How to negate the waka jumping bill

In the midst of an explanation about the pleasures of rat-swallowing during the third reading of the Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Bill , James Shaw made an interesting observation.  I am presuming that Shaw’s interpretation of the clause in question is correct. Quote.

[…] One of the things that has been overlooked in much of the debate is that there is a clause in this bill [55D (d)] that says that the party constitutions must be complied with; otherwise, it’s invalid. Now, if you don’t like this—if you do not want your party to exercise or have the ability to exercise the provisions in this bill—you can include a clause in your party constitution barring you from doing so.

Marama Davidson and I have written to the Green Party executive and asked them to consider, as part of the ongoing constitutional review, whether or not they should include that clause barring us from using that. End of quote.

It will be interesting to see the result of that.

Shaw went on to lay down a challenge to the National Party: Quote.

And so I want to encourage Dr Nick Smith to ask his party leader, Simon Bridges, to write to the National Party executive and ask them to include a clause in the National Party constitution barring Simon Bridges or any other leader of the National Party from using the provisions in this bill, because they have the opportunity.

But I note that the leader of the National Party has already said that he may use the provisions in this bill if it comes to pass—even though it is an affront to democracy, in the words of his own members. Despite railing against the provisions in this bill for the months that it has been through Parliament, through the hours of debate that it has had, the leader of the National Party cannot guarantee that he would not use the provisions in this bill against his own members. That is utterly extraordinary. So I want to encourage the National Party, if they are so worried about this, that they change their constitution so that their own leadership cannot use the provisions in this bill.[…] End of quote.

So it is now money-where-your-mouth is time.  Or, to mix the metaphors it is time to see if National are “all mouth and no trousers.”

Will the Greens show some integrity, stick to their principles and rewrite their constitution?

Will National change their constitution to ensure that this ‘Waka Jumping’ amendment to the Electoral Act can never be used by their party?

Judging by the bluster in Simon Bridges’ press release, I would guess not. Quote.

A National Government would repeal the undemocratic waka jumping legislation which was passed today, National Party Leader Simon Bridges says.

“The Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Bill, or waka jumping legislation, is an affront to democracy, it stops individual MPs standing up for the voters who elected them. It would more accurately be called the ‘Winston Peters Self Preservation Bill’ as it was his bottom line for entry into the Coalition.

“This Bill is also bad for New Zealand’s international reputation, with international watchers confirming it would likely affect our reputation as one of the world’s most transparent and democratic countries.

“The Bill has been condemned by 20 legal and political academics, eight professors from the Universities of Auckland, AUT, Victoria, Canterbury and Otago released a submission opposing the law change and attesting to the breach of the Bill of Rights.

“The Green Party has had to compromise its principles and been called out by its own supporters for it, Labour’s Māori caucus has failed to stand up for what’s right and Mr Peters has again shown who’s really in charge.

“It’s a sad day for New Zealanders, and a sad day for democracy. National would overturn Mr Peter’s anti-democratic Bill.” End of quote.


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In solidarity with the those in the world’s most despised demographic, WH has decided to ‘come out’ as an old white male. WH enjoys exercising the white-male privilege that Whaleoil provides for him by writing the occasional post challenging climate change consensus; looking at random tech issues that tweak his interest, as a bit of a tech nerd; or generally poking the borax at anyone in public life who goes on record revealing their stupidity. WH never excelled on the sports field because his coaches never allowed him to play in his preferred position on the right-wing. WH also enjoys his MG.

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