On the face of it, it is an act of breathtaking hypocrisy from Peters to accept the vote. As the architect of the so-called waka jumping law, Peters presumably had someone exactly like Ross in mind when he made the law a bottom line of coalition negotiations.
Ross was, after all, expelled by National for publicly undermining the leader and secretly recording his colleagues with the purpose of embarrassing and destabilising the party.
Short of crossing the floor to vote against his party on a matter that is core to the National Party manifesto, it is hard to think of a more blatant form of gross disloyalty.
This does indeed expose the hypocrisy of Peters. He thinks waka jumping is so awful he forces Parliament to pass a law allowing MPs to be expelled for it. And then weeks later he takes the proxy vote of an MP who quit as a member of the party he was elected for.
But hey why stop there. I say let JLR join NZ First. He could be their Chief Whip.
The loses are of course the people of Botany. They want more than just a vote being cast in Parliament. They want an MP who can meet them, can advocate for them, who can be invited to school prize givings, open new businesses etc. They do not have that. What constituent in their right mind would go to an MP who secretly records his colleagues and releases the tapes to media?
Maybe what NZ needs is a recall provision for electorate MPs. It would have to be higher than a 50% threshold otherwise parties will just use it against each other. Maybe say a 65% majority needed to recall an MP – so would only work where clearly the MP has entirely lost the confidence of their electorate.
I’m pretty sure that 65% of Botany would vote to recall their MP and have a by-election if they could. Hell I suspect 85% would vote for it.