How to delay a bill

March 14th, 2007 at 10:59 pm by David Farrar

As a former parliamentary staffer one thing I follow closely are what ones call house tactics to delay a bill. Now before everyone yells at me that they hate delaying tactics, let me explain that there is a place for them as long as you don’t do it too often. If the Opposition do not have the numbers to defeat a bill, then the only way they can show how strongly they oppose a bad law is by fighting it tooth and nail and delaying it.

The first second and third reading debates are all set by standing orders as two hours each. So it is the committee of the house stage which considers it clause by clause which allows delaying tactics.

Now it is rare for a bill to actually be considered clause by clause. Normally there are too many clauses so the Government will move that it be taken part by part. The Chairman has discretion as to how long to allow for each clause or part but the rule of thumb is an hour each.

So Bradford’s bill having six clauses, might take six hours. A large bill with several hundred clauses in ten parts could take ten hours.

Now one trick the Government can do to reduce debating time is to have less parts and use sub-parts. It’s sort of cheating on the spirit but means instead of say 12 one hour debates, you only have four because you have Parts 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 2A, 2B etc instead of Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 … 12.

A very smart Opposition can try and do the opposite and add a new Part to a bill. But that is very difficult because to be accepted by the Chairman it has to cover issues that are not within the scope of any other Part of the Bill, yet is within the objects of the Bill.

Next you can move individual amendments. Now these do not actually increase the time for debate. They just get considered along with the Bill. But each has to be voted on and voting takes around a minute. So you see Taito Philllip Field tabling 50 amendments to the Bradford Bill would delay it by around 50 minutes.

If you start voting in Maori, which requires translation, that means each vote takes two minutes instead of one. This happens rarely.

One can also keep a debate going just by having lots of MPs jumping up to take the call. The one hour per clause/part is a very rough guideline. If the Chairman sees lots of MPs still wanting to debate, especially ones who have not yet spoken, he or she is more likely to keep debate going. So sometimes one may even get two hours per part. Normally the Whips work out in advance a speaking order. But when people are trying to keep the debate going you actually see MPs genuinely competing for the call, and the Speaker choosing between them.

Another tactic is points of order. Experienced MPs can raise valid points or order which can take a couple of score of minutes to deal with. Sometimes up to two hours with the Speaker recalled if a critical issue.

Now the Government has ways to speed things up also. Any amendment which involves incurring expenditure can be vetoed by the Minister of Finance without vote or debate. And it cn be hard to word amendments with no fiscal consequences.

And with the Bradford Bill debate the Government did something quite cunning. Rather than vote against all 50 of Field’s amendments changing the implementation date by 1 to 50 months, they voted for the first one. This then meant that the other amendments could not be put as they were contrary to an amendment already accepted. I am impressed they thought of that tactic.

Despite this the Bill did not get to a final vote in committee stage, so expect that to happen in two weeks time, and then the third reading three weeks after that,

And again before people say how much they hate silly delaying tactics and the like, they do have a valid place to show opposition, and they are done fairly rarely – most of the time debate moves along swiftly.

No tag for this post.

117 Responses to “How to delay a bill”

  1. Idiot/Savant () says:

    The usual sign of a debate being dragged out is a succession of MPs rising to ask that the motion be put. We didn’t see that tonight; instead both sides seemed to want to give the bill a thorough going over, and closure was accepted on the first motion for clause 1, and on the second (after a clear signal that Jacqui Dean’s would be the last speech) for clause 2.

    The amendments OTOH were clear delaying tactics – but Field’s 50 were handily sidestepped by agreeing to the first, while the rest were clearly out of order.

    I expect debate on clauses 3 and 4 to be even more intense (MPs will have two weeks of anger to work off), so we may not see the committee stage finished for a month.

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  2. M Joubert () says:

    May I suggest an amendment to this bill that will simply place our children in state care from the moment they are born? It makes sense, doesn’t it? If all the children grow up in government controlled camps there will be no more violence against children. Not to mention the fact that the government will then really have the opportunity to bring up its citizens as good little communists.

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  3. Grant ( a new one) () says:

    M Joubert, check this link out.
    While it’s not as drastic as your suggestion, it appears to be a step in the same direction.
    http://www.occ.org.nz/home_page_highlight_right/overview_of_integrated_framework

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  4. Grant ( a new one) () says:

    M Joubert, check this link out. While it’s not as drastic as your suggestion, it appears to be a step in the same direction.
    http://www.occ.org.nz/home_page_highlight_right/overview_of_integrated_framework

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  5. David () says:

    David – I wonder what is the point about debate and voting.
    Numbers are worked out beforehand. Does anyone change their position after listening to debate? Just seems a waste of time.

    Then there is the voting. Its a joke. You have constituency MPs and list MPs both being lumped in together in the vote. You may as well save some money and get rid of the list members of parliament and just let the party have a certain number of extra votes, equalling their percentage of total election night votes, to their normal constituency MPs they have

    National on smacking bill – Why are Labour MPs whipped on this issue, but National’s not. Why not make it an election issue for National, whip all of National MPs to oppose and see where the numbers fall

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  6. Craig Ranapia () says:

    I guess we should be thankful that New Zealand’s House of Representatives doesn’t operate as the same rules as the US Senate in 1957, where Strom Thurmond ‘filibustered’ the Civil Right Act by delivering a speech that lasted for 24 hours and 18 minutes.

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  7. Porcupine () says:

    You mean we have to wait another 5 weeks before responsible couple’s children start to get handed over to soloparents and hippies to bring up? Disappointed! The lawyers will be too.

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  8. Chuck Bird () says:

    Sorry, DPF the delaying tactics will not stop the bill although they may be a good tactic if used in conjunction with other measures. National should see that effectively opposing this bill is an election winner. They need to introduce an amendment that requires a referendum before this bill become law. If the amendment fails they need to make it clear that they will repeal this legislation if elected.

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  9. dmw () says:

    Predictably, Judy Turner’s amendment for a referendum has already been defeated, Chuck.

    The delay does however give more time for people to sign petitions from Sheryl Savill asking “Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?” and former United Future MP Larry Baldock asking “Should the Government give urgent priority to understanding and addressing the wider causes of family breakdown, family violence, and child abuse in New Zealand?”. Petitions can be found here

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  10. Inventory2 () says:

    Dragging the debate out keeps it in the public eye for a bit longer too – which gives opponents of the bill longer to point out its flaws, and highlight the significant public opposition. It also gives opponents a chance to play on the unrest within the Labour caucus from MP’s who are clearly uncomfortable being whipped to support legislation that they do not personally agree with. Who knows, there could even be a collective attack of conscience, and MP’s crossing the floor to vote with opponents, after all, what would the likes of Dover Samuels, George Hawkins and Paul Swain have to lose? None seems likely to return to the House after the next election, and standing up on a matter of conscience and principle could be a fitting valedictory.

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  11. Peter S () says:

    Chuck,

    Good points.

    A good tactic for Key would be to say that, were National to win the next election, then a referendum would be held, and the law changed to reflect the result of the referendum.

    One thing that seems to have passed uncommented upon is that the delay in the vote has pushed voting beyond when the next crop of polls is due.

    Polls are not elections, and Labour have obviously decided that the agenda is worth a potential hit in the polls, but there is a big psychological difference between taking a hit in the polls after passing legislation and sitting on a pre-legislation hit for a month.

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  12. Chris () says:

    Yeah, yeah, let’s all register our disapproval. It appears to me that 80-90% of the country are registering their disapproval, but it ain’t going to make a bean of difference. You have to wonder what the point is.

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  13. dad4justice () says:

    The lawyers and psychologists of the gravy train of deceit look to be the big winners because of the liebore communist’s insipid ideology – that will unfortunately make criminals of many good parents.This bill should bring this ship of fools down !! To make matters worse it will be left up to the discretion of the cops to determine whether arrest is appropriate. Great –parents need that like a hole in the head, while Canty police are accused of corruption can we expect fairness – yeah right – it will not happen from the police area district commander Sandra Manderson – who used to work protecting supreme leader, as she will allow her intense hatred and powerful position to crush anything that has a diddle between their legs – to lock down fathers on hearsay. Batten down the hatches Cantab Dads as the childless /feminazi anaconda’s look set to squeeze the life outta many a good father.The misery Manderson Hotel Hilton looks set to become extremely busy !
    I have advised both of my twin sons to go to Australia ASAP to start their families, as this country is run by feminazi communists. They are both leaving next week, along with many of their mates.

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  14. JohnDalley () says:

    Go D4J. I’m not sure if i got anything out of your tread except for your obvious hatred of woman.

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  15. tc () says:

    Whilst vaguely supportive of the bill a long thorough debate is warranted and I certainly support the opposition tactics. It is interesting that a lot of thoughtful discussion in and out of parliament has taken place. (A lot of thoughtless discussion as well). The bill is neither as good nor as bad as being painted.

    “Government control camps”, good grief, I’ve heard it all now. This from people whose sense of reality is so warped they cannot tell the difference between Zimbabwe or North Korea and NZ.

    One day soon I expect to hear D4J and fred and co. berating communist Muslim’s because they beat their children or some such thing. As our “social engineering” of today becomes our “core values” to be defended to the hilt of tomorrow.

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  16. Fletch () says:

    ps, good column in today’s Herald pointing out the effects that the bill has had in other countries –

    Superintendent R. Logan, police deputy borough commander in Hackney, east London, and Britain’s most senior black policeman, [is quoted] as saying that parents no longer use physical punishment because they fear they will end up in court facing an assault charge.

    The results, the superintendent is quoted as saying during an inquiry into patterns of crime among black men, had been a decline in respect, a rise in family breakdowns and an increasing number of children being put up for adoption.

    Mr McCoskrie says that in Sweden, where smacking was banned in 1979, the Nordic Committee for Human Rights had reported “Children have been informed of their rights so they use their rights to demand more freedom to do as they please. They report their parents with the aim of obtaining freedom, unaware of the consequences of their report to the social authorities or the police.”

    The committee reports that when children realise the seriousness of their accusations they try to withdraw them, but are held to their stories – without any consideration of the damages that the children incur to themselves.

    It adds: “The resentment parents feel towards their children whose unacceptable behaviour was the direct cause of the charges against the parents, has resulted in the loss of normal, loving parental guidance for these children [and] seriously damaged the parent/child relationship.”

    It’s all pushing for a breakup of the family and it’s my opinion that that is what Helen wants.

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  17. tc () says:

    Hah, hah. Nice one fletch. Are you Garth George’s mum? If so you need to give him some “time out” for that tripe.

    Who are his sources – a guy, “Mr Smith” and Mr. McCoskrie from Families First who write pamphlets about how Christians should not be sparing the rod, a copper in London whose credibility is vouched for by the fact that he is “black” and the “Nordic Committee for Human Rights” whose representative Ruby Harrold-Claesson has been so thoroughly Fisked I wonder people still bother citing them.

    That’s not opposition, that’s laughable.

    There are plenty serious minded people concerned about the bill and expressing that concern. That mad rambling from George reads as simple regurgitation of an FF press release. I hope he didn’t get paid by the word.

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  18. Blue () says:

    David, do you think the participation of the internet community will make a difference compared to the undemocratic practices of past governments?

    Personally I would like to see a central site like a wikipaedia where major arguments were broken up into parts with links coming off to supporting pages and discussion links. With higher level participation this could become a reference.
    I’ve noticed that many people are well informed on parts of the debate but weak on others.

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  19. Peter S () says:

    Like or dislike Bob McCoskrie, he has scored a hit against the bill this morning.

    On Newstalk ZB he played a clip of an interview he had with HC just before the last election.

    HC stated she had no intention of supporting the bill, she recognised the difference between beating & smacking and said that trying to stop frustraited parents from smacking children would be like trying to change human nature.

    This is the same person that now regards the issue as so important it can’t be left to the individual conscience of her own party members to decide on.

