Electoral (Disqualification of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill

Even though more important things are happening on the Mainland, Parliament is displaying its worst and best qualities this week.

Although the dreadful vigil at Pike River overshadows everything else, Auden reminds us that even tragedy cannot stop the world from turning;

That old adage about lovers of sausages and the law? It's true.

I've just finished watching Parliament move a step closer to disenfranchising all sentenced prisoners whilst they are serving their terms of imprisonment. It was not an edifying spectacle.

The legislative failings exposed by Andrew Geddis this week also reveal a depressing political reality

Andrew's post on the Law and Order committee's incompetent drafting has certainly got folk talking this week, and it's got me pondering how imprisoned our political thinking on prisons has become.

The National and Act Party members of the Law and Order select committee not only have no regard for basic individual rights, but they want to give William Bell, Graeme Burton and Clayton Weatherston the vote. They are not only moral pygmies, but they are really, really dumb.

I have long been a big fan of New Zealand's commitment to parliamentary sovereignty, whereby we as a society leave the last word on our laws to the elected representatives of the people. Students in my Public Law class roll their eyes with the frequency and enthusiasm with which I refer to this basic principle of our constitution.