Validating Legislation

October 17th, 2006 at 2:20 pm by David Farrar

It is quite obscene that in a democracy, the Government is about to ram a highly significant bill through Parliament, and as a citizen I can’t even find a copy online of the law about to be passed. Not that the MPs are in a much better position – they only got to see this morning the bill.

Ramming this bill, under urgency, through all three readings is an appalling thing to do. The public are being denied any say on this law, which I understand goes well beyond just validating the 2004/05 accounts.

This bill, depending on its wording, may make Labour immune from the Darnton v Clark lawsuit. It also stops any complaints or charges being laid against Heather Simpson, or even the Prime Minister, for breaches of the Public Finance Act.

Dean Knight raises a number of issues over both the need for the legislation, and especially the rushing it through Parliament under urgency.

The Government claims to be acting on Treasury advice, yet has not released this advice for people to verify, and by the time they do, the law will be changed.

The only bright spot today is that United Future has agreed to pay back their illegal spending. Well done. Only NZ First to go.

No tag for this post.

116 Responses to “Validating Legislation”

  1. A thought () says:

    Does anyone want to organise a petition to the GG asking him to not approve the legislation but to send it back to the house for proper consultation.

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  2. A thought () says:

    Does anyone want to organise a petition to the GG asking him to not approve the legislation but to send it back to the house for proper consultation.

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  3. rightkiwi () says:

    United Future has NOT committed to paying back the money. It says it will SEEK to repay the money – a different thing. Once the legislation is passed, and the issue dies, they will fail to pay.

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  4. Ben Wilson () says:

    Well parliament are still free to vote against it if they feel they need more time. Nats better get to work on the minor parties telling them why this bill is not in their interests, or NZ’s. Go hard. Use the system.

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  5. Spam () says:

    Quite Ben. Not that Labour aren’t putting pressure on the minor parties by making it a supply & confidence issue.

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  6. David Farrar () says:

    I hope the Greens do not cause Rod Donald to turn over in his grave, and at a minimum vote against this going through under urgency.

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  7. AGJ () says:

    It’s a bloody disgrace.

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  8. Seamonkey Madness () says:

    I think the VRWC should do a rehash of Aretha’s Respect, the way they did with Paint It Black.

    C.O.R.R.U.P.T
    Thats what Labour means to me
    C.O.R.R.U.P.T
    Take out the PM HC

    Labours (just a little bit) corrupt
    Yeah corrupt(just a little bit) Ohhhh, corrupt (just a little bit).

    [instrumental]

    Anyone who knows a friend of a friend who is part of it, please pass this message along.
    Cheers.

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  9. Berend de Boer () says:

    What can we do? Any phone numbers to call? Organise that petition to the GG?

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  10. pedant () says:

    The Greens just abstained from voting on the urgenct motion. The bill was tabled as Cullen got up to speak on the first reading at about 3.16pm today.

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  11. sonic () says:

    So we are all agreed that no retrospective legislation should be allowed to let any party wiggle out of their obligations?

    No bill to, oh I don’t know, allow someone to ignore GST for example?

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  12. Spam () says:

    There is a fine line between democracy & mob-rule.

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  13. Andrew () says:

    Yes – Labour have been on the mob-rule side of that line for so long they’ve forgotten where it it.

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  14. burt () says:

    Nov 5th, it’s not far away – now what is significant about that date ?

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  15. sam () says:

    “Nov 5th, it’s not far away – now what is significant about that date ?”

    While the rhetoric on this blog has been, how you say, extreme of late, I screamed with laughter when I read burt’s comment! That is an absolute all time new level of hysteria from the commenter’s at Kiwiblog. Keep going!! This material is pure gold.

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  16. Inventory2 () says:

    It’s getting pretty heated in the bearpit. Two Nats already ejected by a dictatorial Assistant Speaker. The Greens have, as previously noted, abstained, even though their votes would be insufficient to defeat the Government. That to me is an abbrogation of their responsibility to the electorate, then again, should we expect anything less?!

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  17. Bernard Darnton () says:

    Looks like the lawsuit is stuffed. All out-of-scope expenditure under “Vote Parliamentary Service” is being validated from 1989(?!) to 2007 and expenditure is deemed not to have constituted a breach of [a list of Acts].

    If Labour had thought they were in the right they would have seen us in Court. In reality, they knew they were going to get a hiding and so they’re changing the law before the case can be tried.

    Hope you all like bananas.

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  18. tim barclay () says:

    What can be done by parliament can be undone by Parliament. It is quite extraordinary to give immunity for a possible crimial prosecution, but that can be lifted.

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  19. Anon () says:

    Just in case is gets this far …

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    info@govthouse.govt.nz
    [DRAFT DRAFT DRAFT DRAFT DRAFT]

    The Honourable Anand Satyanand
    Governor General of New Zealand
    Government House
    Private Bag
    Wellington

    Dear Sir,

    I respectfully request you to decline to sign the so-called Validating Legislation until such time as it has passed through a fully consultative process.