    As Leighton Smith said. Either she was lying through her teeth then, or she is now.

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  20. tc () says:

    Oh dear oh dear. Looks like Mr. George is plagerising from Challenge Weekly Online – New Zealand’s Christian Newspaper, or getting paid twice for writing the same story.

    The same site has an article (Publisher’s Letter) on the value of a “Golden Rod” for imparting God’s discipline.

    Interestingly enough, neither of those publications point to the source where “Superintendent R. Logan” is quoted as making his quotes. Perhaps they are quoting each other.

    Save The Children have a press release on those Nordic Human Rights folks. Seems they are effectively phoneys, surprise.

    The thing to be very afraid of, is not whether this bill does / does not pass (either way, the sky is not going to fall), but the way in which special interest groups are willing to lie and distort facts to such a great extent. This has been said elsewhere, but these sort of people “have a moral dimension to everything … but apply morality to nothing”.

    Blue’s idea has merit, I just can’t help but think it would very quickly be captured by the Holders of the Covenant to the detriment of saner, more honest, folk who worry about the bill.

    (Apologies if this appears twice, I think I stuck too many links in first time up)

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  21. Chris () says:

    “Trying to stop frustrated parents from smacking children would be like trying to change human nature”.
    She didn’t say it was imposible though did she? She also didn’t say that it was going to stop her from trying.

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  22. tc () says:

    I suppose in fairness to Garth, I should point out that it *is* possible that the Challenge article plagerised him. Both contain copyright notices.

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  23. Lucyna () says:

    Oh dear, TC. Joan Durrant is difinately a phoney. She seriously misrepresented Swedish research which is being quoted all over the place by Save the Children. And she’s listed as one of those denouncing Ruby Harrold-Claesson! What a laugh.

    For more, see my post on Smack Smoke and Mirrors

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  24. Peter S () says:

    Chris,

    “She didn’t say it was imposible though did she? She also didn’t say that it was going to stop her from trying.”

    Hopefully the article will be up on the NewstalkZB website archive fairly soon.

    Clark spoke in a tone of voice that was completely dismissive of the idea. When McCoskrie asked her if she supported the ban she said “of course not.”

    If you get the chance listen to the interview. No amount of spin can disguise the fact that the pre-election statement is completely at odds with the way she is currently acting.

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  25. Fletch () says:

    TC, I think from memory that Garth George is the editor of Challenge Weekly.

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  26. Graeme Edgeler () says:

    I too was impressed with the decision to vote in favour of TPF’s first amendment – something I guarantee you he didn’t think of, as, wanting to delay the bill as much as possible he should have put his preferred option 50 months as his first amendment, and counted down to one month.

    I don’t see this government tactic working again.

    I’d note that it’s a little longer than two weeks then three weeks, however. Next members’ day *is* in two weeks’ time, but it’s then five weeks for the next (i.e. the third reading) – with Parliament’s only sitting in April the first week.

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  27. tc () says:

    Lucyna – it is was just one source you would be right, what a laugh. However, simply dozens of well respected sources have discredited the Nordic blah blah as flakes. They have zero credibility. Pretending otherwise is just as flaky. Your “Little” ditty doesn’t uncover anything. I’m confused by just what you thought you were trying to achieve. Did you get a peer review, carry out research yourself, or just, shoot from the hip because you “felt” it was right?

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  28. ross () says:

    > On Newstalk ZB he played a clip of an interview he had with HC just before the last election.

    Peter, nobody really listens to what politicians say before an election. It’s what they say after an election that usually matters.

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  29. dad4justice () says:

    tc – can explain to us humble peasants how we can take anything our supreme dictator Clark says seriously ever again – when she is on record when asked if she agreed with the anti smacking bill she replied “ That is the last thing I want.”

    This is bloody brilliant, as she has lost all credibility and how can she order anybody under her oppressive regime to vote on this bill as a conscience issue. To be a good liar you must have a real good memory and avoid being a twisted utopian, she is simply stumbling around in the darkness of confusion, human lusts and the intellectual vanities of many who like to try various ideas that titillate their own intellect.

