Opposition whining

Danya Levy at Stuff reports:

Opposition parties are outraged National is using the members’ bill ballot to advance laws updating old statutes which could be put through Parliament as government legislation.

Oh what a beat up by Labour and NZ First. Almost every members’ bill ever put up by a Government MP could be put through as government legislation in theory. But it is good for backbench MPs to gain experience of being in charge of a bill, and more importantly often law reform can occur quicker through the members ballot.

Labour and NZ First say their democratic right to progress their own legislation is being hampered by frivolous legislation.

The irony, after Labour fucked over the Greens and all other opposition MPs in 2008 2011 by fillibustering the VSM bill all year blocking all other members legislation. The hypocrisy as always is immense.

I mean Labour even fucked over their own private bill on behalf of the Royal Society of NZ, with their filibustering. Again, what effing hypocrites.

And Labour and NZ First are effectively arguing that National backbench MPs should not have the democratic right to enter bills into the members ballot. They are just sour because a National MP won one of the two spots.

Let us look at how many members (not Ministers) had bills in the last ballot from each party.

  • National just 9 bills from 35 backbench MPs
  • Labour had 15 bills from 34 MPs – so not even half their MPs bothered to submit a bill and they complain they are not winning the ballot
  • Greens had 14 bills from 14 MPs – excellent
  • NZ First had 1 bill from 8 MPs – again what hypocrisy complaining when someone else wins
  • Maori Party – 1 bill from 1 backbench MP
  • Mana Party – no bills from 1 MP

So maybe Labour and NZ First would be better spent submitting more bills to the ballot, rather than whining that National MPs are entering in bills they don’t like.

A member’s bill by National’s new MP for Tamaki Simon O’Connor was one of two to be drawn from the ballot yesterday.

The Joint Family Homes Repeal Bill seeks to abolish a 1964 law protecting the family home.

O’Connor said the Law Commission recommended scrapping the old law which “afforded the family home protection against the winds of financial adversity” because it was unused as the same protections were afforded in more recent legislation.

Asked why he had taken up the cause, O’Connor said there was a number of bills the Government had suggested its MPs look at adopting in their names.

“This one was suggested to me and I was happy to put my name to it.”

This has been the practice for Government MPs for as long as I can recall. Not all members bills are like this, but many are. In this particular case, this bill has been on the ballot for around two years – previously under the name of Jo Goodhew.

The Law Commission actually recommended in 2001 (off memory) that this law be repealed. The reality is that it is highly unlikely to ever be deemed a high enough priority by Cabinet to be given legislative priority. Hence a members bill means the law actually gets repealed.

Note again – the law was recommended for repeal in 2001.

Labour’s shadow leader of the House, Trevor Mallard, said it was “outrageous”.

“That sort of bill can be progressed through a statutes amendment bill or omnibus bill, where there is no argument about it.”

It was an unnecessary use of parliamentary time to do something that would have happened anyway, he said.

A simple question then. Why did Labour not repeal the law in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 or 2008?

“Someone who just signs on the dotted line to introduce legislation is effectively saying ‘at the moment there’s nothing more important in my electorate that this’.

“I feel quite sad for him.”

Trevor shows how he is a dinosaur of the past, who should stay there. First of all List MPs get to submit members bills also. Secondly, Very few members bills relate to an MPs electorate.

NZ First leader Winston Peters said it was an inappropriate use of the members’ bill process.

“This is just a device where (National) has used private members’ facilities to prosecute government policy.”

It blocked up the ballot, which limits MPs to one bill each, by increasing the number of National bills.

This comes from the leader of the party who submitted only one bill out of 8 MPs. Stop being a whining loser and go submit more bills into the next ballot if you want to improve your chances of winning.

Think if National adopted Labour’s tactics? They could filibuster a members’ bill all year long, so there are no more members ballots in 2012. That would really give them something to complain about. Yet, it would be exactly what Labour did in 2008 2011.