    The legislation seeks to change aspects of the way in which democracy is transacted in this country and should be progressed with caution and due consultation, not with the urgency that the Labour Government seems to believe is necessary. Indeed the very fact that legislation of this nature is to be rushed through should itself sound alarm bells for everyone committed to a stable democracy.

    Once again, I urge you not to sign this legislation and to instead return it to parliament for a fully consultative review process. To do this would be to protect the democracy that we all enjoy here in Aotearoa.

    Yours respectfully,

    [Your name]
    [Your Address]
    [Your phone number]
    [Your email address]

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  20. Michael (The Right Wing One) () says:

    If Labour really believed the AG was wrong they would be able to defend Darnton, win and get costs from him.

    By passing validating legislation they are admitting their guilt.

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  21. iiq374 () says:

    All those Maori that resisted the Foreshore legislation should now actually be resisting this under the same principle; that the right to bring the crown to justice for past breaches of priviledge must remain sancrosinct.

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  22. sonic () says:

    Dont you ever listen to Don Brash iiq?

    No such thing as Maori…

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  23. Michael (The Right Wing One) () says:

    Update to my comment: Bernard Darnton has put out a release. He says:

    “[I]f Labour had thought they were in the right they would have seen us in court. In reality, they knew they were going to get a hiding and so they’re changing the law before the case can be tried.”

    See: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0610/S00188.htm

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  24. Andrew () says:

    Sonic-management Tips:

    1. He stays pretty cool, but loves to see anyone loose their rag. Deny him the pleasure by staying polite, on-topic and objective

    2. He will ignore strong points of your argument and pick up on a weaker one. Sprung with a tangential question you’ll be tempted to move into banter on something completely irrelevant. Deny him this latitude by seeing it happening and returning to the essence of your point… as many times as is necessary

    3. Don’t get grumpy with his constant posts. He’s exercising his freedom of speech – the very thing we treasure in a democracy. If you’re concerned with the amount of line-space he’s taking then consider spending some of your time on the leftie blogs ‘preaching to the unconverted’ as it were.

    I’ll maintain this list and add any other thoughts that folks may have and post it to discussion threads periodically.

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  25. Graeme Edgeler () says:

    Sonic – National have wriggled out of their “GST obligations”. They have “ignored” them. That’s the problem. They haven’t paid, and those whom they owe money cannot force them to pay.

    What they want is a law change that will force them to face up to their obligations.

    Spam – Labour hasn’t made this a confidence and supply issue – it’s an appropriation bill, it is a supply issue!

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  26. PhilBest () says:

    Some good suggestions here. The thing that really, really bothers me, is polls where 90% of voters condemn this debacle, yet 40% STILL say they will vote for Our Great Leader Helen Clark. It’s a question whether she can do ANYTHING bad enough for these people to actually vote away their benefit,or their subsidy, or their student loan, or their cushy public service or quango job, or whatever. And she knows it.

    The elections have been bought with policies of largesse far more than they’ve been bought with a mere $400,000 worth of pledge card and public money. I can’t see the National Caucus or David Farrar being awake yet to this reality.

    Not to mention the probable results if you could confidentially poll the nation’s journalists on their voting or political preferences.

    Dare I mention again, the classic political work “The Road to Serfdom”, by Friedrich Hayek? Those people who scoff: have you read it?

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  27. Berend de Boer () says:

    PhilBest, the 40% who still love Dear Leader will never ever receive the full account what is happening right now in parliament. The best our state controlled media will do is he said/she said stories, utterly confusing everyone trying to make sense of the thing.

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  28. Blair () says:

    http://www.petitiononline.com/nzgg/petition.html

    Go for it!

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  29. Spam () says:

    Graeme – thanks for the clarification.

    Good on the Maori party for not supporting progressing this under urgency.

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  30. baxter () says:

    National should state that in the event of them being elected they will introduce retrospective legislation repealing the legislation now being introduced so ensuring that any money owing before this legislation becomes law remains owing.

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  31. Graeme Edgeler () says:

    Blair – the bill before Parliament doesn’t affect or validate electoral act breaches, only breaches of the Public Finance Act and similar legislation.

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  32. Cathi () says:

    Blair, thanks for setting up the petition. I’m looking forward to signing it or something like it.

    I’d want to be sure of the wording though

    Is “assertation” a word?

    I’d want it to mention the fact that the Assent should be withheld because the bill has not been through due process, ie consultation and select committee

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  33. Blair () says:

    Oh of course.

    Well I can’t be buggered doing up another petition just now. Maybe someone else wants to have a go?

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  34. TerryJ () says:

    Labour can now say without a shadow of a doubt they won a Buy Election

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  35. Blair () says:

    Assertation is a word because I say it is ;o)

    Also you have to bear in mind that Royal Assent hasn’t been refused on any legislation in the Commonwealth for 300 years. Due process isn’t particularly good grounds for refusing it. You have to cite that the democratic process of electing governments itself is being fucked with. That’s the only grounds I can see a GG refusing it on.

