Friday, June 17, 2016

Doing something about the financial veto


Yesterday the government abused the crown's financial veto power to forbid a vote on Sue Moroney's Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months’ Paid Leave and Work Contact Hours) Amendment Bill. So what are we going to do about it?

Stage one I think is to ask Bill English to withdraw the financial veto certificate. I've started a petition over Action Station on this; you can sign it here. Better do it before Wednesday, however, because the bill will be debated (but not voted on) then.

Stage two is to attack the veto provision itself. As I've pointed out before, it is archaic and unconstitutional, a relic of (spit) English feudalism. It was reviewed at the 2014 triennial Review of Standing Orders, where the Standing Orders Committee supported it basicly on the basis that it wasn't used very often. That, of course, was before the government had used it to shitcan a popular bill with majority support from across the House (including from its own coalition partners). But we can force them to review it again by petitioning Parliament.

As for the chances of success, the government doesn't have an inbuilt majority on the Standing Orders Committee. So, if the other parties hate the veto as much as they say they do now (rather than wanting to use it when they're in government), then we can get rid of it permanently. And at the least, such a petition will force them to declare where they stand - and allow us to vote accordingly.