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Govt to fake majority with blatant gerrymander

Government to fake majority with blatant gerrymander

The Green Party today accused the Government of attempting to blatantly gerrymander parliamentary voting to gain a "fake" majority.

Greens Co-Leader Rod Donald expressed grave concern with Michael Cullen's parliamentary motion, enabling Labour to cast two proxy votes for the Progressive Coalition Party - without a Progressive Coalition member needing to be in the house.

Under current standing orders the Progressive Coalition Party has one proxy vote, but this has to be cast by the other Progressive Coalition member.

"The Government intends to deliberately gerrymander parliament's voting rules to benefit themselves and their junior coalition partner," said Mr Donald. "There is no way Labour would do this for an opposition party.

"This is an outrageous assault on democracy. No other rules are made to favour one party in this way. This is an exclusive arrangement for the Progressive Coalition which doesn't have a shred of principle.

"Essentially this notice of motion will mean the Progressive Coalition members will never have to bother turning up to vote in the house again. Jim Anderton and Matt Robson should end this charade by merging with Labour.

"Anderton and Michael Cullen used to bang on about electoral integrity yet they now intend to blatantly undermine parliament's integrity"

Mr Donald said the motion would give the Progressive Coalition Party, with just two MPs, the same number of proxy votes as a party with 11 MPs.

"The Government hasn't even had the decency to raise this at the Standing Orders Committee, where rules are developed to ensure that all parties are treated fairly."

Mr Donald questioned the role of United Future leader Peter Dunne in supporting the motion.

"The Government will only succeed in faking its majority if 'principled' Peter Dunne is prepared to undermine the integrity of the House of Representatives by voting for this motion."

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