It started with the Labour Party changing the law to stop Bernard Darnton suing them over their 2005 pledge card, continued with their Electoral Finance Act by which they attempted to squelch free speech and hog-tie their opponents, and now after many months of shouting in the end it (eventually) took take less than a day to excise that incursion into Mugabeism from our law books.
And even Labour voted for its removal, and new Labour leader Phil Goff had the grace to concede it was a mistake.
Unfortunately, reports do not record what Helen Clark’s face looked like when she was required to file into the lobbies to vote against the mechanism by which she hoped to achieve a permanent Premiership.
Honourable mentions in the battle to exterminate this affront to democracy:
- Bernard Darnton *
- David Farrar, Cameron Slater and their Free Speech Coalition. *
- John Boscawen, who organised protests around the country that attracted thousands of affronted New Zealanders.
- The NZ Herald, who front footed the theme of Democracy Under Attack, and showed there is a backbone thereafter all.
- The National Party (yes, the National Party), who with the exception of one clause have kept their election promise to remove this travesty from the law books. Since this will probably be their only move in the direction of freedom this term (notice that it’s only a temporary restitution of previous law before the reinstitution of something else before the next election, let's take the opportunity to celebrate.
* That these two protest websites are now covered in cobwebs is proof enough of the measure of their success.