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  36. side show bob () says:

    David “It is quite obscene that in a democary “, sorry David democracy no longer resides in this country.

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  37. insider () says:

    Ann Hartley has completely lost control of the House during the debate in Parliament – four members ejected including one who was named – I think it was Nick Smith. Painful to hear

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  38. Inventory2 () says:

    Ann Hartley clearly has no control – which will suit the Government right to the ground – the more smokescreens that can be created, the better the climate to rush through a very dodgy piece of legislation.

    I’ve listened to Parliament for a number of years, and this is one of the most cynical and manipulative debates I’ve heard. It reflects no credit whatsoever on those who are hellbent on pushing through a butt-covering Bill, which is to my mind, an affront to the democratic process.

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  39. Sus () says:

    No, Spam, technically democracy *is* mob-rule. It’s literally the majority overriding the minority; the margin being immaterial. That’s the scary thing. And you’re seeing it in action today.

    It’s precisely why the rights of the individual, as opposed to the majority, must always be upheld.

    Helen Clark is a monster. She and her appalling govt have today proved, once and for all, that they are truly enemies of freedom.

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  40. insider () says:

    I think the midnight super bill and Harry’s Citizenship Bill were pretty worthy contenders.

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  41. Sus () says:

    No, Spam, technically democracy *is* mob-rule. It’s literally the majority overriding the minority; the margin being immaterial. That’s the scary thing. And you’re seeing it in action today.

    It’s precisely why the rights of the individual, as opposed to the majority, must always be upheld.

    Helen Clark is a monster. She and her appalling govt have today proved, once and for all, that they are truly enemies of freedom.

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  42. Ben Wilson () says:

    Sus, whose individual rights are not being upheld?

    Interested to hear if that was your thought, or just a slogan.

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  43. samb () says:

    Heh look someone from the Duffy family signed his whole family up. I hope he asked their permission.

    Though, this will probably just become another happy reminder, like the last time you guys only got 100 signatures on an online petition, about how marginalised you lot are. My guess is you’ll struggle to break 200. And what’s the bet most will be angry males with european names…

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  44. Spirit Of 76 () says:

    Oh well, NZ gets what it deserves.

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  45. Adolf Fiinkensein () says:

    Inventory, National will be rubbing their hands with glee. I believe Labour will reap from this day’s events the whirlwind of approbrium it deserves. In my travels this afternoon people of ALL poitical peresuasions have indicated their disgust at what is being done.

    Today will go down as ‘Validgate.’

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  46. Paul King () says:

    This Labour Government makes me think that I should just cheat, steal and lie to get in as an MP. Why did I bother keeping all those receipts and staying under budget etc? Just overspend then change the law when you get in. Helen’s wages and position shows that crime pays!

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  47. Cathi () says:

    Blair said

    Assertation is a word because I say it is ;o)

    Fair enough :)

    Also you have to bear in mind that Royal Assent hasn’t been refused on any legislation in the Commonwealth for 300 years.

    Not quite true – UK yes, but the last time in Canada was 1937 I believe

    Due process isn’t particularly good grounds for refusing it. You have to cite that the democratic process of electing governments itself is being fucked with. That’s the only grounds I can see a GG refusing it on

    You’re probably right, but I’d still want the other stuff in. Once you have govts pushing legislation through on the numbers then you may as well not have a democratic process at all.

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  48. brian_smaller () says:

    Flavel from the Maori Party just made a good point in his speech. He asked where is the honour in what the Labour government and their lackeys are doing? Simple Bro, they have none.

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  49. Fred () says:

    Retrospective legislation is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

    Remember it next time Hulun says her hands are tied because of existing legislation.

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  50. InnocentIII () says:

    “It is quite extraordinary to give immunity for a possible criminal prosecution, but that can be lifted”

    Cl 6 Act does not affect criminal liability
    Nothing in this Act affects the criminal liability of any person.

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  51. Blair () says:

    “Once you have govts pushing legislation through on the numbers then you may as well not have a democratic process at all.”

    Actually, that *is* the democratic process. It’s why we should have a single constitution limiting the authority of parliament that remains beyond the reach of the legislature.

    Instead we have a Queen, hence the petition. A parliament which was elected based on illegal activity should not be allowed to make that activity legal once it has the power to do so.

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  52. kyotolaw () says:

    Rodney Hide is kicking butt in the House right now. Wow.

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  53. Greenjacket () says:

    Retrospective legislation
    rammed through under urgency
    without any public input or scrutiny
    under a partisan Speaker
    done in the financial interests of members of the governing party
    that subverts a current Court case.

    This ranks alongside 1932 for the outrageous abuse of power by the government over Parliament.

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  54. toby1845 () says:

    Can anyone advise which 4 MPs have been ejected? Any Labour?

    And any thoughts from anyone about whether there wouold be any value in National MPsdeliberately forcing the Speaker to eject them all?

