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Time for the Greens to stop anti-democratic bill

Press Release – New Zealand National Party

The Governments decision to defer the consideration of the Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Bill this week gives the Green Party another opportunity to rediscover its principles and reject this draconian Bill, Nationals Electoral Law Reform …Nick Smith – Electoral Law

13 August 2018
The Government’s decision to defer the consideration of the Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Bill this week gives the Green Party another opportunity to rediscover its principles and reject this draconian Bill, National’s Electoral Law Reform spokesperson Dr Nick Smith says.

“National’s strong opposition to this Bill has forced the Government to back down on passing it this week. This opens a window of opportunity for the Green Party at their conference in Palmerston North this weekend to do what’s right, stay true to its values and vote this anti-democratic Bill down.

“Winston Peters’ Waka Jumping Bill was set down for a third reading last week, but the Bill did not make it to that stage. It was then set down for passage this week, but it has been moved from the first Government Order of the Day to the tenth on the Order Paper. This means the Bill will not now be considered until Parliament resumes in September.

“The Green Party is risking its survival in voting for a Bill that it describes as ‘a threat to democracy’ and ‘anti-democratic’. By voting for a Bill that breaches the Bill of Rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights it is making an absolute mockery of its professed ‘advocacy for human rights’.

“The Green Party cannot justify voting for this Bill because of its Confidence and Supply agreement. Co-leader James Shaw has said that the benefit of the arrangement is that the party doesn’t have to vote for bills it opposes. So why are they voting for this?

“The Greens need to reassert their values as a party that stands up for free speech, respect for dissenting views and democracy.

“National is prepared to work with the Greens on any amendment that will reduce the harm to New Zealand’s democracy from this draconian Bill. We have drafted many amendments that limit its application, increase the judicial checks, raise the bar for MP dismissal and introduce sunset clauses.

“The Green Party conference this weekend needs to send a message to their MPs to stay principled. They need to find their voice on this Bill and just say no.”

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