Friday, 27 July 2007

So much for 'Values not Politics'

Can someone explain something to me. Labour's bill to effectively bar opponents of the government from publishing dissent at any time during election year was passed in parliament on its first reading last night to the rapturous applause of the usual suspects, and the opposition of National who says that Labour is trying to silence their critics.

And so they are.

So can someone explain to me why the ACT Party abstained on the vote? Is freedom of speech not something the ACT Party values? Is speech rationing something it does value? Or is logrolling and dealmaking now more important in the ACT Party rooms than opposition to a serious rort in NZ's electoral system.

I think we should be told.


  1. The ACT party is doing exactly what Key and the Nats are doing--"moving towards the centre" in a desperate bid for votes.
    Moving towards the centre=throwing principles overboard.

  2. Based on previous form my guess is that they weren't there.

  3. Lyndon is probably right. And it's not about being lazy or neglectful. It's about a 2 MP party setting priorities. How much time and energy should they expend on speaking to and voting on a bill when their vote will make not a jot of difference. It passed 65 to 54.

    ACT is not moving to the centre. It's showing that, like Libz, it is socially and economically liberal. There will be times it can support the left and times it can support the right.

  4. Richard McGrath27 Jul 2007, 14:53:00

    PC has a point though Lindsay. I thought ACT would have opposed any threat to free speech, especially one this blatant. Yes, a party can support the left sometimes and other times the right - as Libz do - but not at the price of diluting the principles on which its policies are based.

  5. Does anyone remember those cartoons the Nats used in the 1970s? The best one showed a Labour Party MP stealing away with an election box. The implication was that the Labour Party would take away everyone's vote. It was risable at the time. Not so much now. But then again Nats were hardly the ones to speak given what they passed into law over the next few years...

    When oh when can we have a revolutuion and hang all these critters with meat-hooks?


  6. Richard, I was responding to the two previous comments. There are two issues there. Yes ACT opposes threats to free speech. They led the opposition to the sedition

    "Act's deputy leader Heather Roy says there have been three prosecutions for sedition in the past two years, all of which were unnecessary. She says New Zealand needs to safeguard the very precious commodity of democracy.

    The parties want Labour and National to back their call."

    I am simply guessing they weren't in the house for last nights vote and I explained why. Their lack of vote was not support for Labour who already had the numbers.

  7. I emailed Rodney Hide asking about his party's non-vote, he replied by saying Heather Roy was at a funeral, and he was filming a story for Close Up ahead of his book release.

    If I was Rodney I'd be posting a press release pretty quickly expressing opposition to the bill. I bet a high proportion of his voters might not like what Labour is trying to do here, and are pissed off at Act for appearing indifferent.


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