No Right Turn on trusting politicians to protect our rights

It isn’t often that I agree with Malcolm Harbrow at No Right Turn, but he has this one nailed:

But there’s a bigger problem here as well. The right to trial by jury for any offence with a penalty greater than three months imprisonment is currently enshrined in the Bill of Rights Act. Simon Power is proposing to amend that clause. And he can, with a simple majority of the House (in this case, its a majority of zombies and crazies – Roger Douglas and Hilary Calvert). But this is a fundamental part of our constitution we’re talking about! If they can do this, they can also do it to freedom of speech, or the right to vote.

If there’s one thing this debacle has taught us, its that politicians can’t be trusted as guardians of our fundamental rights. It is time to take those rights out of their hands, by entrenching it and requiring either a supermajority or a referendum to modify. We currently do this with the core of the Electoral Act; its time we did it for our other rights as well.

It is a pity he isn’t so keen on holding the politicians to account with the gerrymandering of the electoral system as proposed with the MMP referendum. The thought that the same politicians he holds in such low esteem will be responsible for suggesting and making changes to MMP should it be retained. This is another case where supermajorities need to be used.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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