While Iran's regime has been brutally crushing anti-government protests, moves that have been met with silence from our government despite condemnation from around the world, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has found time to write an opinion piece in support of the controversial Waka Jumping Bill that was a condition of his going into coalition to form government.
So I thought I'd do a little exercise, and tally up how many articles and blogs have been written about the Waka Jumping Bill and categories them as to whether they are for or against it.
- David Farrar: The real reason Winston wants the ability to expel MPs
- Andrew Geddis: Who controls the past now, controls the future
- Nick Smith: House of representatives or party poodles?
- Karl du Fresne: Winston Peters top of the political pops with willingness to exploit wonky system
- Pete George: Peters defends his waka jumping bill
- Keith Locke: Party-hopping bill is a restraint on MPs' freedom of speech
- Dominion Post editorial: Waka-jumping bill gives too much power to party leaders
- David Farrar: Dom Post opposes waka jumping bill
- Pete George: The tail wagging the dog and pup?
- Gwynn Compton: Andrew Little borrows from North Korea's playbook
- RNZ: 'Waka-jumping' law plan dangerous - English
- David Farrar: The terrible waka jumping bill
- ODT editorial: Bill attacks democracy
- Henry Cooke and Jo Moir: National: Waka jumping bill 'an affront to democracy'
- NZ Herald: National says bill would gag MPs and make them loyal to leader, not voters
- NZ Herald editorial: Waka jumping law shouldn't be necessary
- Martyn Bradbury: How ill prepared are the Greens for Government? This ill prepared…
- David Farrar: Greens will sell out electoral law for a Parihaka Day!
- NZ Herald: Discontent in the new Government over 'cheap horse-trading'
- No Right Turn: Horse Trading
- Gwynn Compton: If there's a minor party split when is it likely to happen?
- Andrew Geddis: Well you picked your tree, now bark up it
- Gwynn Compton: Why you should be concerned about Winston Peters' Waka Jumping Bill
- Winston Peters: 'Waka-jumping' bill makes our democracy more responsive to MMP
So there you go, one article or blog in favour, 23 opposed.
Winston Peters is completely, and utterly on his own in defence of his pet Waka Jumping Bill. He's not just alone on his Waka Jumping Island, he's not even part of an archipelago. He's St Helena, sitting completely isolated in the middle of the southern Atlantic.
Even Andrew Little, who has responsibility for the Electoral Integrity Amendment BIll, won't say a word in support of it.
I can't think of a situation in recent memory where there has been such an overwhelming consensus of opinion against a bill as this. Notably, the New Zealand Herald, Fairfax, and the Otago Daily Times all strongly oppose it too.
It's time for MPs from Labour and the Greens to sit up and take notice and not risk backlash from voters for being the dog that Winston Peters wagged.
Helen Clark's government in 2005 survived a failed attempt by Winston Peters to get a similar law across the line. There's no reason 2018 need be any different.
The Green Party, in particularly, should stand up to Labour and Winston Peters, and stay true to their earlier principled opposition to such legislation.