Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Card on the Table

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  • Emma Hart,

    Okay. Second reading has passed 77 - 44. First reading passed 80 - 40 with one abstention. So that's a shift of four votes. Which isn't too bad, really, and pretty much guarantees this is going to pass, but I'd still like to know who those four people were.

    My (liberal bubble) Twitter feed agrees that the winner of the night was Chris Auchinvole, who hugely impressed me on the select committee.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    Good result; very happy to have been wrong about the scheduling.
    Meanwhile, I/S obliges with a list of who changed their votes:

    Labour's Raymond Huo switched from an abstention to a "yes", while National's Brownlee, Coleman, McKelvie and McCully [voted against].

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1894 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Emma Hart,

    My (liberal bubble) Twitter feed agrees that the winner of the night was Chris Auchinvole, who hugely impressed me on the select committee.

    Thanks for that. Auchinvole was also pretty impressive at the time of the passing of the CERA legislation.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to linger,

    Good result; very happy to have been wrong about the scheduling.
    Meanwhile, I/S obliges with a list of who changed their votes:

    Cheers, linger, that's saved me some time this morning. And yeah, Speaker let them run long and have the third vote after 10pm. Possibly to save a riot in the public gallery.

    Auchinvole was also pretty impressive at the time of the passing of the CERA legislation.

    I am full of respect for the guy. And at the select committee, he was full of respect and genuine interest for me. He was more disgusted by CDHB not having a tick-box for 'civil union' than I was, I think. Here's his speech from last night:

    I think it's well worth watching.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Sj,

    Congratulations are in order.

    Belmont • Since May 2012 • 17 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to linger,

    I/S notes that there's too much business on the agenda ahead of the Marriage Equality bill, so there'll almost certainly be no vote on it until the next Member's Day.

    Yeah, I was horribly wrong on that.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1713 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    This was in the Herald, Gay Bill bolts Over Hurdle.
    May be of interest.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to linger,

    Meanwhile, I/S obliges with a list of who changed their votes:

    Yeah, anyone who follows me on Twitter will have picked up I'm very far from impressed with McCully and Coleman shaming the Shore; will swallow hard and pay for a bunch of flowers to Maggie Barry. (It would have been too shaming if my local MP lost her spine.)

    Even more squicky, a Tweet from Coleman him indicates he swallowed Winston's tendentious referendum bullshit. For the record, I argued against citizen-initiated referenda when the relevant Act was still a bill. I'm the kind of old fashioned boy who thinks we elect a legislature to... well... you know... legislate between free, fair and credible general elections. If I wanted government by badly designed opinion poll, I'd be planning a coup to install a junta of market researchers.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I'd be planning a coup to install a junta of market researchers.

    Geez.... Here I was thinking the American mediocrely dubbed into Chinese wild-animal-attacks-people pron I had to sit through while waiting for dinner at a local restaurant was going to give me enough nightmares. Thank you, Mr Ranapia.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    That was a counterfactual, for very good reason. One serious objection to referenda in this case is that, in a state with any kind of ethical commitment to human rights,* matters of equal treatment for minority groups should not have to depend on the beneficient whim of the majority.

    [* this last vote aside, several of NZ’s political parties are displaying quite dismally low levels of said commitment.]

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1894 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to linger,

    Quite, LInger. I’d also ask this question of both the “redefining marriage” and “moar referrenda!” crowds.

    The Crimes Amendment Act (1985). among other things, criminalized spousal rape. (A pretty serious – as well as welcome as long overdue – “redefinition” of marriage, in my book.)

    IIRC, it had been introduced by the previous National Government, went through full Parliamentary scrutiny (including select committee hearings with public submissions) and passed with a substantial bipartisan majority – despite not being a prominent manifesto commitment/campaign issue for either National or Labour.

    Anyone else recall Winston Peters saying at the time it was arrogant and anti-democratic not to put that to a referendum? Will anyone ask Peters, Coleman, My Evil Namesake and Bob McCoskrie if they believe so now?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I have another whine. The more I think about Bakshi's speech, the angrier I get. And I called him an arsehole on the night:

    Now, he's just a reasonable guy, who believes in equality. And if we'd just managed to make a good enough case, and bring a reasoned argument to the table instead of all our over-emotional whining and crying, he'd have changed his mind. But we just didn't.

    Location of the 'burden of proof' aside, here's my issue. He, like a few other opponents, say that if civil unions aren't equal, that should be fixed through the civil union legislation. And what I'd like to ask those people is this: HOW?

