Thursday, June 02, 2005

Candidate Survey: Thirteenth Response

From Paul Qualtrough, Green candidate for Maungakiekie. Paul is ranked "30+" on the Green party list.

If you could ensure the passage of one act on one issue in the next Parliament, what would it be?

I would be a first-time MP if by some twist of fate I made it to parliament. While I believe I have a lot of offer, I am equally under no illusions about having a lot to learn. My inclination would be to open my eyes and ears, shut my mouth, and work to implement published Green Party policy. I would particularly like to focus on the economic policy that seeks to define economic "success" in better ways, and seeks to change the tax base to give it a more "polluter pays" emphasis.

What three other electoral candidates or sitting MPs do you think are most similar to you in their political views?

I have a lot of time for Nandor Tanczos and Metiria Turei, but this may reflect personal familiarity with them more than anything else.

MMP is about coalitions: What sitting MP who is NOT in your party do you think is most similar to you in their political views?

To answer, I would be guessing based on media impressions, which is something I do not do. I like to get my impressions of people first hand.

Do you support or oppose:

...raising the drinking age?

I have an open mind on this, but think it is mostly a red herring. I don't think we can blame our nations youth for wanting to use excessive amounts of alcohol to try to escape the world we have brought them into. We should be trying to create a society that they want to engage in. That they behave "badly" in some eyes reflects poorly on all of us, not just them. I support the Green Party's policy, which seeks to reduce drug and alcohol use generally.

...legalising marijuana (or pharmaceuticals based on it) for medical use?

I support legalising marijuana for medical use.

...decriminalising or legalising marijuana for recreational use?

I support legalising marijuana for recreational use, and subjecting it to the same kinds of restrictions, education campaigns and so forth as apply to tobacco and alcohol. I fully endorse the Green Party policy in this area. I have never knowingly used any illegal substance in my life, and have no intention of doing so. It is my opinion that focusing on what substances are present in someone's blood stream, rather than on their behaviour, is not a constructive approach. We have adequate laws on unacceptable behaviour already. The substances involved are a red-herring. Note that the Prime Minister herself has taken extensive advice from a self-confessed recreational marijuana user.

...allowing same-sex couples to adopt children?

I support this. The same-sex couples I know well are very loving people who would do the world proud if they chose to be parents.

...amending the Marriage Act to allow same-sex couples to marry?

I support people having the choice to relate to each other fully and freely. If the label "marriage" helps some people to do this, then I support giving them that choice. But I would like to point out that the word "marriage" has no more magic power in it than the word "artichoke" or "querzlop". Anyone who takes a strong stand either side of this argument may want to think about how a word came to have such importance to them.

...allowing voluntary euthanasia or physician assisted suicide?

I support this. If someone is deemed to be of sound enough mind to leave a last will and testament, then they should equally be of sound enough mind to decide whether or not to "give up their lease on life". Despite this strange turn of phrase in our language, I believe we do not lease life from God, the universe or some other ethereal power - I believe my life is just that: my life.

...state funding of integrated schools?

I'm not sure I understand the question. My inclination is to have the state support students wherever they study, but I am open to persuasion on the best way to express this support.

...the retention of sedition as a crime in the Crimes Act?

My inclination is to question what value it has as a crime. I cannot see any value in it at first glance, but would seek a wider debate.

...the retention of blasphemous libel as a crime in the Crimes Act?

I don't think that blasphemous libel is particularly constructive, but then nor is making it a criminal offence. In general, I support restorative justice processes, and particularly support people growing up and realising that words do not have any magic power that we do not give them.

...further restrictions on hate speech?

I do not support restricting "hate speech". I support standing up to it, denouncing it as unacceptable, and quietly getting on with life while ignoring it. I do not think it is constructive to grant the attention to the manipulative children who seek it.

...the use of indefinite detention without trial for those subject to a security risk certificate?

I do not support indefinite detention without trial under any circumstances.

...restoring the death penalty for serious crime?

I do not support the death penalty under any circumstance.

...Georgina Beyer's Human Rights (Gender Identity) Amendment Bill?

I am not familiar with this bill

...Gordon Copeland's New Zealand Bill of Rights (Private Property Rights) Amendment Bill?

I am not familiar with this bill.

...entrenching the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act as supreme law?

I do not understand the implications of this question sufficiently well to answer it either way.

...New Zealand's participation in the International Criminal Court?

I support NZ's participation in the ICC.

...lowering MMP's threshold from the present 5%?

Difficult question. At 3%, one might only get 4 MPs elected into parliament. This is almost too small to be an effective team on the diversity of issues the nation faces. So while it might be more representative, it may not be that effective. At 5%, it encourages those parties below that threshold to come together, find points of commonality, and promote them. I think this is generally a good thing. I'm open to arguments on the issue


With the benefit of hindsight, how should the government have handled the Ahmed Zaoui case?

It should have actually engaged with Mr Zaoui, not read a bunch of reports from disengaged sources about him. When you actually meet him, and communicate with him, it is patently obvious that he is a genuine refugee who has much to offer this country. Our system is one that actively goes looking for the worst in people. It is very effective at finding it in places it does not exist.

As usual, Paul's views are his own, and do not necessarily represent those of the Green Party.


I'm sure Osama bin Laden is a lovely chap when you meet him as well.
Honestly are all the greens as loony as this guy????

Posted by Anonymous : 6/02/2005 09:09:00 PM