Concerns Over Electoral Integrity Bill
Concerns Over Electoral Integrity Bill Highlight Labour Party Divisions - Peters
The Rt Hon Winston Peters MP, Leader of New Zealand First, today said that Dover Samuels and John Tamihere’s concerns over changes to the Electoral Integrity Amendment Bill have more to do with divisions within the Labour Caucus than they do with upholding democracy.
“As much as New Zealanders want to prevent undemocratic, unprincipled party hopping from ever happening again they do not want legislation that puts party leaders in the position of being able to expel members without the backing of two thirds of the Caucus.
“The motivation behind our amendments is to ensure we have a representative and democratic Parliament with politicians remaining true to the policies and platforms that saw them elected in the first place.
“Whilst I concur with Mr Samuel’s view that the Electorate must come first a constituency member always has the opportunity to go back to the people in a by-election for public endorsement which I did in Tauranga in 1993,” said Mr Peters
Mr Peters said that this issue was too important to New Zealanders throughout the country to be used as a political football within the Labour Caucus.
“At the last election New Zealanders overwhelmingly sent the message that party hopping would not be tolerated and any MP who overlooks that is ignoring the public will. When the public vote under MMP they give a proportion of the vote to parties and that proportionality should be honoured for the duration of the parliamentary term,” said Mr Peters.