Should MPs table petitions they don’t agree with?

The Herald reports:

It may be just co-incidence that Labour MP decided to bring a to Parliament for prisoners to have a right to be sperm donors, just after he was placed well down Labour’s published list for the coming election. Mallard says he does not necessarily agree with the proposal, he simply believes it is an MP’s duty to allow anyone to petition Parliament.

Really? Is there no proposition so ridiculous that he would not table it for the attention of the House? Or did he choose this one because it had originally been sent to National’s Chris Bishop who nearly took Mallard’s Hutt South seat at the last election and no doubt helped the veteran MP decide not to stand in the electorate again?

Bishop was promoting a bill on organ donation when he received the petition from convicted murderer Karl Teangiotau Nuku who believes it is a prisoner’s right to donate organs, blood and sperm if they wish. Bishop obviously thought it unworthy of attention and he was right.

The issue that has been talked about is whether MPs should forward petitions from constituents when they disagree with them.

I would refine the issue into petitions you merely disagree with and petitions you find repugnant.

An MP should table a petition if they merely disagree with it. For example you might support keeping the age of eligibility for superannuation at 65 but would table a petition from Grey Power calling for it to be 60.

But surely there are some issues that are so repugnant that an MP is well within their rights to say “Sorry I’m not going to table that petition for you”.

Would an MP table a petition calling for:

  • The age of consent for sex to be reduced to 10 years old
  • For the right to vote to be taken away from women
  • For husbands to be able to legally rape their wives (again)
  • For Jews to have their property confisicated

These are all so repugnant that clearly no MP would say “Yeah mate I’ll table that for you because you live in my electorate”.

Now the petition from demanding the right to father children jail is not quite as repugnant as the above examples but not far off.

Nuku is a convicted murderer. He is serving a life sentence with a minimum parole period of 18 years. His victim was bludgeoned to death with a hammer while asleep. Nuku has shown no remorse and took pleasure in the killing.

Comments (46)

Login to comment or vote

Add a Comment

%d bloggers like this: