Greens sell out their principles…such as they were anyway

The Greens have sold out their principles and they sold out real cheap too:

The Green Party is breaking its long-standing opposition to waka jumping legislation after getting several concessions from Justice Minister Andrew Little.

The Labour-led Government introduced the Election (Integrity) Amendment Bill to Parliament last week, part of a promise made by Labour to NZ First during coalition negotiations.

Green Party leader James Shaw said Little worked with the party to get the legislation to a point that the Greens were comfortable voting for it and ensuring it goes to select committee.

“He was really constructive and sat down and said what are your concerns with the design of that bill, we went through them and it went through three or four different modifications – all of which he put into the bill,” Shaw said.

Those concessions include reinstating a provision that means 75 per cent of caucus members have to agree with a party leader’s decision to expel an MP from caucus.

However, National’s Justice spokeswoman Amy Adams says a new waka jumping bill will make MPs more accountable to their leaders than to voters.

This bill should only apply to List MPs, not to electorate MPs who were directly elected by their constituents.

Waka-jumping bills penalise or disallow candidates who were voted in as a representative of one party “jumping” between parties.

The bill under consideration allows MPs or their leaders to write to the speaker explaining that an MP is leaving a party.

If the MP is a list MP they would be forced to resign from Parliament and replaced by the next person on the list. If the MP was a local MP a byelection would be held in which the MP could stand for a different party.

Fair enough for List MPs, they are scum anyway, and beholden to the party. It is wrong to force a byelection for electorate MPs simply because they’ve had a run in with their leader.

“Last week the Coalition introduced what is colloquially known as ‘Waka Jumping’ legislation. It might be more accurately called the ‘Winston Peters Self Preservation Bill’ as it was clearly his bottom line for entry into the Coalition,” Adams said.

National will oppose the bill.

“The Bill would effectively prevent individual Members of Parliament from speaking out on points of principle and policy, and ensuring the voices of their communities are heard. Worse still, it would enable party leaders to advise the Speaker that a Caucus member isn’t acting as the leader would want and then move to force that member out of Parliament.”

“This makes individual MPs more answerable to their party leader than to the voters that elected them. Allowing party leaders to overrule the wishes of voters is fundamentally wrong.”

Absolutely.

Adams said the bill simply aimed to keep factions within the coalition parties from speaking out about Government policy.

In particular she said NZ First were “swallowing a lot of dead rats” their voters don’t support.

“Overriding democracy to entrench your own political position is an abuse of power of the worst kind.”

 

We all know Winston can be bought, now we know the formerly, supposedly, highly principled Greens can be bought for even less.

 

-Fairfax


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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.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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