Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Electoral Integrity Bill Unnecessary, Ineffective

MEDIA STATEMENT
For Immediate Release

Rt Hon Simon Upton

22nd December 1999

ELECTORAL INTEGRITY BILL UNNECESSARY AND INEFFECTIVE

The Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Bill introduced into Parliament by the Government today bears all the hallmarks of a populist measure that makes no constitutional sense according to senior Opposition spokesperson, Simon Upton.

"The Bill requires an MP who resigns from a party to vacate his or her seat. But the Bill only applies if the MP resigns. If they are ejected from their party, they can stay on in Parliament. Or if they decide to found a new party but not formally resign from their old one, they are also safe.

"The result is that the measure would only apply to an MP who had the integrity to be up-front and formally resign.

"That is what Mr Anderton did during the term of the last Labour Government. He is now party to a measure that would deny others that course - unless they could provoke their old party to expel them or not be straightforward about their actions.

"In trying to avoid a draconian measure that placed the power of ejection in the hands of party bosses, the new Government has produced an unworkable and unenforceable measure."

Mr Upton said that there was no need for the measure: voters were well able to pass judgment on the actions and motives of MPs who decided to change parties. The two original Green MPs and Mr Anderton were living proof of that - just as the ex NZ First MPs and Alamein Kopu were politically moribund proof of the same point.

He also questioned the priority accorded this measure in contrast to the result of the referendum to reduce the number of MPs to 100.

"It has to be asked why Labour would promote this Bill when a much clearer mandate to reduce the number of MPs will be swept under the carpet as part of a select committee's review of MMP. This should be every bit as much a part of the review. To deal with it separately is a blatantly populist move."

Mr Upton said that the events of the last three years had more to do with the inevitable tensions of adjusting to MMP than anything else. People and parties had been elected who were quite unprepared for the environment in which they found themselves. The fracturing of NZ First and the Alliance had probably been inevitable, but there was no evidence to suggest that there would be a repetition of those events.

"The fact is that, on relatively rare occasions, parties will splinter and re-group. That is part of the life of a mature democracy. No persuasive reason has been advanced to frustrate that - particularly with a measure that can in any case be easily avoided."

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Crowdsale And Crowdfunding Campaign: Help Create The Future Of Independent News

Two weeks to go! The Scoop 3.0 plan aims to create NZ’s first community-owned, distributed news and media intelligence ecosystem in 2019. We believe this ScoopPro media monetisation approach can be scaled and spread globally to support local and independent news efforts in regional New Zealand and around the world.

Scoop is an ecosystem, it would not exist without those who contribute to it, read it and rely on it for professional media purposes. Generous past support from this ecosystem has enabled us to come this far in developing our business model. Support our PledgeMe Campaign>>

 

14/11: Two Years’ Progress Since The Kaikoura Earthquake

Mayor John Leggett said it was a day for reflection, but also a time to recognise the work by many people to support progress towards recovery made across Marlborough since November 2016. More>>

ALSO:

Pike River: Mine Drift Re-Entry Plan To Proceed

“I’ve decided the Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau Mā Iwa - Pike River Recovery Agency, recommended course of action to enter the drift, using the existing access tunnel, is by far the safest option,” said Andrew Little. More>>

ALSO:

Appointments: New High Commissioner To Australia Announced

“Dame Annette King needs no introduction given her long running career as a parliamentarian where she has previously held a number senior Cabinet portfolios, including Justice, Police and Health. She also was Parliament’s longest serving female MP with 30 years’ service,” said Mr Peters. More>>

ALSO:

Two Years Since Kaikoura: Silvia Cartwright To Lead Inquiry Into EQC

“The inquiry will be the first of its kind under the Public Inquiries Act 2013 and will have all the powers of a Royal Commission, be independent of Government and make its report directly to the Governor-General. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Royal Commission Into Child Abuse

Obviously, it is good news that the coalition government has broadened the scope of its Royal Commission into the abuse of children, beyond its previous focus on children in state care. More>>

ALSO:

Cases Delayed: Court Staff Refuse To Handle Sentencing Papers

Dozens of court cases have reportedly been delayed, as court staff escalate industrial action at two Auckland courts by enforcing a ban on handling sentencing papers. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Primary Teachers Rolling Strikes

RNZ Report: More than 100,000 primary school students in Auckland will be home from school today as teachers and principals walk off the job for the second time this year. It's the start of a week of rolling one-day strikes around the country, after the collapse of contract negotiations last Thursday. More>>

ALSO:

"Process Was Sound": Inquiry Into Haumaha Appointment Released

The Inquiry’s purpose was to examine, identify, and report on the adequacy of the process that led to the appointment. It found the process was sound and no available relevant information was omitted. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels