Friday, March 18, 2005

Supreme moral courage or total stupidity

When Don Brash first became leader of the Opposition, he portrayed himself as "fiscally conservative but socially liberal". Since then he has voted in favour of restricting the access of teenagers to abortions, and against both the Civil Union and Relationships (Statutory References) Acts, and advocated strongly that prisoners be denied recourse to the law for wrongs committed against them. I think this record speaks for itself: some "social liberal".

But what's most curious is his recent siding with National's moralist ultraconservative faction in an effort to remove the Human Rights Act's prohibition on discrimination on the basis of marital status or sexual orientation and to explicitly allow discrimination on those grounds against those who contravene the moralist's prejudices. Given the circumstances surrounding his divorce, this is either an act of supreme moral courage (though really, how much moral courage does a guy on a six-figure salary need to vote for a law, which owing to his wealth and status, he will never suffer from), or one of total stupidity. You really have to wonder whether he had read the amendments he was voting on...