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Superb week for Brash’s ACT – playing a proper MMP role

  • September 26th, 2011

Dr Don Brash is making ACT serve as MMP's architects wanted  small parties to serve. It does not have many lines on the media chooks feedback sheets. They rank politicians only on how well they stick to their calculated lines and strategies, but let's look at what he is actually saying. There has been more of substance from him than all the rest put together over the past week.

On Friday he made an important speech on our disastrous Fiji policy – the first New Zealand politician to say what our European and US allies have been muttering for years, that Australia and New Zealand have between them completely cocked up in forcing Bainamarama to open his arms to China, and bullying the Pacific Forum nations into resentful silence with their objections.

In raising the long overdue issues of self defence, and the illegal attempts by the Police (abetted by judges) to nullify the self defence provisions of the Crimes Act, ACT is once again insisting that politicians face domestic hot potato topics.

The strategist/disciplinarians in major parties work tirelessly to gag their MPs on issues where their parties cannot gain more votes than they lose. They make them into "conscience issues" to limit damage to party brands. They reinforce the "pol sci" specialist journalists' and academics' notion that it is illegitimate or immoral to breach consensus on certain topics that are important but controversial. Opposing racist law, and reflecting the legitimate views of the majority on criminal justice matters fall into that category.

MMP has some high costs. It does, for example, allow minority parties to hold the balance of power. The compensation should be that the small parties, best exemplified by the Green Party and Act, can stand outside that consensus.

On criminal justice Dr Brash's musings yesterday were entirely within Act's longstanding principles. I made self defence a high priority as Act Justice Spokesman. Since then nothing has changed in the Police attitude, at least as far as they have officially acknowledged, though I thought there might have been some thaw in their determination to maintain their monopoly on permitted violence.  The law does need some crucial changes. I drafted a number

Well done Don, even though I think your position on dope is not well considered, and politically costly..




  • Robert
  • September 26th, 2011
  • 8:26 pm

Yep good stuff, watch the rat in Epsom fold now.
From tonights polls you would conclude that the electorate sees a need for change from being beaten up by police thuggery over a bit of dope. Estimated 400,000 users breaking the law repeatedly. Not sound law in my view.

  • John Phillips
  • September 27th, 2011
  • 5:40 pm

Totally in agreement with your analysis – except for the last statement that Dr. Brash's position on dope is not well considered.  On the contrary, it is very well considered, and follows the line published by the Law Commission.  It is John Banks who needs to keep his mouth closed until his brain gets a grip on the reality that the US-centric "War on Drugs" is a miserable failure on many levels.

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