Swarbrick bill fails

Stuff reports:

Green MP Chloe Swarbrick’s medicinal bill has failed at its first reading.

The bill lost 47 votes to 73, with both every National and NZ First MP voting against it.

That is a shame. Her bill wasn’t perfect but it was a lot better than the Government’s bill which is mainly window dressing.

My hope now is that the Government bill will be significantly changed at select committee to make it easy for those suffering chronic pain or terminal illness to access for pain relief.

Of the 46 Labour MPs in Parliament 38 voted for the bill, along with every Green Party MP and ACT leader David Seymour.

“What’s been demonstrated in the House today is that it’s not a House of Representatives,” Swarbrick said.

“78 percent of New Zealanders agree with the premise of my bill, it was voted down today by quite a majority, so the National Party has really proved itself to be quite conservative on that.”

“I’m really gutted, because there are thousands of people out there who will now be criminals for at least the next two years.”

I agree is a case where the MPs are well out of step with public opinion.

I’m disappointed that no National MP voted for it, but with there was never ever going to be 14 National MPs voting for it. It was all over once eight Labour MPs and all nine NZ First MPs voted against it.

raises the interesting issue of how toothless and weak the Greens are. They could have got it through if their coalition partners had voted for it.

If I was James Shaw I would have gone to Ardern and Peters and said “We’re getting heaps of backlash from our members for voting for the bill. As is against our existing policy, it is putting huge pressure on us to not back it any further. However if our members see us get a win in exchange, and our medicinal bill gets through to select committee, then I think we can keep our members in line with the waka jumping bill”

Instead Winston gets the Greens to vote for his bill, and the Greens get nothing in return.

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