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54 Responses to “Most unusual third reading speech I can recall”
Dunedin once a proud productive city that lived on trade,gold ,shipping and agriculture is hanging on by the skin of it’s teeth through a wealth transfer via the government to the university,polytech,hospital and a host of other “beneficiaries”.
It’s bizarre that ACT are voting for it anyway. It’s a private members bill. It should be struck down. Like I say, why should someone serving a two year sentence in between elections still be allowed to vote, but someone in jail for three months on election day not?!
The only answer I can come up with is that Hide is an idiot.
Brainless shitwits like Blair always overlook that politics is the art of compromise. Principles are traded off for compromise. That’s politics. Get used to it.
They also overlook the fact that the VSM bill was debated in the same night. You don’t have to think too hard to understand that the Gnats probably said “we’ll vote for VSM provided you vote for this”.
I think that’s almost certainly what happened. It explains Hilary’s position.
Without voting for this, (and all you do in the process is hack off a few criminals – big deal) VSM might not be a goer.
Think about that for a moment.
If you don’t like it then politics is the wrong pastime for you.
Gooner – often agree with ACT policies – but they have a bunch of numpties (bar one) in there who are making the party irrelevant. That is a worry – because I have always split my vote – our local Nat MP is an irrelevance as well IMO and doesn’t deserve both ticks.
Politics is one great big game – to see who can score the highest number of points for or against – regardless of merit.
So you lefties who support Compulsory Student Membership obviously think the best scholars of New Zealand aren’t intelligent enough to work out whether or not they need to belong to a union? Speaks volumes for your trust in our education system – given your ranting about how good it is as is.
Isn’t this whole law a bit of a yawn anyway? I seriously cant think that there would be too guests of her majestys institutions loosing much sleep or rioting about not being unable to vote if they’re currently incarcerated on election day. Try & make prisons smoke free that’d really set the cat amongst the pigeons
Right, so Hide is an idiot because he trades off VSM passing for a few crims not being allowed to vote.
ACT is supposed to be the ‘party of freedom’, and ACT just voted to deny people one of the most fundamental freedoms you can have in a democracy. You’d think they’d take time to try and explain why they’re doing it.
I agree with Danyl. If the price of getting VSM was curtailing the freedoms of some citizens, then I think that was too much. But I can understand why they did it, and arguably in getting VSM through we’re restoring freedoms to a larger group of NZers, and furthermore, a larger group who aren’t criminals.
If the choice was VSM and this bill, or neither, then I’d say it’s a line ball call. I’m not sure that was really the choice.
I should clarify that I accept a better explanation should have been given. Liberty is the fundamental freedom lost when one enters jail, not the freedom to vote. A corollary of entering jail could well be that your freedom to vote has been taken away from you; along with other liberties/freedoms.
It’s very cute to be lectured about basic freedoms by non supporters of ACT whom seem to have a propriatial right over ACT’s speaking and voting in Parliament despite never themselves voting for ACT.
At the same time Labour and National bolstered by the (freedom for nobody exept dope smokers) Greens are supporting the extension of the regulation of political competition to non-candidates and non-registered parties so that those spending 13k in exercise of their freedom of expression in proximity to an election are both bureaucratised and potentially criminalised. A far greater threat to liberty than Mr Quinn’s Bill.
And what is more, Pete Hodgeson indicated that Labour is open to tinkering with it in the future. In effect National has only reached its prized “consensus” on the regulation of non-candidate and non-registered party speech whilst it remains in Govt. (Yes National’s displeasure last time on the EFA really acted as a restraint on Labour)
The fact is Hilary Calvert is indicating that she is only lukewarm about preventing prisoners from voting. I suspect that view is widely held in ACT. I guess ACT is supporting it because it said it would do so in Parliament at 1st Reading and the Quinn Bill is deep and meaningful to the Nats (not one of is “Hanan Liberals”of course had any doubt the Bill could not be reconciled with basic liberties despite National party member uppitiness here).
In terms of reconciling the Quinn Bill with classical liberalism both positions (prisoners voting and non-voting are reconcilable). It depends on where one’s emphasis is: on the broad franchise (rights) or on feeling the effects flowing from non lawful behaviour (personal responsibility).
For example, all but two US states bar prisoners from voting and most US States prevent those with serious convictions from exercising the vote again (see XIV Amendment of the US Constitution). In the US, there an area of the practice of law regarding Presidential and Gubernatorial pardons which for many individuals involve restoring the right to vote. These individuals apply for a pardon as a result of committing no further crimes and otherwise leading a productive life and giving back to their communities. This sort of pardon now makes up the vast bulk of Federal and State pardons.
