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Split Voting Needs More Transparency

08 October 2004

Split Voting Needs More Transparency

New Zealand First deputy leader Peter Brown is calling for more transparency with regard to split voting on bills introduced to Parliament.

“It is becoming more common for political parties in Parliament to cast split votes when voting on bills or parts of bills. Under that system a party whip simply announces the number of votes their party cast for the legislation and the number cast against it.

Mr Brown said that in the recent committee stage debate on the Human Assisted Reproductive Technology Bill several parties were splitting their votes on different clauses but refused, when requested, to provide names of members who voted which way.

“This is totally unacceptable. The public and other parliamentarians are entitled to know which MPs support the bill being debated and which MPs oppose it.

Mr Brown’s request to the House on Wednesday that party whips be required to state who voted for bills and who voted against them when split party votes are cast was blocked.

“When it comes to legislation MPs are not entitled to hide behind a secret ballot,” Mr Brown said.

ENDS


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