A persons right to choose

Saw this video over at Pharyngula and it initially made me proud to be a New Zealander.

Same sex civil union has been legal in New Zealand since 26 April 2005. A civil union basically affords the same rights to each member of the partnership in the same way as marriage does. As is said I was proud of being a New Zealander and it is because we have the Civil Union Act. However, a little reading reminded me of the controversy that surrounded the implementation of the act. The parliamentary vote was close, 65 for and 55 against. What I find more shocking is that only three of the nine parties voted predominantly yes. The three parties that voted predominantly yes were the Labour Party (45 yes, 6 no), who were leading the government, the Green Party (9 yes, 0 no) and the Progressive Party (2 yes, 0 no). The Act Party did have 5 for and 4 against surprisingly. The National Party, our current government, voted 3 for and 24 against. We have an election soon and it is likely that National will remain the governing party. I hate the thought of bigots being in charge and that is without considering their formal policies per se.

This year the election campaign has been cut quite short because of a certain event that will remain unnamed. However, there have been several campaign videos as well as the usual signs placed on street corners. I haven't watched most of the videos all the way through. I find them quite boring and I have already made up my mind so John Key talking to a fake audience and answering fake questions, or Labour harping on about the past is going to change it. My vote is firmly with the Greens.


Paul said...

Just a quick note - as far as Act goes - it's only surprising that there were 4 against it. The personal liberties line of thinking that they take is classically strongly aligned with the likes of civil unions/gay marriage etc. When Don Brash was recently advocating drug reform, it may have been politically naive, but is also strongly aligned with that philosophy of personal liberties first. Goes to show how far that party has wandered from its roots when it's divided on an issue like civil union.

Still Monkeys

Jarrod said...

I should have expanded that further that it was surprise to me given my political naivety with regard to their underlying philosophy. I have always focused on Act's righter side of life from and economic perspective.

Paul said...

In philosophy, Act has traditionally been a true right-wing lot. Unlike what is typical of the conservative right, which is socially conservative but economically all for personal liberties, at the more extreme end of the right-wing spectrum lies libertarianism - i.e. anything goes as long as it doesn't conflict with personal liberties and property rights. In practice, this would be a double-edged sword in terms of true freedom, of course, as it also enables the powerful to discriminate at their leisure (i.e. it would be a gay couple's right to marry, but a business owner's right not to hire one of them for being gay).

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