Send it to select committee, same with the weed bill

Duncan Garner says the euthanasia bill should go to select committee:

Politicians really didn’t want ACT leader David Seymour’s voluntary euthanasia bill drawn from the ballot this week.

Then they got the uncomfortable memo; Dear MP, get off your backside (and off the fence) and debate one of the most sensitive and divisive issues a society can face.

In other words: brace yourselves, this just got deadly serious.

MPs were quite happy for the ‘End of Life Choice Bill’ to gather another year of dust after it was thrown into the parliamentary mix back in 2015.

And it’s languished there ever since – to the delight of many MPs. It’s easier that way. That was until this week.

Their collective smiles have turned to grimaces. Now all our MPs face the stark reality of having at least one highly publicised and scrutinised vote on the issue before the election.

This will put some non-committed MPs under serious public pressure.

It’s easy for Prime Minister Bill English – a conservative Catholic: He opposes euthanasia. And that’s his right. But others are genuinely undecided.

The most interesting political debates and votes in our Parliament are usually around controversial social issues, when MPs are allowed to vote according to their conscience rather than along party lines.

So I urge at least 61 of our MPs to send this bill to a select committee for further investigation and consideration. That’s the majority it needs.

I agree 100%, send it to the select committee and call for public submissions. That is due process. That is what should happen.

The same goes for Julie Ann Genter’s bill on medicinal cannabis.

Good on David Seymour for sticking it through. Labour failed us, Maryan Street failed us, Iain Lees-Galloway failed us, but Seymour stuck at it.

Let’s hope MPs have some gumption to deal with some tough stuff.



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