Thursday, November 11, 2004

Democratic Transparency IX

The National Party has come through and finally made a full disclosure of their voting on the HART Bill. Last week they revealed the general split in their vote, but left several questions unanswered. Now I have those answers:

  • The National MP who voted to redefine "embryo" in an effort to bar stem-cell research, and to restrict genetic selection only to serious genetic disorders was Bill English (no real surprises there).
  • The MPs absent from the House on October 20th and who did not vote by proxy that day were David Carter, Roger Sowry, and Georgina te Heuheu.

I have also had a further response from United Future, saying that Peter Dunne and Marc Alexander voted in favour of the HART Bill, while Gordon Copeland, Murray Smith, Larry Baldock, Paul Adams, Judy Turner, and Bernie Ogilvy voted against. However, they did not always split on 6-2 lines (sometimes it was 5-3, sometimes 7-1, and sometimes they were indeed united), and I am endeavouring to discover the other splits. In particular, they split 7-1 on redefining "embryo"; while I suspect the dissenter was Peter Dunne, it would be fascinating to know.

United Future have also said that they will

support an amendment to the Standing Orders to ensure that the names of the people voting each way are recorded whenever future split votes arise. We did so voluntarily in relation to the docking of dogs tails bill.

It's good to see them doing the right thing and supporting transparency and openness.