"Now, lets rush in the Civil Union Bill" - Clark
No, she didn’t say that, but that’s what our Prime Minister is thinking now. Yep, the Government is going headstrong to pass all the bills it can before Christmas, and hot on the list is the Civil Union bill. It's hip to be queer if you're in Labour.
The second reading of the bill will be held on December 2, and it will be passed into law the following week. The select committee report wasn’t even due until December 23 but the Government has sought the permission of the Greens to push it through under urgency. The Greens don`t even favour civil unions - it favours gay marriage.
This will be no different to the process of the Foreshore and Seabed bill. The Government will ram through the bill, perhaps with a SOP or two nutted out between the Greens and the Government. John Tamihere is not bound by cabinet collective responsibility, so he will probably speak up against the bill, vote against the second reading and for the third reading - an then shut up about the while thing. It’s the sort of thing that goes on in the Labour Party these days. The opposition will not get to read the bill before they discuss it - if they decide to take their tea breaks, that is.
It is a fact that many, if not all of those who did not present oral submissions to the select committee did not even get their submissions read or considered by the committee. This is a blatant disregard for democracy. Someone tell me what is the point of submitting to a select committee if you are unable to give an oral presentation. You may as well address the letter to the select committee and post it to yourself. Submissions are being ignored by select committees because this Government is hell-bent on passing unpopular laws over an unwilling public, who don’t even have a chance to be heard on the matter. If that's not elitist I don’t know what is.
Overseas readers take note, this is the sort of roughshod rubbish that is taken place in our clean green beautiful country.
I oppose the Civil Union Bill, as I did the Foreshore and Seabed bill. But even if this was the Prostitution Law Reform Bill that was being pushed in this way, I would also oppose the process and the rush, done just so MPs can get a decent Christmas break while the rest of us minnows work through.
I fear that it is time for bloggers with a conscience to get together in force on their blogs, letters to the editors and so forth next year and remind everyone of the roughshod disregard for democracy, MMP, and the select committee process. Not to mention breaching standing orders and UN treaties.It is not just bloggers on the right that are appalled at this government, those on the left are also, particularly with regards to the treatment of Ahmed Zaoui.
We could also regularly point out Nationals history with regard to economic policy. What a pity we can't have a Labour Government looking after economic policy and a National Government covering social and public policy - simultaneously.