- Date published:
7:39 am, March 22nd, 2018 - 39 comments
Categories: national, nick smith, same old national, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, trevor mallard, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:
Nick Smith told a whopper in Parliament yesterday. He had been asking questions of Megan Woods about if the proposed changes to Electoral Law allowing parties to sack list MPs was in breach of UN obligations.
The video is here:
The whopper occurred because he misspoke. He asked:
Can the Minister name a country with high standards of democracy and a respect for human rights that has the sort of rules where a party leader can dismiss a member of Parliament, like what he is proposing for New Zealand?
Woods seized the moment and answered the question that was asked.
New Zealand. But I do find it a bit rich to take lectures on democracy from the member who cancelled democracy at Environment Canterbury in Canterbury.
Things then went strange. Smith insisted he said “another country” when he clearly said “a country”.
Hon Dr Nick Smith: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. My question to the Minister was whether the Minister could name another country. Another would not—
Mr SPEAKER: No. I think the member said “a country”.
Hon Dr Nick Smith: It was “another country”.
Mr SPEAKER: Well, sorry. I will go back and have a look at it. I was under the impression that the member said “a country”. I’m getting some support on my right for that point of view. If the member gives me an absolute—and I will go back and look at it. If the member gives me an absolute assurance—[Rt Hon Winston Peters stands], I’ll take the point of order soon—that he said “another country”, then I will ask the Minister to answer the question. The member has given me assurance, so that is at a very high standard. The member has given me assurance.
Smith then repeated the “misspeak”.
Hon Dr MEGAN WOODS: Mr Speaker, it’s been some time. Can I please request that the member re-asks the question.
Mr SPEAKER: As long as I have an assurance from Dr Smith that it’s going to be re-asked in exactly the form that he did previously.
Hon Dr Nick Smith: Yes, indeed. Can the Minister name another country with high standards of democracy and respect for human rights that has the same sort of laws that enable a party leader to dismiss an MP, like he is proposing for New Zealand?
The privileges committee could be invited to consider the matter. It seems rather trivial but Smith’s insistence that he was right when he was clearly wrong raises concerns about the accuracy of everything else he has ever said.