Greatly enjoyed the celebration party for the Civil Unions Bill, sorry Act. I think I drank even more than at the National Caucus bash the night before!
As I entered Parliament again I discovered Parliamentary Security read my blog, as they were keen to discuss exactly how I borrowed a swipe card to show someone around yesterday, and whose card it was. I reassured them that I did not do anything inappropriate with it, and would never misbehave after eight years working there.
Then entering the Grand Hall found my name wasn’t on the “list” but luckily Ramon (Tim Barnett’s partner) recognised me and got me through.
There were 150+ people there and it was just so positive and happy. As some speakers remarked this was not about abstracts but about real people in real relationships, and one can not underestimate how important today was to so many people. They were hugging, kissing, dancing and just celbrating how glad they are to be in a liberal tolerant country like NZ.
I won’t try and summarise all the speeches as there were too many. Fran Wilde was MC for the night and we had speeches from David Benson Pope, the two organisers of the campaign (can”t recall names), Clem Simich, Jonathan Hunt, Moana Mackey, Matt Robson, Chris Carter, Lianne Dalziel and Tim Barnett.
Clem got an absolutely huge round of support and gave a stunning speech on why he supported the CUB, what it means to families etc. I have never been more proud of Clem Simich than during his speech tonight, and if National win the next election he will be a superb Speaker. Matt Robson even offered to sign him up as a Progressive MP as they need to expand 🙂
I was also surprised, yet very pleased, when Clem mentioned Katherine Rich’s name and there was loud sustained applause. A lot of people appreciated how staunch she has been on this issue.
The biggest round of applause was for Tim Barnett (actually I think Tony his secretary may have got even more cheers!). Tim played a huge role in managing the numbers for the bill. I was very impressed when I met with him last week to discuss suitable MPs to lobby and twice during the meeting he had updates on moving MPs from one column to another, definites probables, possibles and no hopes etc. It was a nice example of how a professional political campaign should be run (I have done similiar for candidate selections).
If Peter Brown had 10% of the skills Tim has, the Euthanasia bill would have got past at least first reading.
As I said, it was a great celebration party. It was really nice being a very small part of helping something positive happen, rather than oppossing something negative.
Well I can’t see too many typos so I’ll post this now. Of course I am fairly pissed so I may have missed a few 🙂