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  55. mara () says:

    I came to NZ as a post-war refugee in the 50’s with my parents.They said “thank-you Labour” for the rest of their lives and voted accordingly.My old mum still does.What possible excuse will the “public” have, in 2008,to rationalise a Labour vote? Being of a deeply cynical nature,I suspect(and despair) that old and new leopards will not change their spots.And,unlike as in their native homes,leopards here are breeding rapidly.

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  56. dfr () says:

    Sus said: No, Spam, technically democracy *is* mob-rule. It’s literally the majority overriding the minority; the margin being immaterial. That’s the scary thing. And you’re seeing it in action today.

    That’s a very narrow definition of democracy, Sus. Democracy is better defined as rule of the people, by the people, for the people. This can be instantiated through various means, and of course, every citizen (and in some cases every resident) having a vote is an important part of democracy. But democracy can also include procedures of consultation and review (such as select committee processes), delegation of authority, separation of powers, independent watchdogs (such as Auditors-General), petitions from citizens, regular elections, extraordinary processes for extraordinary cases where the ordinary avenues of appeal and review have failed (such as MPs intervening on behalf of people who are seeking residence). And as it turns out, sometimes we have urgent legislation to correct a glaring mistake.

    As it turns out, this is probably not a good use of the extraordinary measure of urgent legislation, but urgent legislation in itself is not undemocractic.

    In other words, there are plenty of grounds on which to criticise this measure, but complaining on the grounds that it is urgent legislation and therefore undemocratic is not enough in itself to make it ‘bad’ legislation.

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  57. toby1845 () says:

    brian – I agree. Flavell’s speech was excellent. So too was Hide’s: quite calm and reasoned.

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  58. iiq374 () says:

    Sonic – yes, I actually listen to what he says – not what it is reported that he said.
    (Not that it means that I agree with everything he says…)

    But again you fall into the issue of there not being a clear distinction of the Maori people in terms of heritage and in terms of culture – which historically were one and the same, but now are not.

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  59. Fletch () says:

    I can’t even find a copy online of the law about to be passed.

    Probably because Helen knows there are smarter people than she who can examine it, take it apart, and disseminate it to the NZ public (explaining it simply) through the blogs she hates. She’s trying to sneak it through.

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  60. burt () says:

    Sneak it through – she is getting it rammed through at 170kph. Did anybody hear the call ‘Hurry hurry – our case is too weak to face Darnton in court’ ?

    DPF – This is all a bad joke isn’t it ???? Please tell me that NZ did not slip from a democratically elected Govt to a dictatorship in 2005.

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  61. kiwi_donkey () says:

    ‘Stuff’ says that in this Bill “Electioneering is defined as any communication explicitly seeking votes, encouraging people to join parties or solicit subscriptions or other financial support.”

    Therefore, almost all Labour’s next election campaign will be able funded from the (no doubt vastly increased) Leader’s budget. All they have to do is avoid the words “vote for Labour” – which is easy enough to do. Surely this is state funding of political parties by the backdoor?

    So a major change to our entire electoral process has been introduced under secrecy and extreme urgency, with no public debate. But it’s Helen that’s doing it, so that’s all right then.

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  62. Graeme Edgeler () says:

    DPF/Fletch, the bill is here:
    http://www.parliament.nz/NR/rdonlyres/C56F067E-FF68-4822-B1F4-E4277B00953D/42180/DBHOH_BILL_7688_3692.pdf

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  63. kiwi_donkey () says:

    Graeme: Thanks for the copy of the Bill. I see that is has a sunset clause for the electioneering definition. So I retract my previous comment.

    I see also that does not seek to validate spending in regard to the Electoral Act. Also “Seeks support for casting of the party vote for a particular political party or political parties” seems to cover the pledge card. So that seems okay.

    But the preamble is a bit vague, and of course it extinguishes any debt. You don’t get more extinguished than you do by an Act of Parliament!

    So if the parties do pay this back, what does it go into the accounts as? Donations? A loan to the Government?

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  64. innocentIII () says:

    I actually think banging on about whether the parties will repay if the Bill is passed misses the point. It’s the “little” argument the “mean spirited” argument. The Parties are under a moral obligation to repay whatever the state of the law. That is National’s victory on this issue. It’s a moral one.

    If National is going to put much store in these set-piece battles then one should assume Clark won’t be present. More importantly Brash must rise to the occasion – he must command the House.

    Did he?

    National don’t have to provide a resolution to the legal problem so they can moralise and Brash is able to speak with some authority like this more so than Clark or anyone in Labour.

    Therefore isn’t the real question about Parliament fixing the law for itself in a hasty manner in a way that no Citizen can do for themselves or any ask Parliament to do for them with any credibility.

    He should also be inviting Labour to join National in moves to open all Parliamentary funding to provide transparency and accountability so the public knows what is spent in its name and on what and everyone can make a judgement about whether this is appropriate.

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  65. Adolf Fiinkensein () says:

    On second thoughts, it should be Vladigate. Sounds more Stalinist and therefore in tune with what actually is going down. Also has one thinking of Vlad The Impaler. Any one who got in his way was vladated. Cullen musta read the book.

