Friday, 13 October 2006

Carmen case power abuse still on the books

Carmen's recent re-visit to Parliament -- a 'return to the scene of the crime' so to speak -- caused blogger Idiot/Savant to reflect that the 'crime' of "bringing Parliament into disrepute" for which she was famously hauled before Parliament's Privileges Committee all those years ago is still on the books. Hauling her in, notes I/S, "was an outrageous abuse of power, akin to a prosecution for lese majeste - and the scary thing is that there is absolutely nothing stopping it from happening again."

He's right you know. As he says,
the "right" to police public opinion of politicians is neither necessary or desirable. While the era of such abuses seems to have passed (OTOH, they forced TV3 to apologise for showing footage of the Minister of Forty Winks), the power should be removed permanently, just to be on the safe side.
It should be. Only recently we were caught thinking that that the era of prosecutions for sedition was over. How wrong that proved to be. To paraphrase what I said when Tim Selwyn was convicted for the 'crime' of sedition, "to have 'crimes' such as this on the books is chilling for free speech. If political commentators aren't bringing this Parliament into disrepute, then they're just not doing their job."

LINK: The problem of privilege - No Right Turn (Idiot/Savant)
Sedition verdict gives new meaning to 'Helengrad' - Not PC (June, 2006)

RELATED: Free speech, Politics-NZ

1 comment:

  1. Way I see it, the only people who should be eligable for bringing disrespect to parliament are parliamentarians.


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