    What more do National need to hammer the final nail into the Clark regime, as she is a total embarrassment to the world? Forget about delaying the bill, as surely the opposition has enough to call a snap election because our leader is unfit to run a country and they have 85 % of the population behind them.

    Enough is enough.

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  30. Lucyna () says:

    LOL! TC, then you did not get the point of my post at all. A small group of ideologues want to change a fundamental societal practise. How do they do it? One really important thing to do is to create a number of organisations that may have been built up from the original few who are lead by those who want to implement the change. They do this to appear bigger, to appear legitimate, to appear to be the voice of the majority calling for change. But, they are not the majority. These groups are only backed by a small fringe in NZ society. And yet somehow that small fringe is going to unleash major social change on NZ.

    Their nirvana – Sweden – therefore needs to hold up to scrutiny. Sweden itself has to appear purer than pure to other as it is leading the charge to ban smacking around the world. Yet Sweden is falling apart. Sweden has been settled by so many immigrants that are refusing to integrate that there are entire towns now that native Swedes are leaving in droves because it’s too dangerous to live there.

    But hey, let’s hold Sweden up as our Utopia, that which we want to achieve for NZ! Let’s hire 200,000 social workers (because Sweden, a country of 8 million, now has 400,000 social workers to ensure parental compliance with the state). Let’s go there. And let’s see where it leads us.

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  31. Spam () says:

    Helen is already spinning re that interview:

    “But the Prime Minister is standing by her comments, saying the Bradford bill is not a ban on smacking. At a function in Auckland she said she is still against a ban on smacking and does not want parents who lightly touch their children to be criminalised. She said the bill has been misrepresented and does not ban smacking,” it just toughens up the laws so parents who horsewhip their kids can be prosecuted. Miss Clark says police will use their discretion and good parents will not be penalised.”

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  32. tc () says:

    “do is to create a number of organisations that may have been built up from the original”

    No shit, they built up UNICEF? That took some doing. All you do is point to Christian Challenge equivalents to cast doubt on that lady. I’d say those organisations know a lot about false front outfits. Maxim Institute anyone?

    D4J “tc – can explain to us humble peasants how we can take anything our supreme dictator Clark says seriously ever again”

    I am afraid I very much doubt I can until the point at which you see the difference between an elected PM of New Zealand and a “supreme dictator” (is there any other kind, by the way).

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  33. Scott () says:

    Taito Phillip Fields tactics have been quite considerable in the past day, hes giving the govt the shits over the trans-tasman regulartory bill and hes delayed Sue Bradfords celebration party for the thrid reading of her anti-smacking bill. Its probably the most Phillip Field has done since he entered parlaiment in 1996

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  34. Chris () says:

    “Miss Clark says police will use their discretion and good parents will not be penalised.”
    So, she’s admitting that smacking will become illegal then isn’t she, because if smacking wasn’t illegal, the police wouldn’t have to use discretion? They don’t have the discretion to arrest you (or not) for doing something legal do they, just for something illegal.

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  35. Rumpole () says:

    Dear leaders change of mind is simply explained, before the election she didn,t need the greens, now she does. National does not appear to have a killer instinct, this issue is red hot and important to voters but publicly National appears to be doing nothing, for gods sake John/Bill do something – a Billboard of HC pledge card photo quoting her pre election statement and a current photo of her current statement with the question – is the prime minister a liar or just willing to prostitute labour to retain power at all costs. Promise to retrospectively repeal the legislation will almost guarentee you the treasury benches after the next election.

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  36. Peter S () says:

    Ross,

    “Peter, nobody really listens to what politicians say before an election. It’s what they say after an election that usually matters.”

    I listen to both. Its why I voted for Peter Dunne once and once only.

    The interesting thing about this particular issue is that it cuts accross political, religious and racial boundaries. No one group can be particularly identified as being the ones around which opposition is centered. This is potentially both a good and a bad thing for Labour. Good in that there is no mechanism through which the majority of the population that oppose the move can express themselves. Bad in that there is no subsection of society that Labour can isolate & attack to kill opposition.

