you despise. Otherwise you are not in favour of free speech." They are not the word of a random right winger. They are not the words of a former treasurer of the Act Party… They are the words of Noam Chomsky, a man who is not from the left but from the far left.
5. BEST DIVERSION
Trevor Mallard, Labour minister.
Mallard interrupted the start of Winston Peters speech to deliver an apology to communication consultant Erin Leigh, after calling her sad and questioning her competence. It had all the passion of an instruction from Heather Simpson but at least he finally did the decent thing. The apology was made soon after his mea culpa outside the Wellington District Court where he pleaded guilty to fighting [with Tau Henare] in a public place [the member's lobbies]. What next? An apology to Diane Foreman and Don Brash?
6. MOST LAUGHABLE
Jim Anderton, Progressives
Anderton had to wait a minute or two to begin his largely vituperative speech because of the standing ovation given to John Key not only from his own MPs but from much of the public galleries. Anderton then had the gall to say that in his long experience in Parliament, leaders who get a standing ovation are usually in trouble. This from someone who knows so much about leadership he has managed to shrink his caucus to one and scored 0 in the latest opinion poll. Stick to farming Jim.
7. MOST DARING
Peter Dunne, United Future
Dunne switched votes to where his liberal credentials should have led him in the first place – opposing the bill. He is being called variously spineless, opportunistic, a cave-in and courageous. He had one tippy-toe quote in his speech that I think is saying between the lines that Helen Clark is arrogant and he is listening to the people. It goes like this: "There comes an occasional time when a blind adherence to leading the country gives way to what some might see as a form of arrogance, and where the perception of being a straw in the wind is outweighed by the necessity of being seen to listen to the people."