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  66. kiwi_donkey () says:

    Actually, on third thoughts:

    – This Bill will allow Labour to go the polls in 2007 and fund the campaign from their Leader’s budget. All they have to do is avoid saying “Vote Labour”. Shouldn’t be too hard. So we have state funding of Election Campaigns in 2007, but not 2008.

    – Any bets on an election in 2007? That seems like quite a flaw in this Bill.

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  67. Matt () says:

    MMP may have given a better chance for smaller parties to acheive parliamentary reprsentation but it has also given then more temptation to give up on principles. Parties like the Greens, NZ first and United and all like lions on the campaign trail standing for principle but are nothing but lambs when Clark and Cullen crack the whip

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  68. burt () says:

    If this bill is passed then there is only one option. All concerned NZers should wear a black armband for the death of democracy.

    And for the more fashion concious;

    http://www.amazon.com/Live-Wrong-Bracelet-Black/dp/B0007NEDEO

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  69. peteremcc () says:

    how long will they keep going tonight? is it worth going down to parliament?

    peter

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  70. not That Girl () says:

    Phil Best said: “The thing that really, really bothers me, is polls where 90% of voters condemn this debacle, yet 40% STILL say they will vote for Our Great Leader Helen Clark. It’s a question whether she can do ANYTHING bad enough for these people to actually vote away their benefit,or their subsidy, or their student loan, or their cushy public service or quango job, or whatever. And she knows it.”

    Sorry to take a leaf out of Sonic’s book and divert the discussion off the real issues for a second, but I do have to disagree to some extent wih this comment (though not completely).

    I’m a public servant; I have a student loan I’ve been paying off for ever; I didn’t vote for Labour. Yes, I have voted Labour in the past for which I am eternally disappointed in myself for, but I will NEVER do so again for as long as I can get to a voting booth – for many many reasons other than, but also including for shamefully turning us into a banana republic. And I know plenty of other public servants who aren’t inclined to vote Labour either. Most of them are too afraid to say it aloud in case they get run out of town by H1. Hell, I’m too afraid to say it other than anonomously! Wellington is a small place for a public servant these days. Nice one Helen.

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  71. not That Girl () says:

    Phil Best said: “The thing that really, really bothers me, is polls where 90% of voters condemn this debacle, yet 40% STILL say they will vote for Our Great Leader Helen Clark. It’s a question whether she can do ANYTHING bad enough for these people to actually vote away their benefit,or their subsidy, or their student loan, or their cushy public service or quango job, or whatever. And she knows it.”

    Sorry to take a leaf out of Sonic’s book and divert the discussion off the real issues for a second, but I do have to disagree to some extent wih this comment (though not completely).

    I’m a public servant; I have a student loan I’ve been paying off for ever; I didn’t vote for Labour. Yes, I have voted Labour in the past for which I am eternally disappointed in myself for, but I will NEVER do so again for as long as I can get to a voting booth – for many many reasons other than, but also including for shamefully turning us into a banana republic. And I know plenty of other public servants who aren’t inclined to vote Labour either. Most of them are too afraid to say it aloud in case they get run out of town by H1. Hell, I’m too afraid to say it other than anonomously! Wellington is a small place for a public servant these days. Nice one Helen.

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  72. sam () says:

    burt after your previous call call: “Nov 5th, it’s not far away – now what is significant about that date ?” I didnt think you would be able to top it, but then, you spin round and WHAM!, you sock us with another classic:

    “If this bill is passed then there is only one option. All concerned NZers should wear a black armband for the death of democracy.”

    You really are tops.

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  73. Rumpole () says:

    Graham

    Blair – the bill before Parliament doesn’t affect or validate electoral act breaches, only breaches of the Public Finance Act and similar legislation.

    Does this mean legal action for breach of the electoral act are still possible or are they time barred?

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  74. As anonymous as I can make it () says:

    Not That Girl said And I know plenty of other public servants who aren’t inclined to vote Labour either. Most of them are too afraid to say it aloud in case they get run out of town by H1.

    I’m with That Girl on this one.

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  75. iiq374 () says:

    If the bill doesn’t affect the Electoral Act then the time bar may become irrelevant as each of the parties should now have to restate their electoral returns?

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  76. tim barclay () says:

    I accept clause 6 does not prevent any criminal prosecution. But I do think there should be a provision that makes the “Brady” figures for each party a debt due to the Crown.

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  77. Graeme Edgeler () says:

    Peter McC – they’ll be at it for a while – what you were watching before was, I assume, the First Reading. There’s a second reading, a committee stage, and a third reading still to go.

    Rumpole – time barred.

    iiq374 – no, even if parties have to restate their returns (which I don’t believe they do) the time is calculated from the time the spending occured, not the time the return is filed.

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  78. Paul Marsden () says:

    burt said…. If this bill is passed then there is only one option. All concerned NZers should wear a black armband for the death of democracy.

