If we had one law for all what would that law be? Thou shall not hurt anyone else? Thou shall not tell fibs (especially in politics)?
Act Party leader Jamie Whyte has stirred up a race debate by promoting one law for all.
He means that one race (Maori) shouldn’t have separate laws or privileges or Parliamentary seats to anyone else. That’s fine in theory, but very contentious and controversial in practice, as Whyte is finding out.
But it’s having the desired effect, raising Whyte’s and Act’s profile on the potential constituency that matters for them to start to make an impression in the polls. See comments at Kiwiblog in Jamie Whyte on race based law.
This is also one of the Conservative Party’s key policies (from very sparse offerings).
One Law For All is one of four very brief policy statements on their Issues page.
Another is the Conservative’s ‘bottom line’ policy “On Our Watch Referendums Will Be Binding’. In the unlikely event that they have a watch in Parliament they won’t get support for this, an issue that seems inspired by Craig’s obsession with getting the ‘smacking’ law repealed.
Craig wants one law for all if it involves Maori ‘privilege’, but he wants parents to have a different law than children when it comes to being hit. One could agree with Craig that there’s some crazy thinking here.
Another of their policies is YOUR FIRST $20,000 TAX FREE THEN A FLAT TAX. Act at least have some consistency, wanting one tax rate for all instead of no tax for those earning under $20,000 and then tax whack the rest of us.
NZ First seem to stake a claim to the ‘One Law For All’ slogan but it doesn’t stand out in their policies. Their website doesn’t have a page for ‘Winston Peters Rhetoric’ but their is plenty of that elsewhere, for example in Budget in Reply Speech – Winston Peters.
We believe in one law for all – irrespective of ethnic background.
Not the crumbs of tokenism from the Cronies Club Tables!
New Zealand First believes that we must train, skill, educate and employ our own people first.
There’s no excuse for the hiring of cheap labour from overseas when so many are on the unemployment scrap heap back here.
On the issue of foreigners speculating on housing in New Zealand – we’ve had the courage to say it for years but successive governments have refused to act.
Ok, one law for all as long as you’re one of “our own people” and not “from overseas” or a “foreigner”.
NZ First and one law for all seems to be contradictory.
One Law 4 All Party
There is also a party set up and now registered to address this issue – One Law 4 All.
To keep faith with 1Law4All supporters from across the political spectrum, we have the one bottom line – that of legal equality of all citizens regardless of race, ethnicity, culture or religion.
Should we win a position in government, 1Law4All will take a middle-of-the road position on all other issues or proposals by other parties. Should this be difficult to define or involve highly controversial legislation, we will seek a majority public consensus and vote accordingly. We will not have personal conscience votes.
Legal equality is a bottom line but on anything else majority public consensus will enable the overruling of minority rights and needs.
Several Questions For All
‘One law for all” and legal equality sound fine in theory, but life and legislation can be more complicated than that. How would the above parties answer the following questions?
- One assault law for all or separate law for parents?
- One tax for all or different tax rates?
- One property law for all or ‘one of us’ versus ‘foreigners’?
- One immigration law for all regardless of race, religion, age, skills?
- Can anyone put flashing lights on their car and run red lights and speed?
- No age limit for marriage, sex, voting, firearms, driving, alcohol?
- Superannuation for all?
- Early childhood education for all?
- Domestic Purposes Benefit for all?
And what seems to be at the centre of all the ‘one law for all’ posturing is the Treaty of Waitangi. Should New Zealand declare all treaties invalid – one treaty for all or no treaties for anyone? There’s quite a few, for example see Treaties and International Law.
Or just selected ones?
Back to Act
While Act want no legal or other privileges for Maori…
Treaty of Waitangi and Race Relations
ACT supports the vision of a free society and would seek to remove all race-based appointments in parliament or any other branch of government.
…they sound more reasonable regarding the Waitangi Tribunal:
We would work towards ensuring the Waitangi Tribunal process ends on the basis of full, fair, and final settlements.
But a quick scan through their other policies suggests they support some targeting and don’t propose universal rules for everyone.
ACC: “The one-size-fits-all compulsory, government-owned monopoly insurance provider is failing New Zealanders.” So they don’t support one insurance provider for all.
Crime and Justice: “ACT supports tough, appropriate sentencing for all offences including burglary (three strikes you’re out), livestock theft (weapon and vehicle confiscation) and murder (sentenced by degree).” Selective application of three strikes, which is targeting some offences and offenders differently to others.
One law for all, unless getting tough on (some) crime will get more votes.
‘One law for all’ is a simple political slogan in a very complex real world.