Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Change the Bill of Rights ?

Stuck for words myself this morning I will pass on a reaction from my husband. Reading this over my shoulder he said, resign me. Any ACT MP that says change the Bill of Rights shouldn't be an ACT MP. Continuing,

"First they came for the criminals, then they came for the Communists, then they came for the trade unionists and then they came for me and there was no-one left to speak ... it's very dangerous to go changing the Bill of Rights for political popularity. "

He's quite angry.

OK. Now I have some thoughts. There is no way the Bill of Rights should be changed despite the fact that it is quite frequently contravened. How the hell will ACT ever again argue for its observance in any given circumstance. Here is a case in point. And remember too that another new ACT MP repeatedly and rightly invoked the NZ Bill of Rights to fight the Electoral Finance Bill.

In future opponents can simply reply, "We'll change it."


Anonymous said...

Agree. ACT's pro police power and anti civil liberties rhetoric is not welcome. (And where is the principled opposition to DNA testing.)

However, I don't believe that three strikes does conflict with the bill-of-rights. That is just a claim made by vested interests to maintain the status quo which suits them very well.

Oswald Bastable said...

Your journey to the Dark Side is nearly complete!


Lindsay Mitchell said...

Anon, Isn't that the answer Mr Garrett should have given?

deleted said...

Yeah, agreed.

A complete and utter brain fart from Garrett. Hopefully Rodney or someone comes out and clafifies the ACT position that ACT will continue to be strong defenders or individual rights that the BORA upholds (most of the time).

Its a bit rich that the left are bleating on about this, when tehy were pushing through the EFA in breach of the BORA.

Anyways - the offending part of the act is:

"Everyone has the right not to be subjected to torture or to cruel, degrading, or disproportionately severe treatment or punishment."

In disagreeing with this, Garret is suggesting that it is ok to torture, use cruel or unusual punsihment, or disproportately severe punishment.

What he should have come out and said, was that as the criminals are warned PRE reoffending of the consequences, that noone in their right mind could consider this in breach, or disproportunately severe, as the offender knew the punishment for the offence and continued anyway.

peteremcc said...

Agree with Lindsay and Mike,

We shouldn't change the BoR willy nilly, whenever it suits us.

But that doesn't mean I think the BoR is excellent and doesn't need changing.

No property rights for example.

It's the age old problem of lefties not being able to distinguish between positive and negative rights.

Anonymous said...

"Agree. ACT's pro police power and anti civil liberties rhetoric is not welcome.'

Why not? A true Librel belive in a strong state to protect rights and punish violators....no conflict with that in ACT's position that I can see...

I think Garrett is being misunderstood here...he's saying that if the BOR is protecting bogus PC rights then that should change...and hes right...the BOR contains some shockers...like this

'... 3. Non-Discrimination and Minority Rights

You have the right to freedom from discrimination on the grounds of sex, marital status, religious belief, ethical belief, colour, race, ethnic or national origins, disability, age, political opinion, employment status, family status, and sexual orientation."

This contradicts and violates the rights to life,liberty and property taht are TRUE rights defined by mans mnature as man.If it had said that it was the State that should be barred from discriminating then it would be fine...but it doesn't.

Garrett said...

"I'm actually more interested in a victim's rights than a criminal's rights. We are talking about the "rights" of someone who has served at least two sentences for violent offending and just been sentenced to a third lot.

"I'm not interested in that person's rights quite frankly. He should have the rights to be fed adequately, to get medical care and not to get tortured - and that's it."

Here here!

Yes he should have made his case somewhat better but then the finer points of liberalism escape most people...

Gooner said...

Eloquence is not one of Garrett's strong points. I see his point but I also see the point of his detractors.
The BOR is a crock of shit anyway -it's a quasi protector of freedoms and rights. It doesn't really do a decent job.

Berend de Boer said...

I think you should read the whole story. It's a bit of a beat up, where Gareth's words are somewhat twisted out of context.

A more charitable interpretation is that if the Bill of Rights protects criminals, maybe we should have another look. It's in response to a question by the interviewer. And it is by no means certain it does.

Getting all worked up by an article in the NZ Herald is exactly what they tried to do, it's another attempt to destroy ACT, and you're playing along.

backin15 said...

Lindsay, I've criticised comments you've made when I didn't agree them so it's only fair I compliment you and your's on this. This man's not doing the ACT party any favours with this and previous utterances. Though I don't agree with all your views, you're certainly consistent and I respect that (and also suspect you're a far better advocate for the real ACT brand than this chap).

Anonymous said...

if u know anything about the bill of rights then you know tha statutory provisions inconsistent with the BOR override any clauses in the BOR

therefore Garrett was just being superflous

bear in mind who came up with the BOR in the first place and decided what rights were to be included and not - Parliament (Geoffrey Palmer's white paper)

Anonymous said...

Anyone who joins the libz is bonkers. If you are worried about authoritarianism then don't go there.

"Law and order" conservatives are a threat to freedom, just as much an Nanny statists from the Left. Rodney knows this.

Anonymous said...

We live in a country where decent, law-abiding and productive Kiwis are outnumbered two-to-one by welfare beneficiaries and criminals.

I couldn't care less for the Bill of Rights, it's simply another mechanism to keep violent criminals on the streets and welfare recipients guzzling from the public trough.

Where's the Bill of Rights that protects the interests of the victims of crime? Where's the Bill of Rights to protect the law-abiding taxpayers?

Why is all of legislation aimed at taking from the overburdened in order to support the lifestyle choices of the undeserving?

Sally said...

When a comment is made under 'Anonymous' is it the same person?