Wallys of the Week

No 1 Wally award goes to Gordon Copeland. NZPA reports on how he put out a press release criticising the response to a question, hours before he actually asked the question!!

Independent MP Gordon Copeland was mocked in Parliament today for putting out a response criticising an answer to a question, hours before the question was even asked.

The former United Future MP was due to ask Attorney-General Michael Cullen if the Government was going to support his Bill of Rights (Private Property Rights) Bill.

Before Parliament sat today, Mr Copeland put out a press release marking his “disappointment at Government’s stance on property rights”.

Dr Cullen complained to the Speaker Margaret Wilson saying Mr Copeland had already expressed disappointment at his answer.

The prize however is shared by No 2, Jacqui Dean, who like Sue Kedgley’s office a few years ago, fell for the dihydrogen monoxide hoax. Here’s a lesson for all MPs. If a constituent writes to you asking for you to ban a substance you have never heard of because “In many cases of drug/party pill overdoses reported in New Zealand and overseas, Dihydrogen Monoxide is considered to be one of the contributing factors”, then here’s some steps you should take before writing to the Minister (whose response is here) and asking him whether “the Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs have a view on the banning of this drug”:

  1. Check Wikipedia
  2. Or Google
  3. Ask your party’s research unit what info they have on banning dihydrogen monoxide and when they manage to pull themselves back up off the floor, conclude it is a bad idea
  4. Ask the font of all knowledge – the Parliamentary Library

The dihydrogen monoxide hoax has a serious point to it.  It shows how one can make anything sound bad, and lead to a reflex “should we ban this?” response.  Rodney Hide has up on his blog his comments from Hansard, where he agrees with Nandor Tanczos that prohibition is a bad idea,

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