    The next set of polls will be interesting, though I suspect many will be unusually late in the month in appearing, and it would not surprise me at all if TV3 don’t publish a poll at all this month.

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  37. Peter S () says:

    Rumpole,

    ” is the prime minister a liar or just willing to prostitute labour to retain power at all costs”

    Does it HAVE to be a one or other choice?

    I’ll take the money and the bag! ;-)

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  38. dad4justice () says:

    tc said , “at which you see the difference between an elected PM of New Zealand and a “supreme dictator”

    Point taken tc. As a extremely confused and bewildered humble peasant I would like to ask who is right? On my trusty old wireless this morning Police Association president -Greg O’Connor said “ if police get a notification of smacking in the household they will have to arrest if evidence exists (red marks on the bum etc..) and the matter will be treated as a domestic violence issue and criminal assault.”
    Then I hear our lovely gracious air brushed forgery Prime Minister saying – “ She did not expect parents to be stressed over having police attend a incident of smacking “

    Who am I to believe?

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  39. Inventory2 () says:

    Peter S – bear in mind that it was TV3 that ran the story about trouble at t’mill last night naming the Labour MP’s who are pissed off at having to vote for Bradford’s bill – which adds ammo to opponents of the bill.

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  40. Inventory2 () says:

    Peter S – bear in mind that it was TV3 that ran the story about trouble at t’mill last night naming the Labour MP’s who are pissed off at having to vote for Bradford’s bill – which adds ammo to opponents of the bill.

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  41. Peter S () says:

    Inventory2,

    I also heard Jackson & Tamihere on radio talk saying that Tariana Turia did not agree with the Maori party stance, that she had not been to the last meeting where it was decided to support the bill & that this is mainly being pushed by Sharples.

    The strange thing is that we have a bill that is opposed by the majority of the country and the majority of our MPs, but which could still end up being railroaded through.

    That aint democracy.

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  42. Chuck Bird () says:

    DMW,thanks for letting men know. Do you know how the votes went by party.

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  43. Spam () says:

    Can someone who kows the inner workings explain what would happen if some labour MPs decided to vote, according to conscience, AGAINST the bill? (Specifically; what would the Labour party do to them? Is it a sackable offence?)

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  44. Inventory2 () says:

    Peter S – since when did democracy have anything to do with anything in this country??!! However Dear Leader and her cohorts have taken things to a new low. I guess we should be grateful that the current administration hasn’t YET resorted to Mugabe-like tactics (did you see the Zim opposition leader on TV last night?), and hopefully the nation will come to its sense in 2008 defore Helen declares herself President for Life.

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  45. Peter S () says:

    Inventory2,

    Didn’t you know that the Zimbabwe opposition leader was a violent man and that he hurt himself resisting arrest by the police, who acted in a completely restrained manner? I heard a senior member of the Zibabwe police saying so on the radio, so it must be true.

    I agree about democracy and the new low.

    i thought the Maori party was a joke when it was first started, but they had gained my respect over some issues and the way that most of them had conducted themselves. I think that they have moved into territory that has the potential to sink them completely.

    If phone calls to the radio are anything to go by then this issue has the potential to be one that has a strong uniting effect on the population of the country. Certainly there is a lot of opposition that transcends race, religion, political affiliation and income bracket.

    Maybe its all about Labour finally closing the gaps

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  46. DavidW () says:

    DPF. Slightly off topic but related, can you advise what is the impact of a document being tabled in Parliament and why is there such a desire to object to tabling items that are already in the public domain (eg newspaper reports)?

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  47. gd () says:

    I bet this issue will be the tipping point the next poll out after the Bill becomes law will see the Socialists drop to the low 30s and the Nats top 50. the Greens will drop below the 5 mark possibly 3 or less. The MP will take a knock but retain enough to hold their seats.

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  48. tc () says:

    D4J asks “who is right?” (out of Clark & O’Connor). Dunno, don’t really care. I suspect both have a point and when interpreting the law judges to look at parliament’s intent when that law was passed.