    What changes would you make to the civil union legislation that would make separate actually equal? What could you legislate that would make foreign governments recognise my civil union? More than that, what piece of legislation would make our families recognise a civil union as a proper commitment, equivalent of a marriage? I sat two feet from this guy and told him this, gave him my first-hand experience of how my relationship status has been treated as second-class. This is his response. I cannot convey how deeply disgusted I am.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I'll answer that to some extent anyway. Being part of the "moar referenda" crowd, as you put it, is not the same as being "referenda on everything". I think we should certainly have more referenda in cases where the government is openly doing things that are widely and strongly opposed by majorities. This, however, isn't one of those cases. So a referendum is mostly a waste of time and money. But in a different case, it may be.

    Making spousal rape illegal would probably would not have been opposed by a majority either. Women, for starters, would probably have been near universally in favour.

    But a majority of people here would seem to oppose the sale of our electricity resources. In this case, a referendum seems righteous to me.

    Yes, this isn't a rights and freedoms issue on the face of it, but it can certainly be spun that way, that a minority of people have a right to own some stake in our power if that's what they want. It just doesn't really seem like quite such a righteous minority when it's "rich people", rather than "gay people".

    I'm aware that in the case of same-sex-marriage a referendum held maybe 20 years ago, a majority would quite possibly have opposed it. But in that case, the country would not have been ready for it, and it should probably be delayed. That was how the politicians saw it too, so it wasn't on the agenda for them back then either.

    To be clear, I don't think there should be a referendum on same sex marriage. It's too obviously popular anyway. But that doesn't mean I think referenda are a bad idea. I'm a signatory on the petition for the one against asset sales. I'm also pre-registered to buy Mighty River shares. No, that's not a contradictory position. I oppose the sale most strongly. But if it's getting sold, I want the option to have a piece. Key claiming that pre-registering is indicating his mandate is total rubbish. The very fact he is using his election to claim that is exactly what's wrong with:

    I’m the kind of old fashioned boy who thinks we elect a legislature to… well… you know… legislate between free, fair and credible general elections.

    I'm not old fashioned, and I think we need more checks and balances against the already quite extreme power of our executive, and I can hardly think of any single one more righteous than a plebiscite, in which a single question is asked and answered by a massive number of people. It delivers a very clear mandate, when the question is clear, and is thus a very important thing to have anywhere claiming to be a democracy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    errata: Change "executive" to "legislature" in previous post.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • ChrisW, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Attachment

    I think it's well worth watching.

    Thanks Emma, for the heads-up on Parliament TV on the night - I found it well worth watching. Very stirring, both the process and the resulting great numbers, 77-44.

    I have often thought back over the last few months to your May 2009 post on the subject and especially the long discussion thread: Are we there yet? And now the answer is - Just about, yes. The next morning's just-about-sunrise from my riverbank by way of illustration.

    That was a great thread, but especially memorable for me as including my first real engagement in any discussion on PAS - challenging and rewarding much. You never forget your first.

    To re-lay my card on the table, I was only a weak supporter of gay marriage then, needing to be convinced it would be a major advance on the availability of civil unions. Public argument in general seemed focused on the deeply entrenched opposition and bigotry, rather than aiming to shift the centrist people of broadly good will but who thought more highly of the need to retain a traditional one-man-one-woman essence of marriage itself. I thought it would take something like 20 years to shift enough of them, as I had shifted, across the political pivot point between the ayes and the noes, as for the 18 years from Homosexual Law Reform Act 1986 to Civil Union Act 2004.

    Perversely perhaps, I thought Chester Borrows’ speech on Wednesday night demonstrated something of the process well – proclaiming his conservative Christian perspective, teetering along the pivot point, acknowledging that many similarly thinking colleagues had crossed over and why, but falling back with the noes.

    There seemed no indication the big shift was imminent in 2009. But it has happened and extraordinarily decisively. I’m sure the key has been the re-framing of the question as focused on simple, broadly inclusive equality. I’m deeply impressed.

    Gisborne • Since Apr 2009 • 851 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to ChrisW,

    I have often thought back over the last few months to your May 2009 post on the subject and especially the long discussion thread: Are we there yet?

    Ah yes, me saying I wasn't going to have this argument any more, four years ago. It's... something, to note that since I wrote that, nobody has come up with an argument I haven't covered. And Family First have got so desperate for reasons they've just started making shit up.

