recall

What a good idea, we need this here

The Poms are going to get recall legislation but it is causing controversy, not because voters would be able to give an MP the arse-card but because the legislation is too weak.

Government plans to allow voters to sack their MPs were today dismissed as ‘worse than meaningless’.

The long-awaited bill to allow MPs to be ‘recalled’ by constituents was announced in the Queen’s Speech.

It will give constituents the opportunity to sign a petition demanding a by-election if an MP is jailed – or if the House of Commons ‘resolves that an MP should face a recall petition’.

But the proposals were slammed by Tory backbencher Zac Goldsmith, who said MPs should not have a role in deciding whether or not they should face a petition to be sacked.

He said: ‘Recall is about empowering people to hold their MPs to account at all times, that’s all it is.

‘It’s a very simple mechanism that happens all over the world. What this bill will do is that it gives that power to a committee of parliamentarians, of MPs – the same committee, by the way, that got into trouble over Maria Miller.’    Read more »

Team Whaleoil are in big trouble… potentially

I wonder where this will go over the next few months?  A recall perhaps?

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Don’t mess with the NRA, two anti-gun senators give the arse in recall elections

Yesterday I blogged about the recall election in Colorado forced on two anti-gun state senators. The results are in and the NRA has ensured they’ve been given the arse card.

Colorado Senate President John Morse (D) and state Sen. Angela Giron (D) were both thrown out of office in recall elections on Tuesday over their votes in support of stricter gun control measures.

In late developments in Colorado, Morse conceded the election and the Associated Press called Giron’s defeat.

After the results for Morse came in, the National Rifle Association, which supported the recalls and spent heavily in the recalls, quickly released a statement celebrating its victory.  Read more »

Let’s have recall

New proposals in the UK are suggesting the introduction of recall:

MPs guilty of serious wrong-doing could lose their seats if 10 per cent of voters in their constituencies sign a petition to “recall” them under new proposals.

However people will not be able to decide to order a recall petition themselves, prompting Labour to say the powers have been watered down.

Under the plans, a recall petition could be triggered by a vote in the House of Commons or by an MP being sentenced to prison for 12 months or less.

The proposals tighten up the current rules, which allow MPs to keep their seats unless they are jailed for more than a year.

If 10 per cent of eligible constituents – up to 7,500 people – vote for a recall, the MP’s seat will be vacated and a by-election held.

The ousted MP would be free to seek re-election in the poll, whether under a party banner or as an independent.

Mr Harper said: “This is an important part of the Government’s programme of measures designed to help restore trust in our political system.

“If an MP has been found to have engaged in serious wrongdoing, they should not be able to retain their seat with impunity until the next general election.

“Our proposals would allow constituents to decide whether or not an MP should retain their seat.”

This should extend to every elected position from local body to parliament. Of course we would need to explore ways of doing so under our silly MMP system with regard to recalling List MPs.

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Clear thinking on Len's incompetence

Dr Michael Bassett is one of New Zealand’s clear thinkers, and yesterday he had something to say about the competence, or in this instance the lack of competence of the Night-Mayor Len Brown.

This morning’s report that the new Auckland Council yesterday pushed through a budget of $3.43 million to fund an unelected Maori Statutory Board for Auckland is a disgrace. Len Brown and his Council should hang their heads in shame. So, too, should Rodney Hide and John Key who let it happen, despite earlier protestations that there would not be separate racial representation on the Auckland Council. The new council’s allocation of ratepayers’ money to unelected people to play games with, “engaging and reporting to the Maori Community”, “researching” the well-being of Maori when 101 other publicly-funded agencies are doing the same, and with nearly $1 million allocated for “staff costs” that aren’t explained, brings shame on every councillor who was party to the rushed decision. The Auckland Transition Authority estimated that the costs of a Maori statutory committee would be $400,000. How has this grown to $3.43 million? Rodney Hide and John Key must immediately turn their minds to legislating a satisfactory arrangement for Maori advisory services to the new council. A form of parallel government by Maori who are the fourth largest ethnic group in the Auckland area, with an overwhelming number of them hailing from outside of the council’s area, and therefore unable to claim tangata whenua status, cannot be tolerated by sane people. Even if the majority of them were tangata whenua, no credible case can be made for what is occurring.

This funding allocation is nothing more than a Maori tax on every ratepayer. Arguably Len Brown has handed over teh city to a bunch of, now well paid, but unelected Maori elite, who number perhaps less than 20.

What this National-led government seems to be pushing is separatism within a country that has always thrown its small but significant strength in world forums against any form of apartheid. Tens of thousands of New Zealanders marched in the streets 30 years ago against apartheid and the visit to New Zealand of a racially selected Springbok team. Today many of those same marchers must be cringing in corners as Len Brown, who was elected by a majority of them, marches onwards toward parallel forms of local government – one elected, and the other seemingly with a right to mail invoices for ratepayers’ money without any proper public scrutiny. This process must be stopped in its tracks. If Len Brown lacks the commonsense to understand that he has gone too far, then his council must re-think the issue. Failing that, the responsibility lies with central government. Three days after we celebrated the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi that guaranteed Maori “the same rights and duties of citizenship” as the rest of us, we must pull back from this new arrangement being implemented by the Auckland Council. It clearly bestows special privileges on Maori and goes way beyond any reasonable interpretation of any Treaty obligations. It is also at odds with New Zealand’s record in international forums.

A number of issues and challenges spring to mind. Michael Bassett talks of one, that of separatism. Instead of New Zealand coming together under one government like the Treaty was meant to deliver, modern treaty-ism is leading, in fact, to separatism. The splitting of the nation. Moreover it is also leading to the splitting of Maori between the urban have nots and Maori-tocracy elite whose pockets are not only very deep when it comes to themselves, but very well lined thanks to the largesse of the long suffering taxpayer, and now ratepayers.

For me the biggest issue is that currently in NZ law, to my understanding anyway, there is simply no way to remove wayward politicians who are hell bent on doing what ever they like, except at the ballot box and then only every three years. Three years is a long, long time for changes that Len Brown is forcing through to become bedded in and permanent and then und-doing them becomes almost impossible.

It seems that all of Labour’s and Phil Twyford’s fears of ACT hijacking the city have come true, except it isn’t Act or Rodney Hide hijacking the city, it is Len Brown and his Maori backers using poorly drafted legislation to capture a city. Phil Twyford and Labour backed Len Brown and now they are aghast at what he has done to destroy democracy in Auckland City. Well they emboldened the idiot. They built him up so that he believes his own hype. They need to own the problem just as much as the government does. I would like to see Labour support the addition of recall legislation into our laws. Control must be in the hands of the people. Phil Twyford thinks so: ORIGIN Greek demokratia, from demos ‘the people’ & -kratia ‘power, rule’. Nothing gives power to the people like a simple mechanism like recall. Easy to implement, swift to deliver.

John Key can deliver too. When they have to pass urgent legislation to fix up the bungles they may as well add in recall provisions, it isn’t as though it is radical either because under current local body legislation you can run a petition to force a referendum, the mechanisms are already there, they just need tweaking to support recall. If they are going to amend legisaltion to fix the hijacking of Auckland City by the Maori-tocracy then fix the gaping hole that prevents us from acting on our voters remorse.