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Whatever happened to conscience votes?

Monday, 13th October 2008

Whatever happened to conscience votes?

Kiwi Party co-founder and MP Gordon Copeland today released an open letter which he has forwarded to Prime Minister Helen Clark on the question of conscience votes.

"An increasing number of New Zealanders have raised this issue with me," said Mr Copeland.

"They have watched with dismay the passage of Labour's social engineering agenda (Prostitution Reform, "no-smacking for correction", opposition to the Marriage Bill, and Civil Unions) against the wishes of a majority of New Zealanders and without a clear electoral mandate."

"During the debate on Prostitution Reform, the media picked up on the Prime Minister's lobbying of her MPs (and even John Key) in support of the Bill. Likewise, they noted that if the "no-smacking for correction" Bill had proceeded on the basis of a conscience vote, then some 14 or so of her caucus members would have voted in the "Noes" lobby."

"The primacy of an individual and their conscience has a long parliamentary history which we need to defend and maintain."


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