    ….who now have to live with demon-cracy.

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  79. not That Girl () says:

    House is under urgency from 9am tomorrow until (I think) 10pm. Plenty of time to pop down to the public gallery for those so inclined to see the circus.

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  80. burt () says:

    DPF

    (sam – but wait there is more.)

    Putting aside the abhorrent assault on openness and accountability, as promised, and democracy.

    Is there any chance a full analysis could be done on the years covered by the retrospective (umm.. can’t really say proposed) legislation. It would be very interesting to see what has been ‘allowed’ by such retrospective legislation.

    Perhaps now that Darnton has a Lawyer looking for a job and a wedge of vrwc donations he could get a ruling on the years in question.

    Would be great to see what we have paid for, and why the urgency was so essential.

    Oh sam, see
    Stuff: Firefighters want ban on shop sales of fireworks

    You will see where the frail association came from. This was being discussed when I was a lad, obviously didn’t make the ‘urgency’ status and lets hope it never makes the ‘retrospective’ status.

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  81. Paul Marsden () says:

    cest la vie democracy ..Viva demon-cracy!

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  82. thehawk () says:

    It is an absolute disgrace. I am ashamed that I live in a country inhabited by people with IQs so low as to continue supporting and voting for
    criminals like Clark.

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  83. stan () says:

    does anyone know if we are able to watch archived video or audio clips of the debate today that some of us have missed? thanks

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  84. not That Girl () says:

    Stan:

    try the parliamentary podcast on NatRad –

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/podcasts/parliament.rss

    You’ll need itunes or other podcast software to listen to it.

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  85. Brian S () says:

    Um, as someone watching this from over in UK, I’m wondering…WHY THE HELL AREN’T YOU GUYS OUT ON THE STREETS!! THE GOVERNMENT CAN’T GET AWAY WITH THIS!

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  86. not That Girl () says:

    Brian:

    Remember Czechoslovakia? We don’t call it Helengrad for nothing.

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  87. george () says:

    HAve Helen and her troika no self respect? This is a disgrace.

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  88. innocentIII () says:

    The night goes to Hide, English (very good), and Harawira (surprisingly good).

    Honourable mentions for Power and Cullen (just for shear capability).

    Dishonourable mention for McCully for menacing Parliamentary Service in an otherwise good speech.

    Key ranked with the rest of the Nats: ok.

    Surprising poor performances from Maharey (post TV news) and Hodgson. Street tried too hard to be profound but so missed the mark. Cosgrove was very so so but then he always is so so – “I too knew Mike Moore and you Sir are no Mike Moore.” Unlike Moore he is a small man in every respect.

    The Charles Upham medal for cool judgement in preserving one’s reputation: Phil (I’ve been cleared) Goff, awol along with the PM.

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  89. Greenjacket () says:

    If Labour are behaving in such a constitutionally outrageous way NOW, can anyone here imagine the lengths the crooks will go to to cling onto power in two years time?

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  90. innocentIII () says:

    Oh and as for The Greens – I’ve never had much truck with abstinence – of any sort – it’s no fun at all – go hard or go home.

    NZ First – Brown was like a starving staggering mistreated Kaimanua Horse – even he wouldn’t ask again for Leave to have his speech start again lest it be granted and the inhumanity prolonged.

    The United Future two were about as exciting and common sensed as my dottie grandmother’s dressing gown – mildly reassuring nonetheless.

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  91. burt () says:

    By then, after a few retrospective amendments to the electoral act we should have had elections every 10 years, since 2005. Thus Labour will have 7 years of term still to run.

    We must not accept this!

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  92. j () says:

    “If Labour are behaving in such a constitutionally outrageous way NOW, can anyone here imagine the lengths the crooks will go to to cling onto power in two years time?”

    I can’t wait to see that T.V Movie. New Zealand sounds like one badass place.

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  93. hisself () says:

    Do paranoia and idiocy smell? Just as well we don’t have scent-producing computers yet.

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  94. david () says:

    A day of shame in New Zealand political history is how I see it.

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  95. Danyl Mclauchlan () says:

    Here’s my question. How many posters on this thread who feel Clark has ‘destroyed democracy’ and who are afraid to demonstrate in the streets because they ‘remember Czechoslovakia’ (WTF?) would vote for that nice Mr Bush if they got the chance?

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  96. reeling () says:

    After listening to bits of the debate in parliament last night, I’m wondering why anyone would think displays of faux moral outrage and self-righteousness would go down well with the voting public. It didn’t work for Brian Tamaki’s party.

