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Chris Ford: Stopping the GCSB Bill - can Peter Dunne still change his mind again?

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Chris Ford
Chris Ford
Peter Dunne.

Tomorrow night there will be a major last ditch effort to stop the GCSB Amendment Bill from going foward. This will involve the holding of a mass public meeting at the Auckland Town Hall.

However, this legislation still looks likely to pass with Peter Dunne's single casting vote - that is, unless, John Key does some late night whiskey-fuelled deal with Winston to get more votes.

Nonetheless, at this stage, it's all down to Dunne.

As is well known, Dunne has been all over the place with regards to his position on the Bill. At first he opposed the Bill and now, after a few late night negotiations with the PM, he's all for it! Getting a few worthless amendments in return for National not fighting hard in Ohariu next year is a pretty shabby deal and one that will, potentially, diminish our civil liberties.

If Dunne, though, is as liberal as he says he is, he should realise that this legislation (even with his amendments) will do very little to protect the hard fought for civil liberties of New Zealanders. If Dunne cherishes the classical liberal tenents of freedom and privacy, then he ought to do another back flip and oppose the Bill on its second and third readings.

Dunne must also know that, if he goes through with continuing his support for the legislation, his political career is as good as finished. I hope that Labour and the Greens will come to do their own deal not to stand against one another in Ohariu next year. I would prefer, on balance, a Labour victory in Ohariu thereby depriving Dunne of his seat and National of another critical ally.

Nonetheless, Dunne still has (provided that Peters doesn't fall into the PM's lap) the casting vote on this legislation. I would support him doing a back flip again on the third reading. That's why I believe that if Dunne has any principles left, then he should do so as that would be the only way the Government would withdraw this legislation.

C'mon Peter - you've broken National's heart once, why not do it again? C'mon, it's for the sake of all our liberties!


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