The Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Bill will pass its second reading today with the support of the Green Party even after it has become clear that their support is not required under the confidence and supply agreement with Labour, National’s Electoral Law spokesperson Nick Smith says.
“The Green Party position over this Bill sets a new low in parliamentary integrity. Co-Leader Marama Davidson says this Bill is undemocratic, a threat to democracy and that it goes against the Green Parties principles and its policy. And yet they are voting for it.
“The Greens justified their support of the Bill by saying that it is part of the supply and confidence agreement with Labour and that they had to.
“This is patently untrue, with leaked advice from the cabinet office outlining that it, in fact, was not part of the agreement and that the Greens are at liberty to oppose the legislation.
“Late last year Green Party Co-Leader James Shaw stated the advantage of the supply and confidence agreement was that ‘Green MPs won’t vote for anything they don’t agree with.’ Ten months down the track that this is exactly what is happening here.
“This betrayal of core values could not be more serious. Founding Green Co-Leader Rod Donald said of the same bill in 2001 that it was ‘the most draconian, obnoxious, anti-democratic, insulting piece of legislation every inflicted on this parliament’, yet is now to become law with the Green Party votes.
“I call on Green members throughout the country to encourage their MPs to at least vote for our amendments that add a sunset clause and greater judicial checks which would lighten the dark stain this Bill will leave on the Green Party’s integrity.
“It is also not too late for the Greens to do the right thing and pull their support for the Bill, retain their integrity to their principles and voters and choose not to ‘swallow the dead rat’.”