NZ First’s position on the need to put abortion to a referendum is intellectually bankrupt.
Because Parliament is supposed to protect society from the tyranny of the majority. That our political representatives can craft law that progresses democracy, not represses or robs others of agency.
Abortion is an issue that women have to deal with, allowing men to decide what health care women should be able to access opens the process up for injustice and the tyranny of the majority. Euthanasia and cannabis reform impacts everyone so everyone should have a say, but abortion is experienced by women and in that case our elected representatives are asked to cast their conscience as a vote.
We obligate them to vote beyond ideology for the public good when the issue is contentious and requiring protection from the tyranny of the majority.
This is a moment when we ask our MPs to reflect on all the issues and cast their vote for the public good beyond Party lines, that NZ First are trying to wriggle out of their democratic obligations by putting it back on the voters despite that being unjust and counter to protecting womens rights is lazy thinking and bankrupt values.
Allowing men to vote on abortion rights for women in a referendum would be as questionable as asking the entire country if we should dump the Māori electorates – representative democracy is supposed to protect against the tyranny of the majority, not weaponise it.
Dear NZ First, you are in Parliament to work, so do your damn job and cast your vote based on your conscience otherwise you are political bludgers shirking their democratic responsibilities.