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  97. phil u () says:

    “..All concerned NZers should wear a black armband for the death of democracy…”

    sheesh paul…breath through the nose..eh..?

    you could do yourself some damage there…

    the tanks are hardly in the streets..eh..?

    you lot need to just clamber down off your (unjustified..c.f…nat party history)high horses..eh..?

    the public is so ‘over’ all this..they couldn’t give a rats’ arse about your posturings..

    and just wish the politicians would just get on with the job of running..(improving..?…that’s a laugh ..eh..?) the country…

    (and you followed that with another of those hilarious rightwing ‘plays’ on words you all love…c.f…’liarbour’..’klark’
    and you thought up a new one..’demon-ocracy’

    (oh..how we chuckled and marvelled at yet another example of sparkling rightwing humour..)

    aren’t you the clever one..?..you..eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  98. david () says:

    Danyl, I think Clark is almost as bad as Bush. is that a good start to your poll? In fact probably worse given last nights events. How anyone can justify such a flagrant abuse of power is just amazing. They have no shame.

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  99. phil u () says:

    some therapy for you all…beetle off down to your local record shop…and ask the friendly folks there for a copy of the latest from ‘the teddy-bears’..
    it’s called ‘punk-rocker’..and has lead vocals by one iggy-pop…

    rush home with that (in your sweaty hands)…
    skin-up(if that is your wont)..

    and put said piece of music on at a very high volume..

    and strike the air-guitar pose..

    i guarantee after just three listenings..you’ll be going “corruption..schmorruption..”

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  100. bwakile () says:

    Phil \You are one strange person

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  101. PhilBest () says:

    Thank you, “not That Girl”, and “As anonymous as i can make it”. You’ve given me a faint gleam of hope.

    phil u, you have a nice first name, and I love your humour, rare in a leftie. But what do you make of the comments from “not That Girl” and “As anonymous as i can make it”? Maybe the trend in political climate doesn’t bother you, because you’re one of those who will be doing all the “coming for” people you disagree with, not one of those who’ll be “come for”.

    With liberal lefties, it’s rarely ever about universal principles. Look at the way the “mainstream” media everywhere beats up issues, or not. Clinton? Democrats? Let them off. Bush? Republicans? Beat it up to the max. Same thing with Bolger, Shipley, Brash, or whoever. But what depths does the the Clark government have to do to actually get the DomPost telling us on the front page that they’re unfit to govern in a Westminster democracy? Heck, remember the cost of Tuku Morgan’s undies, that just about brought down the Bolger coalition government by itself. Just imagine a National PM and administration committing the scandals that the Clark government has, and imagine what the media would be saying.

    Read the latest “Investigate” – and work out whether the Clark government/loyal media beat-up on the Exclusive Brethren was balanced journalism.(DPF especially – take note).

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  102. phil u () says:

    bwakile said..

    “..Phil \You are one strange person..”

    now ..whilst not necessarily questioning your original thesis…
    (tho’ i do have a (small/discreet) button/badge that claims for the wearer..”i’m not weird..i’m gifted”..
    (tho’ i haven’t been brave enough to wear it out in public..i just glance reassuringly at it at regular intervals..)

    but i would just like to note..
    you’re going “iggy-who..?”..aren’t you..?

    it’s quite sad that you’ve obviously missed out on those musical experiences/epiphanies i hinted at..

    (did you get a music-bye-pass the same time as you picked up your (standard for righties) sense of humour bye-pass..?..)

    (wot..!..you’ve never..ever..air-guitared..?

    do you have a pulse..?..)

    seriously..you have my condolences..
    (as those who have been there will attest..there is nothing like it..eh..?..)

    phil best said..

    “..because you’re one of those who will be doing all the “coming for” people you disagree with, not one of those who’ll be “come for..”.

    um..phil..i reckon you wouldn’t have many problems in national labour or green circles (esp in green circles)in whipping up a ‘crew’ to ‘come and get’ me..eh..?

    (i mean you’d have large segments of the aucland greens forming an orderly queue..on the left of course..eh?..)

    (i tend to be fairly indiscriminate in who i go “oi!” to..eh..?..it’s more the reason for the “oi!”..than the ideology of the oi!-ee..)

    so..
    i’m definitely expecting to be a ‘gottee’..eh.?

    (i mean..just ask murray and vanzyl.!..and any of the other righties i’ve argued to a standstill..and got everyone laughing at them..(murray esp..eh..?..vanzyl is just more sorta sad..eh..?..with his ‘look how expensive the wine is i’m getting pissed on’ attempts at acceptance/approval from the monetarist ones..)

    so..there’s two who’ll be falling over each other..eh..?
    then there’s russell norman..(maybe that’s a way he could learn to ‘work’ with the right..eh..?)..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  103. SPC () says:

    We have Deborah Hill Cone saying the media is currently universally anti-government to an extent she had not seen before. She questioned whether this was good for democracy.

    The thing about media is that they they are on side with new governments and they turn on governments which they see as on their way out. They use the embrace as a means to gain access to incoming governments and they see their later championing of the opposition as showing their independence. Murdoch used this tactic to gain favour for his empire building from new governments and via the gratitude of opposition parties coming into government, the earlier favour given was not reversed.

    But clearly the world is full of opinions and
    if one media,say the Herald,is leading the anti-government line and another is not in front with them,some will see this as say the Dom Post not behaving as they should.

