The Podcast

This week’s Politics in Full Sentences podcast featured liquidator, larrikin, and acerbic libertarian Damien Grant. It covers welfare, the Labour-National duopoly, and tries to rank Labour’s worst policies. Damien nominates ending charter schools as the most damaging policy of Labour’s first two years. You can watch it here, or listen on the usual channels, available here.

End of Life Choice Rolls On

There has never been such comprehensive parliamentary scrutiny of a bill as the End of Life Choice Bill. 39,000 public submissions, 16 months in select committee, four months in Committee of the Whole House, nearly two years from First Reading to Third Reading. The Third Reading will be on 13 November, expected to begin at about 4pm that day.

The Referendum

The biggest development this week was Parliament agreeing the bill should go to referendum. The referendum question was locked in by Parliament, asking voters to tick yes or no to the Bill coming into force (assuming it has passed Third Reading). The net effect of having a referendum is to add a public veto option. The public will have an opportunity to veto a Bill that would have otherwise come into force automatically once passed through Parliament.

Why You Should Vote Yes

No matter what anyone says, with the best palliative care in the world some still suffer terribly in their final days and weeks. This Bill gives people suffering a terminal illness the right to freely choose how and when they go under the protection of the law. It is a combination of individual freedom and collective compassion to let this Bill pass. The alternative is to impose suffering on those unfortunate enough to find themselves in such a position in the name of other people’s morality.

The New Romantic Period

This quote leapt out of the page at us: "As a democratic society, we deserve to know about this oil drilling application. You have no right to hide from us any longer and continue to make decisions about my future without first asking me how I feel." The speaker was a teenager protesting the Environmental Protection Agency’s permitting of oil and gas exploration off the coast of Otago. The EPA was set up to enable a scientific approach to consenting energy and mineral activity in the Exclusive Economic Zone. But who needs that when we have feelings?

Post Enlightenment

The original Enlightenment was followed by the Romantic period where feels crowded out reals. They say history doesn’t repeat, but it rhymes. We are reliving the transition from seeking objective truths in the real world to introspecting how we all feel. Take vaccination. Confronted with the horror of polio in 1956, New Zealand literally queued at Auckland Airport when the first shipment of Salk vaccine landed. Today lunacy abounds. Infectious diseases are returning to endanger the truly vulnerable – cancer patients with low immunity and babies too young to be vaccinated.

Sanity Comes to Parliament

It is not all bad news. The licensed firearm community have shown up in huge numbers, submitting on the Government’s Arms Legislation Bill. In contrast to the Feelings First brigade, their submissions are calmly and rational. They are explaining things such as why, for instance, it is impractical to have a firearm register that would require an update if you take your firearm on a hunting trip in a vehicle rented by your local Deerstalkers’ Association, and for you to be a registered dealer if you then loan it to your friend.

Shane Jones’ Comments

The number one issue bringing people into Electorate MPs’ offices is immigration. Families are split. Employers can’t get staff. Processing times are abysmal. Into this strides Parliament’s increasingly tiresome buffoon. His comments about the Indian community remind us how often immigrants make better New Zealanders than the politicians who attack them.