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Monday, November 24, 2008

How urgent is that urgency?

So how urgent do we need to pass a massive change to bail laws? As the very clever Idiot/Savant points out..

In fact, you need to go back a decade, all the way to 1998, to last find a time where actual policy bills were being passed under urgency without select committee scrutiny (and then primarily because the National-led government of the time was deliberately requiring them to come into force very quickly). Even then, the policy was minor. You need to go back even further, to the early 90's, or even the Douglas Blitzkrieg of the 80's, to find significant policy being passed in this way.

…so we are going to be passing bail laws from ones where there has to be a “real or substantial risk” to the public to any risk at all which will make numbers within our corrupt and violent prison system skyrocket upwards with no discussion whatsofucking ever because ACT and National are ram-roading change through just as the mainstream media jet off to Fiji for the holidays, all under urgency measures that we haven’t seen used in this country for a decade. This decision will only further exacerbate the damage prisons cause and it is a gross and offensive misuse of urgency to shut down debate over powers that will effect many.


At 24/11/08 1:33 pm, Blogger Idiot/Savant said...

Thanks to the BORA and the courts, National's "change" may not in fact be all its cracked up to be. But that doesn't excuse this sort of abuse of the Parliamentary process.

At 24/11/08 3:12 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah it's not like Labour set a president for over-using urgency or anything....

At 24/11/08 3:39 pm, Blogger Idiot/Savant said...

Anon: actually, they didn't. Speaking as someone who has just tawled through over a decade of Hansard studying urgency motions, it was comparatively rare. As opposed to the post-Shipley Nats, who used it every second week, because they wanted to rush something into force ASAP.

(ETS? But if you paid attention to the motions and hansard, you'd notice that urgency was used there basically to make the House sit for longer - they had to sit in the morning as well as the afternoon. Shock! Horror! Abuse of power! But please don't let reality disrupt your trolling).

I should also note that when labour used urgency, the bills still went to select committee (except, obviously, for the occasional legislative bugfixes every parliament has to deal with). National is proposing to deny the public any say on something they are selling as a major legislative change. That's a whole level beyond anything Labour did, and I have to go back to Douglas and Richardson to find a similar abuse of the Parliamentary process.

At 24/11/08 7:33 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd rather have violent criminals in prison being overcrowded in cells rather than on the streets.

A majority of NZ'ers would agree with this sentiment.

And idiot/savant, nice of you to whitewash labour's role in passing racist legislation such as the Foreshore Bill which was the only occasion the suppressed the Attorney-General's report on whether it violated our rights.

Ideology is thicker than any urge to uphold democracy with you in this case.

I'll expect more hypocrisy from the left in future.

At 24/11/08 11:19 pm, Blogger Idiot/Savant said...

nice of you to whitewash labour's role in passing racist legislation such as the Foreshore Bill which was the only occasion the suppressed the Attorney-General's report on whether it violated our rights.

The Attorney-General did no such thing. The BORA-assessment of the Foreshore and Seabed Bill is publicly available here. The bill was finally passed under (unnecessary, IMHO) urgency - but it at least got a full select committee process (plus a public consultation) before that. National's bail law changes won't have that - and it is that absence I am specifically objecting to. Unless its a truly urgent bugfix, bills should get the full process. The government can hustle them to committee, or hustle them through their final stages (with a good reason of course), but removing that consideration is a serious abuse.

And as for the Foreshore and Seabed Act, as you'd know from today's posts, I've been a consistent critic of the Act. But you've already shown that you're not going to let mere facts get in the way of a good troll...


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