Posts Tagged ‘Parliament’

Test of Democracy In Parliament Today

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008


27 August 2008

Test of Democracy In Parliament Today

Family First NZ says that there will be a test in Parliament today of whether NZ is a democracy that represents the voice of New Zealanders.

Independent MP Gordon Copeland is seeking the leave of the House for a debate on a motion that the House recommends to the Government that that anti-smacking referendum be held at the same time as the General Election. (Under section 22AA (5) of the Citizens Initiated Referenda Act 1993, a Referendum can be scheduled for polling day if the “House of Representatives passes a resolution requiring the indicative referendum to be held on the polling day for the general election.” A postal vote can also close on Election day.)

“That is an ordinary 50% majority vote in the House,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “We are therefore calling on all politicians to acknowledge the voice of 310,000 signatories to the petition and require that the Referendum be held at the most obvious and effective time of the upcoming election.”

In a recent online poll by TVNZ, 81% of the 4624 voters said that the referendum should be held at the same time as the election.

“The excuses presented in the Cabinet briefing paper simply don’t stack up,” says Mr McCoskrie. “The paper acknowledges that better organisation such as separate ballot boxes and colour coding would solve many of the problems experienced in 1999.”

“It is also an insult to voters to suggest that voters would be confused by an extra question in the ballot box. Voters have been able to grasp the far more difficult MMP voting process,”

Family First NZ is also disappointed that the Deputy Prime Minister Dr Michael Cullen yesterday refused to allow acknowledgement of the huge effort put in by organisers of the two petitions on this issue which obtained more than 600,000 signatures. (The second petition fell just short of the required numbers).

“Democracy is defined as being where the people have a voice through their elected representatives. Today will be a test of whether we do live in a democracy,” says Mr McCoskrie.


For More Information and Media Interviews, contact Family First:

Bob McCoskrie JP – National Director

Tel. 09 261 2426 | Mob. 027 55 555 42

Why a smacking ban must be slapped down

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

A great article from Wales:

Why a smacking ban must be slapped down

I’M TOLD there are moves in Parliament to bring in a Bill to outlaw smacking. If they succeed, I will again oppose it, which seems odd when I abhor smacking and long for a world in which every child is free from fear.

The reason for my objection is “mission-creep”, that insidious disease which overtakes too many pieces of legislation that at first seem sensible. In other words, give an idiot a law a sane man or woman would use sensibly and the idiot will abuse it.

Mission-creep has overtaken terrorism laws so that they are now used against ordinary citizens. Latest figures reveal that councils across Wales and England launched more than 10,000 spying missions last year to investigate possible petty offences.

Rules to curb paedophile activity have led to inexcusable situations like a mother from Aberfan being banned from riding in a taxi with her disabled child until she has a criminal record check.

If a smacking ban succeeds, forget assurances that it will be used with common sense. Before long some good mum or dad will be hauled into court because, in a moment of panic, they tapped little Johnny’s legs for running into the road. The case will probably be thrown out when the court sees the whole picture, but not before that family has been traumatised.

We already have laws to prevent the abuse of children – laws which are not used often enough in my opinion – but my fear of mission-creep if there is a total ban on smacking is very real.

Anti-smacking referendum timing (2)

Thursday, June 26th, 2008


Speaking 2008 So the PM says she will get the Governor General to order that a postal poll be held next year.

Parliament can stymie that scheme too. Section 22AB allows a majority vote in Parliament to require that the last day of postal voting be the date of the general election. The words are clear:

“(6) [If there has been an order to conduct a postal poll, and ] —

  • (a) a general election must be held on a date that is within 12 months after the date on which the indicative referendum petition is presented to the House of Representatives (because of section 17 of the Constitution Act 1986); and

  • (b) the House of Representatives passes a resolution requiring the voting period to close on the polling day for the general election.

(7) In the circumstances described in subsection (6), the date on which the voting period closes is polling day”

To have a postal referendum poll close on election day would be almost as good as holding it with the general election, in terms of reminding people of her arrogant interference in ordinary lives and decisions. Only downside would be the $millions wasted on the postal poll, instead of combining it.

John Armstrong’s piece in this morning’s Herald pointed out that the whole 1984 snap election was organised in 4 weeks.

Clark’s reasons……A simple “it will be separate from the election because $10m and the criticism are still less to me than having my short-memory voters being reminded of my contempt for their values” would scarcely gain as much attention (and now ridicule).

CIR Petition to be presented today

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

CIR Petition to be presented on steps of Parliament at 12.30pm today