    I thought it would take something like 20 years to shift enough of them, as I had shifted, across the political pivot point between the ayes and the noes

    I was talking to a friend yesterday who had changed his parents' minds during the second reading debate, from a 'soft' no - never really thought about it deeply but nonetheless definitely opposed - to a more thoughtful soft yes. I am fascinated by the process of mind-changing. The number of people who have changed their minds on this - here, in the US, in Britain, and Australia - in the last decade is mind-boggling.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg, in reply to Emma Hart,

    The number of people who have changed their minds on this – here, in the US, in Britain, and Australia – in the last decade is mind-boggling.

    all thanks to Will & Grace

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to BenWilson,

    Thing is Ben, you’ve made a more principled and thoughtful contrary argument to my position in a few hundred words than Winston Peters managed in ten minutes on Wednesday night. He’s using a referrendum as a pretty feeble fig leaf for his homophobia – he voted against Homosexual Law Reform at all stages and couldn’t be arsed even showing up for the third reading of the HRA Bill.

    And you just can’t win – even with a referrenda, the likes of Bob McCoskrie and Colin Craig weren’t willing to accept a result that wasn’t to their liking. Those damn nasty liberals and their evil ballot-posting AGENDA! :(

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Emma Hart,

    The number of people who have changed their minds on this – here, in the US, in Britain, and Australia – in the last decade is mind-boggling.

    Also, ten years worth of people from a less tolerant time dying and 10 years worth of people from more tolerant times growing up. Even if no one changed their minds, that would still have swung things substantially.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Yes, I'm not really supporting Winston, though. Just wanted to comment on the generalization from foolish abuses of referenda to their overall worthlessness. I think there shouldn't be one, but for reasons specific to the actual one being proposed.

    Also, for the record, w00t! Nearly there. If someone has asked me in 1984 whether I thought same sex marriage should be allowed, my answer would have been the same as today. Of fucking course, I wouldn't be a liberal if I thought anything different.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen R,

    I have been pretty depressed with all the Citizen Initiated Referenda so far. The ones that were so badly worded people weren't sure what they were voting for, or the ones that say "I vote for feel good". or "I vote for A or B or C or D or ..." such that even people who vigorously disagreed with A would vote for it because they agreed with B or C...

    I want there to be changes.

    Before you start collecting signatures, I'd like to see someone vet the question. I'd like it to make logical sense. And, much as with The War Prayer I want people to vote for both halves of the equation. I want them to explicitly say "I want people to spend longer in prison and I'm prepared to pay higher taxes to fund it" or "I want there to be budget cuts and I'm Ok with seeing people starve because our welfare system is overloaded".

    That our referenda don't include such things seems to me to be a bad oversight.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • Tess Rooney,

    I'm someone who has a pretty specific (and clearly faith based) idea of what marriage is, ie. a man and woman who vow to be with each other for life and who are open to the possibility of conceiving. However I would disagree with having a referendum about it. It's perfectly clear that the definition of marriage that I hold too is very much in the minority, you only have to look at divorce and contraception rates to see that. It's up to our MPs to legislate following the new understanding of marriage.

    However this is provided that as long as people and churches/faiths can hold their own ceremonies freely, and that religions can teach their own theological beliefs freely.

    Since May 2009 • 267 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Tess Rooney,

    t’s perfectly clear that the definition of marriage that I hold too is very much in the minority, you only have to look at divorce and contraception rates to see that. It’s up to our MPs to legislate following the new understanding of marriage.

    However this is provided that as long as people and churches/faiths can hold their own ceremonies freely, and that religions can teach their own theological beliefs freely.

    Kia ora Tess- as opposed to the time/s when religious authorities held sway, ANZ is quite happy that you & yours do you what you want within the bounds of our law/legal system.

    I am very glad that religion no longer has sway within Aotearoa-NZ

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Islander,

    ANZ is quite happy that you & yours do you what you want within the bounds of our law/legal system.

    And…… that… at the end of any day you, yours and me and mine are and need to be recognised that we are all equal no matter the laws. :)
    I even forfeited my fish tonight for pasta !!

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • ChrisW,

    Attachment

    Gidday Tess - "since May 2009", you'll remember 'Are we there yet?' well too no doubt.

    That photo of the lurid sunrise up the page - I was, to be a little trite perhaps, thinking "dawn of a new era" and all that when I took it yesterday morning, as well as "wow, what a lurid sunrise". But it was notably only 10 minutes later that white smoke poured forth from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel. So the dawn of a new era indeed.
    My favourite duck (known as Ninety) showed up to enliven the reflections, perhaps channelling St Francis.

    Gisborne • Since Apr 2009 • 851 posts Report Reply

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