Democracy and select committees II
I've just noticed that No Right Turn, in a flurry of early morning posting, has accused me of moaning about the Government passing legislation I don't like, particularly legislation passed via a conscience vote.
Now that's not entirely true - take the Prostitution Law Reform Act for example. I actually supported that bill. So its not a matter of getting my own way as NRT suggests. Furthermore, it was the only bill I discussed on yesterday's blog item that was a conscience vote. It's not so much about passing legislation that I don't like, more than the fact that legislation is being passed that the majority of the public does not like - and I included the Prostitution Act and the Foreshore and Seabed legislation as two prime examples. I suppose I could also include legislation lowering the drinking age and the sentencing and parole legislation passed after a 97 percent referendum calling for tougher sentencing.
Finally, saying that 80 percent of Government bills gained broad support based on this release from Matt Robson is rubbish. Support from whom? From MPs that's whom. And broad support? Only one party with more than two MPs supported Labour in just over 20 percent of the bills in Matt Robson's list. (Progressives have just two MP's, although most people don’t actually seem too aware of this.) Hardly proves broad support from the general public. NRT will probably include the Foreshore and Seabed Legislation in that list if it passes into law.
Of course that bill has broad support too - broad support to ditch it. Democracy is "rule by the people" and it's time we had a lot more if it in this country, particularly on issues of contention.