So I guess the new rule is: if you are prepared to do the crime, be prepared to do the time. And if you doing the time you are not voting. Is this a big “shock horror” on the liberty front: no not really. Is this going to deter crime: probably not. Are there bigger fish to fry on the freedom front: most certainly.
Being a member of modern society entails both rights and responsibilities. Don’t play by the rules? Fuck off, go to priz and lose all your rights. Don’t want to play by the rules and don’t want to go to priz? Then just fuck off elsewhere.
The debate around alternative forms of punishment raises the prospect that some crimes are not necessarily appropriately dealt with by incarceration. But for the moment, being incarcerated is a sufficiently good basis for regarding an offender as being a sufficiently bad prick to lose not just freedom, but the vote. In fact, if the teary-eyed defenders of votes for prisoners could hold themselves in check for a moment, they would be able to see the inherent nonsense in allowing people a vote when their most fundamental freedom, being personal liberty, has been taken away. Cripes, why not let them out for a run around the block or to nip down to the dairy?
If anyone’s familiar with the brilliant series “Shameless” you’ll know why, whenever Frank Gallagher does his opening rant, I think of our Parliamentarians. Not just because they’re the same kind of befuddled, ne’er-do-well, tax-leeching layabouts but because they seem unashamed of the fact. So when Frank gets to this couplet:
We are worth every penny
for grinding your axes
You shit on our ‘eads
But you pay the taxes!
I imagine our MPs, booze in one hand, fag in the other, offering us precisely the same taunt.
As for this particular piece of can’t-be-arsed “contribution” to debate on an important principle of human rights, I’m tempted to send it to the great William Shatner to present as he does Palin’s bizarre drivel.
A corollary of entering jail could well be that your freedom to vote has been taken away from you; along with other liberties/freedoms.
But you need to explain why you’re taking away people’s freedoms. Prison is (a) corrective, (b) rehabilitative (in theory), and (c) safeguards the public. Does taking away someone’s right to vote accomplish any of those?
There’s also the point that the criminal justice system should be fair, equal and consistent – but this bill arbitrarily removes people’s rights based on when they happen to be sent to prison. Do two years and eleven months for aggravated assault, get out in time for the election and you get to vote. Get sent away for a month on a dishonesty offence and this happens to be during the election, you’ve lost your right to participate in our democracy – and you’ve lost it for no apparent reason.
@Chris: “It’s very cute to be lectured about basic freedoms by non supporters of ACT whom seem to have a propriatial right over ACT’s speaking and voting in Parliament despite never themselves voting for ACT.”
It’s called “criticism”, Chris. Your party is free to put up Hilary Calvert as a “good representative”. Your party is free to vote for legislation like this. Everyone else is free to laugh long and hard, while at the same time dying a little inside.
If your out, you’ve rejoined society. If you’re in, you’ve left it. The bill doesn’t remove rights because people “happen” to be in prison. It removes a further right (in addition to that of liberty) BECAUSE they are in prison and they are in prison because they have opted out of the responsibilities that accompany the right to vote. You also missed (d) – a deterrent (not that that seems to have much of an effect now either).
And as for having to explain why people’s freedoms are taken away, are you actually serious or are you just taking the piss?
I remember a Labour MP who’s speech on a third reading was “I support the bill”. It was just to use up one of the alloted speaking slots to stop the opposition filibuster which I suspect was the point of saying so little but as the only ACT speaker she should have made a contribution as to the merits of the bill.
If your out, you’ve rejoined society. If you’re in, you’ve left it. The bill doesn’t remove rights because people “happen” to be in prison. It removes a further right (in addition to that of liberty) BECAUSE they are in prison
But if removing the right to vote is to be a feature of the criminal justice system then it has to be applied justly, consistently and fairly. So you could give a judge the power to sentence someone not to be able to vote. A law that denies some prisoners this right indiscriminate of their offence, purely on the date they happen to be imprisoned is not just, fair or consistent.
And as for having to explain why people’s freedoms are taken away, are you actually serious or are you just taking the piss?
Look at it this way: you like the idea of prisoners losing their freedom because you hate them. Fair enough. But what if some future far left government passed a law banning wealthy people from having children, purely on the basis that they hate wealthy people (because they’re ‘evil capitalists’, or whatever)? Should disliking a segment of society be a good reason to deprive them of their basic rights?
