Until yesterday there had been only three pronouncements from The Beehive since Election Day, October 17.
One of those had been jointly made by Winston Peters as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Ron Mark as Minister of Defence, presumably a last-gasp announcement before they are despatched to the political wilderness at least for three years. It regarded a third P-3 deployment of a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea.
What flowed yesterday – compared with what had dribbled out during an ominously quiet post-election fortnight – was something of a flood. Two ministerial press statements (as distinct from party ones) in one day.
The Point of Order Beehive Monitor was caught by surprise. Continue reading “Yes to snuffing but no to puffing: topping ourselves (voluntarily) is approved but going to pot (legally) is vetoed”
Veteran journalist David Barber, a champion of voluntary euthanasia, and Ken Orr, spokesman for Right to Life, have found common ground. Both agree that our elected politicians should not be passing the buck on the End of Life Choice Bill to a referendum.
They question the need for a binding referendum being held at the 2020 general election, if the contentious End of Life Choice Bill is passed at its third reading on November 13. This is the consequence of the nine MPs of NZ First pledging to support the third reading of the bill on the condition that Parliament votes to support its supplementary order paper requiring such a referendum.
But the Brexit shambles in Britain provides ample evidence that a referendum can undermine a democracy rather than buttress or strengthen it.
The shambles is the subject of an article, headed Brexit is putting parliamentary democracy in question, recently published by the European Council on Foreign Relations, an international think-tank.
“Brexit may well become a textbook example of the damage that a referendum can wreak on parliamentary democracy.” Continue reading “Brexit and the popular vote – a lesson in folly that should steer NZ First away from facile referenda”