    Do care about this one though. Who is more likely to know about “disciplining” special needs children? IHC or Families First. Because if enough people believe it is the latter then God help those kids.

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  49. Inventory2 () says:

    Peter S – yes, a very violent man, attending a particularly violent prayer vigil!!! It does, however, seem as though the tide of world opinion is turning against Mugabe – we can only hope a similar tide sweeps over Aotearoa, and soon!

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  50. side show bob () says:

    Dear Leader is nothing more then a lying fly blown cow, she is now trying to say that parents will still be able to smack their children as police will use their discretion and good parents will not be penalised, pigshit!!. If she truly believes that then no doubt her scaby arse party will be in agreement, pigshit!!. If she had any real belief in her convictions she would let her MP’s vote how they wish, she is full of it.

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  51. Inventory2 () says:

    If Dear Leader’s backpedal today (after the revelation of the McCoskery interview in 2005) represents her REAL view towards Bradford’s bill, surely she will support Chester Borrows’ amendment, which defines exactly the circumstances she claims she was commenting on. But will she? Yeah, right!

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  52. dad4justice () says:

    sideshow – talking about cows and dear leader I hope you like this that I dragged out from down the back of the farm :-)

    Helen Clark and her driver were cruising along a country road one evening when an ancient cow loomed in front of the car.

    The driver tried to avoid it but couldn’t — the aged bovine was struck and killed.

    Helen told her driver to go up to the farmhouse and explain to the

    owners what had happened. She stayed in the car making phone calls

    to lobbyists.

    About an hour later the driver staggered back to the car with his clothes in disarray. He was holding a half-empty bottle of expensive wine in one hand, a rare, huge cigar in the other, and was Smiling happily, smeared with lipstick.

    “What happened to you,” asked Helen ?

    “Well,” the driver replied, “the farmer gave me the cigar, his wife gave me the wine, and their beautiful twin daughters made mad

    passionate love

    to me ”

    “My God, what did you tell them?” asked Helen.

    The driver replied, “I just stepped inside the door and said, I’m Helen Clarks’s driver and I’ve just killed the old cow. The rest happened so fast I couldn’t stop it.” !!

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  53. Peter S () says:

    “a very violent man, attending a particularly violent prayer vigil!!!”

    Good gracious. He is not an EB is he?

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  54. Peter S () says:

    HC and the Labour party have spent so much time backpedaling, weaving, ducking and diving, performing flip flops and spinning they are begining to resemble a circus ride.

    Oh that and they are a bunch of clowns.

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  55. jocko () says:

    Will we now have ‘smackgate’ to add to all the others….?

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  56. Peter S () says:

    “Will we now have ‘smackgate’ to add to all the others….?”

    How about “Castigate”

    ;-)

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  57. Inventory2 () says:

    Just heard Bradford saying on the 4pm Radio news that her bill, if passed, WILL ban smacking. However Dear Leader says that it won’t. They can’t both be right! Confused anyone?

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  58. Inventory2 () says:

    “Good gracious. He is not an EB is he?”

    No Peter S, he’s MDC – then again, Mugabe’s hatred on the MDC seems to be on about the same level that Labour despises the EB, so I guess there are parallels!!!

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  59. Peter S () says:

    Inventory2

    Bingo.

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  60. Fred () says:

    SueB on Poverty and the Kahui connection:
    Note the slogan on the wall.

    And I think the case of the Kahui twins, the tragic story that we are all so aware of at the moment, that in a way is the product of inter-generational poverty and unemployment in places like South Auckland, where families go through generations of having no connection to employed work or a stake in the upside of NZ society, and when that happens to people when they go through generations of that, is what we all know about all sorts of addictions crime and depression, mental health issues, suicide murder. This is a result of accepting in NZ that it is ok if tens of thousands of people live below the poverty line

    http://www.inspirationaltv.net/video/newsflash/newsflash05/NewsFlash2Sepsm.wmv

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  61. side show bob () says:

    Thanks Dad4justice needed a good laugh. As mastercard would say, “priceless” and would probably happen like that.

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