Cabinet Ministers putting their own views on euthanasia ahead of what the majority of Kiwis want is “undemocratic”, says ACT leader David Seymour.
While euthanasia picks up momentum internationally, New Zealand is still pondering how to deal with the divisive issue that John Key says has “no chance” of being introduced by the Government.
This week, Colorado in the United States became the sixth state to pass a law offering terminally ill patients a way to access life-ending, doctor-prescribed sleep medication so they can die peacefully.
Seymour, who has a member’s bill in the ballot to legalise assisted dying, said it’s “enormously disappointing” some Cabinet Ministers are “exercising a personal vote on something that two-thirds to three-quarters of New Zealanders want to happen”.
“I do think that’s undemocratic and that’s why I think change is inevitable – because you’ve got a little wrinkle in our political system that allows a small amount of people to veto a large amount of people – but those systems are never sustainable.”
On Tuesday Key said the Government would not propose a change to the law, regardless of the conclusions of an inquiry into euthanasia currently before the health select committee.
“There is no chance of it being a Government bill,” Key said.
While the Prime Minister personally supports euthanasia he thinks the best way of dealing with it is through the member’s bill process.
A big reason for that could be linked to the strong opposition to legalising euthanasia from several senior Cabinet members including Key’s deputy, Bill English, and Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee.
There is an easy way to solve this.
Next year is election year the government could put two referendum questions on the ballot. The legalisation of cannabis and the legalisation of euthanasia. Let the people decide. What is hard about that?
Having finger wagging left footers obstruct things isn’t the way to handle it.