3 opposition private members’ Bills passed – extended paid parental leave, Mondayisation, and lobbying disclosure – on Wednesday (moving a ban on land sales to foreigners up the list). Then, all 5 drawn from the ballot on Thursday opposition bills too: marriage equality, $15hr minimum wage, super-majority/referendum protection for asset sales, charging government agencies that pay access to info, and controlling water pollution.
They’re all worthy Bills that have a good chance of passing.
The marriage equality on has obviously got the most coverage. It should pass. It will basically depend on how many non-bigots there are in National. I would estimate that there’ll be maybe 5-10 no votes among the opposition parties and the Maori Party (for only the Greens, this isn’t a conscience vote, the party has a policy and the MPs will vote for it)- so those votes plus one will have to be countered by yes votes from the Nats.
The initial soundings aren’t a good omen. Joyce, English, and Finlayson all saying they have more important things to think about. That’s bullshit – of course – it’s a pretty simple issue to have come to a position on and all National MPs have to do is vote when the time comes, it takes no more effort on their part to vote yes than no. But the fact they’ve set out by denigrating the legislation suggests they’ll vote no. Still, it’s hard to believe there aren’t any liberals left in National. So, I reckon it’ll squeak through.
The SOE one wouldn’t stop the current asset sales because it only prevents companies being removed from the SOE Act and the companies that they want to sell already have been but, that might actually give it more chance of passing because its very consistent with the sales that United Future says it opposes.
The $15 minimum wage one would be great but it wouldn’t be the big leap by the that it would have been a couple of years ago (I nearly wrote quantum leap, but that’s actually a very small subatomic change) – since the Bill probably wouldn’t pass until some time in 2013 after the next minimum wage round, it would make the 2014 increase up to $15, rather than, as is likely $14. Still, $40 a week is nothing to be sneezed at and, since its not a huge increase, it will be hard for United Future to vote against.
Unfortunately, most of the votes would come down to Peter Dunne who is being insufferable and lording his swing vote over every New Zealander, threatening to change his votes on Bills if parties don’t suck up to him. I guess we’re just going to have to put up with it for a while longer. Rumour is Dunne’s going to retire rather than lose in 2014.