Thursday, June 30, 2016

Repeal the veto


Last night, National vetoed Sue Moroney's bill to extend paid parental leave. The bill had a clear majority in Parliament, and they couldn't vote it down. So they invoked an archaic, feudal provision to prevent there from being a vote at all. It shows an utter contempt for democracy and the new constitutional norms of MMP. So what are we going to do about it?

Simple: repeal the veto. Its an archaic and unconstitutional relic of (spit) English feudalism, ultimately dating from the days when the English Parliament (from whom we inherited our Parliamentary tradition) was merely a rubberstamp for the king, rather than an elected, sovereign, representative body.

As for how to do it, the veto is contained in Parliament's Standing Orders. The way to change it is therefore by petitioning Parliament. I've set up such a petition (through ActionStation), and you can sign it here.

Once submitted, the bill will be assigned to an appropriate select committee, likely the Standing Orders Committee. The government does not have an inbuilt majority on that committee, so they can't simply ignore it. Which means we will either get rid of the veto, or force the other parties to declare where they stand on it, allowing us to vote accordingly.

It's our parliament, and it is supposed to work for us. If you want it to actually work that way, rather than simply be a rubberstamp for the government, then sign the petition.