So it’s official: National is filibustering the Electoral Finance Bill. This really is childish, and it’s directly at odds with what Bill English was telling the public on Morning Report on Tuesday. These were his exact words:
“How long the debate takes will be largely up to the government. We don’t intend to filibuster…”
It’s pretty clear now that English was being economical with the truth. Today’s Questions for Oral Answer shows ten additional questions to members. Given questions to select committee chairs are so rare that you’re lucky to see one or two a week, the fact National and Act have chosen to pose ten in one day shows they’re deliberately trying to tie up Parliament because they can’t get their way on the bill.
No Right Turn has picked up on this too, and sums up the situation well:
These are not the actions of a serious, responsible party truely interested in reform. Rather, they are the actions of a self-interested party eager to please its rich mates and rort and abuse the electoral process to buy their way to power, just as they tried to do in 2005.
Fortunately the bill has the numbers to pass, and National’s deliberate bad faith over electoral reform is becoming clearer every day.