More on Rodney Hide and the Civil Unions Bill
Berend de Boer another ACT supporting software engineer has posted some stuff on the current ACT primary. He linked bac to me and I saw the linkback so had a read of his article. The english is a bit lacking but it is a reaonably detailed article and, for much the same reasons as myself Berand reaches the conclusion that Rodney is the man for the job. This is particularly interesting in so far as Berand falls squarely in the conservative christain camp whereas Rodney would probably not mind being given the title of most Liberal (in the classical sense) ACT MP.
The Once Over Lightly
Berand attended a couple of the meetings I think including the Chris Trotter meeting. He makes some similar notes to what I did about each of the candidates speeches. Notably that Ken Shirley is a real performer.
Like me Berand was interested in testing the candidates under a policy high ball. Being from the conservative persuasion he (innevitably) chose the civil unions bill. It was unsurprising then to see a similar, ney almost identical, split to the answers to my Drugs question at the Dunedin debate. I'm going to commit a bit of space to the whole civil unions thing in this post simply because it's anopther one of those social freedom issues where I firmly belive that ACT should hold true to its principles (and consitution) and take a party stand rather than making it a conscience vote.
Muriel, as expected, was firmly against the Civil Union Bill.
Shirley, one of the more liberal members, would probably support the bill.
Franks, surprise... surprise..., said he wouldn't/couldn't take a stand without knowing what is in the bill....Bloody lawyer..... one can only hope he will commit to at least something if he becomes the leader.
Hide, as noted in his blog, supports the Bill in principle.
A More Detailed Discussion of the Civil Unions Bill- Debunking de Boer....
OK.... so a decent chunk of the de Boer article is given over to having a rant on the civil unions bill. Die hard libertarian that I am there is only one thing that offends me more than naive left wing economics and that is calculated right wing christian bigotry. So... here goes... quotes from de Boer in itallics, emphasis mine....
This bill is about recognition of the gay life style as fully equal to the union between a man and a woman. That will extend into child care, adoption, employment law and the like. Any form of perceived discrimination will be rigorously prosecuted. Anytime a citizens or organisations think they can still distinguish between a married man and woman and a married gay couple, they will have to defend themselves in court.
OK... so let's tick these off one by one....
I have absolutly no problem with private individuals or organisations discriminating against people for whatever reasons they see fit. As a proper classical liberal I think it is totally inappropriate for the government to determine what discrimination private citizens may undertake. Were I a bigoted christian business owner then I should be entitled to choose to employ only white middle class christian males who displine their kids with a bamboo stick- the government should keep well out of such things. But where the government, as legal monopolist of force and the enforcement of law, makes such discrimination then it is wholly inappropriate.
I know from my experience in The Netherlands how these things will work. As a private school, try to reject someone who is in a gay marriage. As a private businesses, try not to hire someone because he is in a gay marriage. The politically correct will send the police to force the issue.
The same sentiments as above apply. Private schools (I have some experience in these one, two) should most certainly be entitled to discriminate against gay people. Likewise, private businesses should be entitled to discriminate against gay people on the basis of employment, service and/or any other such matter. Most importantly, private churches should and must be allowed to determine for themselves whether they are prepared to consecrate the marriage of two gay or lesbian people. But, the government should never be permitted to make such discriminative choices. The real problem that is identified in the above statement is not that the Netherlands permits gay marriage but rather that their government has not grasped this important distinction between the public and private realm. I would hope, libertarian that I am, that any ACT leader in government would work towards freeing up our private rights of discrimination.
de Boer then runs through a quick summary....
1. It sends the wrong message. Especially when then government picks up the tab for failed child care...
Get the government out of paying for child care. Hell let the churches pick up the tab and dish out their Sunday collection monies on whatever terms they see fit!
3. Since Labour has been in power, ACT has steadfastly opposed each of the anti-family Bills that it has introduced.
Such as? If you are going to summarise then at least provide some detail above? I've always loved the term Family when used by christians. Oh and I love their enthusiasm for the 'right' to assault their kids too! But those are topics for another day.
4. This does not mean ACT should not address injustice and fight for those whose clear wishes and contracts the law does not recognise. That's wrong. But this Civil Union bill is not really about that.
It doesn't address it entirely... but as Rodney as noted it is a step in the right direction. The simple solution is to get the government the hell out of relationship law. Give marriage back to the churches as a concept to do with as they wish- i.e. remove the legal concept of marriage from the statue books. Then, simply have the government enforce relationships by way of simple civil contract.
5. The government cannot define what marriage is. Like freedom it is one of those inalienable rights God has given to mankind. Government cannot define what it is nor who can enter into it.
God hasn't given me anything... and from what I've seen thus far if freedom were God given then he is doing a shitty job of stopping Helen Clark et al. from taking it back of me. Without wanting to get into the underpinning philosophical justifications for man to be free let's just agree that god or otherwise freedom is a right that should not be and can not be defined by government. I also agree that the govt. can not and should not be defining marriage and who can enter into it. Leave that for the churches. The govt. should define a structure of civil contract such that people can enter into private contracts to define their relationship.
6. Rodney Hide must have noticed the markedly different levels of applause. Muriel Newman got a warm and loud applause. The applause after Ken Shirley's, Stephen Franks' and Rodney Hide's answers was remarkably more reserved
*note to self*
Must be louder than the conservatives at the next meeting.
Guess that sort of statement just shows how much opportunity to woo new voters we can achieve through the election of a new leader.
PoliTechLaw | Politics|Sunday, 30 May 2004 01:17:43 UTC||