Finally, debate has resumed on Heather Roy's Bill, and feelings are running high. An interesting evening awaits.
And here, courtesy of In the House, is where the fun began...
Labour got pwned at their own game...
Question Time and the General Debate are over, and the fortnightly Members' Day has begun. And once again, the House is debating the Committee Stage of the Royal Society of New Zealand Amendment Bill. Yes, dear readers; Labour's fortnightly filibuster has begun again.
The Royal Society Bill is non-controversial, and has the support of the whole House. But Labour has chosen to make a mockery of our process of democracy, and waste the time allocated to members wishing to advance local issues, or issues of personal importance.
The filibuster of course has nothing whatsoever to do with the Royal Society, or its Bill. It is solely to prevent Heather Roy's Education (Freedom of Association) Amendment Bill; the Bill which will remove compulsory membership of student associations. Are student associations such an important breeding ground for Labour aspirants that such an abuse of Parliament must take place?
But today, the filibuster has been busted! Heather Roy took a call, and moved that the Committee report progress meaning that there is no further debate on the Royal Society Bill today. Trevor Mallard is fighting the process tooth and nail, but with Lockwood Smith running the show, he's fighting a losing battle.
And as we type this, the House is in committee for further consideration of the Education (Freedom of Association) Amendment Bill. Grant Robertson tried the same tactic as had been applied against him, but the National and Act parties have the numbers. In the meantime, Trevor Mallard has just asked for the Speaker to be recalled.
Freedom of association, or should we say the lack thereof, and the application of compulsion is clearly a die-in-a-ditch issue for the Labour Party. Whilst we would hate to hasten Labour's demise, this seems a bizarre issue for Labour to risk public ridicule on.
We've made our position clear on this issue. There is no good reason that we can see for the membership of student associations to be compulsory. We welcome the continuation of this debate, and the passage of Heather Roy's excellent bill will be overseen by the 49th Parliament.