Nactional calls filibuster bluff - Über City enabling law runs past midnight
It's this masochistic, political telethon cum iron man endurance test that is running past midnight - an extrordinary sitting of parliamentat in urgency to pass Hide's super city bill into law. It's bordering on insane at this point - it has become a test of wills in the House. Sir Roger Douglas is at the vanguard too - relishing the ramming process. But Labour are finding friends among the other parties and this solidarity amongst the left is spouting amendments and votes by the dozen at this committee stage.
He's got the hackles up from the opposition who are all fighting this now. The Maori Party and the Greens and Labour - against Act and National. Nazional in this situation. But the left will not just sit by and let them ram it through without some sort of consultation. There is no need for the right to push this through in this way.
They are trying to pass it all before anyone can read it. Why?
The biggest aspect of the bill and the amalgamation is the automatic inclusion of the two rural district councils, north and south of the city - Rodney and Franklin - into the Auckland Council. This annexation - or anchluss in the context of the über city - is a unilateral per-emption and prejudice of the reorganisation process because it denies those two distinct communities of interest their councils when the boundaries have not been drawn. Isn't the legislation pre-determining to a large extent those boundaries?
And what of the Transitional Agency's role in drawing up ballot papers? The decision to make the at-large councillors ordered on a ticket/list system or ordered on an individual and/or alphabetical system is important to get right. Yes, I know. And as for the other things in the bill, I haven't had time to read them.
OK, it's now 12:41am and they are still voting - the same voting pattern again, and again. Cunliffe threatened that they can keep this up for a week.
A week. What they want is a week's worth of select committee consideration to stop the filibustering.How long can Rodney and Gerry keep this up? Bill English was in the House earlier. It's trench warfare - it's grueling stuff.
12:58AM: Still voting. Keep it up. They are challenging them all the way. The Greens refused to filibuster when Labour pushed through the Foreshore and Seabed bill in 2004 - I rang Metiria that day and she said the orders were they couldn't and that is not the way they play politics. Well that's all changed now, hasn't it. This is 'bustering all right.
1:04AM: OK, they've wound up. They will return at 9am next (sitting?) day.