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Proxy Voting A Scandal - Prebble

The decision of the Labour party to cast Alliance renegade Frank Grover's Parliamentary proxy for him shows how corrupt the New Zealand Parliamentary voting system has become, says ACT Leader Richard Prebble.

"The Labour party does not agree with many of the fundamental principles of the Christian Heritage party. Helen Clark has made no secret of her strong opposition to the Christian Heritage party's views on the family. It's political expediency of the worst sort to agree to hold and exercise Frank Grover's vote, which Labour is doing in the hope that his vote might bring down the government.

"Most New Zealanders will be very surprised to learn that a government could fall from the votes of MPs who aren't even in Parliament. I know of no Parliament in the world that allows proxy voting. In Westminster, Canberra, and in Washington, MPs and congressmen must be present in order to vote.

"The ACT Party has been a lone voice in standing against this cosy Parliamentary club that allows MPs to go fishing having given their proxy vote to one of the whips. Labour criticises Alamein Kopu but then not only defends the system that enables her to give her proxy vote to National, but is now going even further and is exercising the vote of an MP who they oppose and despise

"ACT will continue to campaign for a restoration of some integrity to the voting system. It is simply wrong that MPs can say that they didn't even know what they were voting for.

"ACT says that we should return to a voting system where every MP must exercise their vote in Parliament personally and be held personally accountable for it," Mr Prebble said.

ENDS

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