Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Alliance won’t accept defector’s proxy vote

The Alliance will not accept a proxy vote from Frank Grover, Alliance leader Jim Anderton said today.

Mr Grover announced last Friday that he would break his pledge to remain an Alliance MP during this parliamentary term and seek recognition in parliament on behalf of the Christian Heritage Party, which is registered with the Electoral Commission as the Christian-Heritage-Graham-Capill-Leader Party.

“The Christian-Heritage-Graham-Capill-Leader Party has no mandate to be in parliament voting for anything and the Alliance is not going to exercise parliamentary votes on behalf of it,” Jim Anderton said.

“Mr Grover hoped that if the Alliance exercised his proxy vote it would seem as though he was still voting as an Alliance MP. He insisted on unspecified conditions in exchange for his proxy, which would have meant that his promise to give his proxy to the Alliance was worth about as much as his promise to remain an Alliance MP.”

The Alliance is preparing its own draft anti-defection legislation so that MPs who leave their parties have to resign from parliament.

“It is essential to change the law to end the grotesque and unscrupulous head-hunting of MPs,” Jim Anderton said.

“It is perfectly plain that the Christian-Heritage-Graham-Capill-Leader party only wants to claim Frank Grover as an MP so that it can get its hands on extra public broadcasting funding, to which it believes it would be entitled if it had a sitting MP.

“They are no better than the money-changers in the temple, and they should be treated with the same contempt as were the money-changers.

“Only two months ago Mr Grover came to a very firm agreement with the Alliance that would enable him to continue as an Alliance MP until the next election but have increasing autonomy in both parliamentary and campaigning matters. For example, he was free to vote how he wanted on the Sale of Liquor Act, since the Alliance did not have a policy at the last election on lowering the drinking age. Mr Grover’s outlandish claim that this issue was behind his decision to leave is false.

“On 7 April 1999 Mr Grover finalised arrangements until the election which firmly stressed his intention to remain as an Alliance MP. These arrangements were made at his request and he promised personally to uphold them as a matter of honour. Yet last Friday the Christian-Heritage-Graham-Capill-Leader Party disclosed that it had been holding discussions with him for two months. So almost immediately after promising to stay, Mr Grover set out to break his word. Mr Grover is a lawyer and a former magistrate in Hong Kong so he should know something about honouring agreements.

“The day before Mr Grover’s press conference, Mr Capill came to see me in my office without giving me any indication that he was there to talk about Mr Grover. At the end of the meeting he suddenly tried to raise the issue of Frank Grover’s status. I refused to discuss an Alliance MP without that MP being there. The next day, Mr Capill and Mr Grover both tried to give the impression that they wanted to negotiate. In fact, by the time Mr Capill made an appointment to see me, Mr Grover had already contacted the Speaker and informed him of his decision to leave the Alliance.

“The Christian-Heritage-Graham-Capill-Leader party tried to buy the silence of the Alliance - they said they would make available Mr Grover’s share of Parliamentary funding if we promised not to criticise him for switching parties - something, of course, that they had no power to do.”

Jim Anderton said Frank Grover’s behaviour emphasised the need for a law to require defecting MPs to leave parliament. The Alliance is supporting a Labour Bill on the topic, but it has prepared its own legislation to deal with specific issues arising from its own experience.

“Clearly the word of an MP is no longer enough. Honour cannot be relied on. Trust can no longer be taken for granted. It must be required by law.

“Frank Grover wasn’t elected because of his personal charisma. He was elected to sit in parliament from a dedicated vote for the Alliance list and policy manifesto.

“Both Mr Grover and his new party say that it’s impossible for him to be a member of the Alliance and campaign for the money-changers-in-the-temple party. If he can no longer be an Alliance MP then he has pledged himself on his word of honour to leave parliament. He should do so immediately and then he would be perfectly free to campaign for his new party.

“What we are seeing is the result of the National Party’s deliberate manipulation of Parliamentary Service Commission rules, so that individual MPs would be targeted to betray the voters who put them into parliament in the first place. It’s a cynical perversion of democracy,” Jim Anderton said.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news