    As per the EB and being treated fairly, if the media reported their business behaviour and investigated the coincidence that the Waitemata Trust anonymous donation to National was at the same level that EB mentioned they were interested in campaigning with – it would have been much worse.

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  104. gw booth () says:

    deplorable behaviour ashamed to be a called a new zealander

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  105. not That Girl () says:

    Danyl:

    The comment re Czechoslovakia alluded to the way this country is becoming a place of punishment for those who don’t agree with the incumbent party line. For your edification here are a few defining points of the first communist era in Czechoslovakia and some examples of concurrent activity here and now:

    1. In February 1948, when the Communists took power, Czechoslovakia was declared a “people’s democracy” (till 1960) – a preliminary step toward socialism and, ultimately, communism.

    (Similar to the electioneering slogans Labour flung about in 1999. They rode to power as the new ‘champions of the people’ promising to expose the golden handshake rorts etc etc so the taxpayer would not be exposed to those fearsome burdens any longer).

    2. Bureaucratic centralism was introduced. Dissident elements were purged from all levels of society, including the Catholic Church.

    (I doubt anyone can disagree that bureaucratic centralism is a defining feature of H1’s leadership style. Read Bethren for Catholic, and remember the episode of the public servant who was hung out to dry in national media by Labour Ministers for allegedly using PS resources for Maori Party work – and wasn’t? Not forgetting all those “haters and wreckers” who just happened to disagree with the PM on the foreshore and seabed. Classic purging examples.)

    3. The economy was committed to comprehensive central planning and abolition of private ownership of capital. The attainment of Soviet-style command socialism became the government’s avowed policy.

    (We certainly see examples of centralised planning experiments in the health sector where the govt has reverted to DHB’s not that it has reduced the waiting lists at all, and I defy anyone to say this government hasn’t practised command socialism either directly or indirectly – we have a fiscal surplus the size of Africa and much of that money has been spent by this govt.without our say).

    4. In the 1950s, the Stalinists accused their opponents of “conspiracy against the people’s democratic order” and “high treason” in order to oust them from positions of power. Large-scale arrests of Communists with an “international” background, i.e., those with a wartime connection with the West, veterans of the Spanish Civil War, Jews, and Slovak “bourgeois nationalists,” were followed by show trials.

    (This govt has viciously gone after individuals in much the same manner when said people opposed them or stood up for democratic processes. The AG is the latest casualty. Helengrad might not have been able to bring these people to trial in a court of law, but they certainly indulged in trial by media in an effort to oust the AG from his position by discrediting him and his credentials and ultimately his career). Aided by a police force that apparently is so scared of the current regime it sits on its hands when confronted with multiple acts of criminality (paintergate, Doonegate, Fieldgate, speedgate to name a few), but doesn’t hesitate to arrest Shane Ardern for driving his tractor up the steps of parliament for his ‘criminal act’. Can’t really blame the police since they have been hung out to dry by H1 too).

    And you wonder why the rest of us, who consider this regime to be out of control and willing to do *anything* to anyone to hold onto power, are not out on the streets showing our faces publicly? That’s what Czechoslovakia has to do with things.

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  106. SPC () says:

    Does this legitimise calling National fascists for their Orewa mainstream politics?

    The right is getting so theatrical. It’s like they have wound themselves up in a lather of indignant holier than thou righteousness and have now got themselves a little hyperbolic/excited.

    This all began because National was promised a lot of anonymous donation money for selecting Brash as leader. Thus they encouraged a tougher line on PS spending, because they sought to exploit this advantage. Either they would leave other parties struggling to match their campaigning, or they could throw the book at them for resorting to PS spending after the election. Conveniently Darnton appeared up to speed with the tactic and duly obliged. Coincidence or premeditated?

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  107. ellen Upper hutt () says:

    I have printed off your first page and will send it to the Govenor General objecting to the “banana ” act passed last night as a petition objection. It might help if you posted this part of the email at the beginning you might get more hits.

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  108. Patricia buckley () says:

    HTML PLEASE, PLEASE, withdraw your assent to this atrociuously unjust Bill. We must surely be able to stop such an unfair situation if we are truly a democracy. Patrica – a concerned voter who would like to be proud of my country.

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  109. Patricia buckley () says:

    HTML PLEASE, PLEASE, withdraw your assent to this atrociuously unjust Bill. We must surely be able to stop such an unfair situation if we are truly a democracy. Patrica – a concerned voter who would like to be proud of my country.

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  110. Danyl Mclauchlan () says:

    not that girl – I know what happened in Czechoslovakia. I also know whats happening in New Zealand. I don’t see the slightest similarity.

    Can you name one person who has been imprisoned merely for speaking out against the Labour government? Can you name one journalist who has been persecuted for being critical of Clark? Can you name one civil servant who has been dismissed for holding views contrary to the current administration?

    You people really need to get a grip on yourselves. It’s almost like you have some bizarre victim fantasy and WANT to be persecuted.

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  111. Judith Everitt () says:

    Absolutely outrageous, watch the results at the next election, we won’t forget.

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