I’m not saying you can’t ever pass laws that deprive people of their basic rights, I’m saying that when the government does this it should at least have a good reason, other than ‘prisoners are scum’ or ‘capitalists are evil’ and so on.
If your out, you’ve rejoined society. If you’re in, you’ve left it.
Does that mean prisoners shouldn’t have to pay tax? They’re not in society, after all. No taxation without representation and so on.
Danyl, Prisoners lose their vote because it’s part of the sentence. They stepped outside societal norms. Therefore they suffer various penalties. If they want to keep voting, then don’t commit the crime.
It’s no different from a class bully who makes life hell for the rest of the class. Should that child have the same “rights” as everyone else, without censure? Should the teachers avoid holding them to account regardless of the detriment they cause to other “innocent” pupils?
No teacher would nor should permit that.
Depriving prisoners of the “right” to participate in democracy is no different to depriving them of the “right” to freedom, the “right” to work and earn a living, the “right” to have children etc. With rights come responsibilities. If an adult can’t be responsible, they lose those “rights.”
“Your party is free to vote for legislation like this. Everyone else is free to laugh long and hard, while at the same time dying a little inside.
Isn’t freedom great?”
Don’t be melodramatic. You are sounding a bit like the AG.
Yes you are perfectly free to criticise pols but just don’t spend $12001.00 doing it within three months of the election or National and Labour (and the freedom loving Greens) will get the coppers to visit you and the Electoral Commission to chase you for not asking them first.
Every New Zealander has now less freedom of expression than previous generations. And watch out: the pols will keep tinkering with the law to further privilege their speech at the expense of everyone else’s freedom and tax money.
Prisoners lose their vote because it’s part of the sentence. They stepped outside societal norms. Therefore they suffer various penalties.
It’s not part of the sentence though. It’s part of the sentence for some randomly selected prisoners. And why is it part of their sentence? Why do they lose THAT right, and not, say, freedom of religion?
During the shameful debacle that was the Garrett affair Rodney Hide described himself as a classical liberal which caused an outbreak of laughter from one end of the country to the other. Classical liberals are usually found in the socialist ranks and not in the nationalist camps so the conclusion is that Act has no idea who they are.
On the subject of wether Prisoners should enjoy the privilege to vote the answer from me is a resounding no.Hard luck.
Supposing we accept the people who are put in prison, no matter for how long, have forfieted any moral rights. And we’re allowed to deprive them of anything we like, enforce religious practice (cheers Danyl), kill them, whatever. (I don’t, but whatever.)
Even if we accept all that: you still have to convince me that doing so would be a good idea.
It’s not part of the sentence though. It’s part of the sentence for some randomly selected prisoners.
So we need to fix the date that elections occur so that when people are considering a crime they can factor in the possibility that they may loose their right to vote… look for a surge of crimes with a maximum 2 year term immediately following an election… Oh the injustice….
Yet another glaring illustration that we have at least twicew as many MPs as we need. Get tid of half of them, and those remaining will have the moral authority to cut the public service down to size so that we can get more people into productive work.
the zealot NAT party climber and Chair of Epsom Nat electorate Bhatnagar would like to exchange several Centre Right wing politicians for one NZ Nat politician.
thats right yo yo,
lets swap 5 to 8 seats for one yo yo NZ NAT Bhatnagar or similar,
I don’t think so,
ACT is safe
Nick Kearney, why don’t you go fuck yourself? You know your party is now full of shit, so personal attacks on me seem to be all you have left. You are defending the increasingly indefensible and I pity you. Furthermore, I have always defended you personally, so your insults are disgusting, albeit typical of the disgrace that ACT has become.
You know that ACT MPs were not elected to vote for things they disagreed with, and as I gave them my party vote in 2008 I still have a vested interest. If they were going to do that, why don’t they just join the National caucus where they can be officially whipped instead of voluntarily whipping themselves?
If they are horsetrading on private members bills, that is ridiculous. It is a travesty of democracy. They should be voting on their own conscience. If National MPs do not wish to vote for VSM, they should not be doing that either. I want principled people in parliament, not whores.
And let’s think about this for a bit Nick. This is not about scumbag prisoners. This is not about the worst of the worst. They could never vote anyway. This is about petty criminals who are serving less than three years. It is inconsistent to allow someone serving two years to vote if they do their time between elections, but not allow the vote to someone serving two months if they are in there next November.
Besides all this, do you not see how this could be used as a political tool? You have been a Party Secretary – imagine if they decided to arrest you for something right before an election? You couldn’t vote, dumbass! Would you put it past someone like Clark or someone like Howard Broad to do it? I wouldn’t.