If euthanasia bill passes it will be decided by referendum

A small majority of MPs (63 to 57) have voted for a referendum to make the final decision on euthanasia if the End of Life Choice Bill passes it’s third reading which will happen in November.

The successful referendum vote makes it more likely that the Bill will pass as NZ First MPs said they would support the bill if the final decision would be made by voters.

Some say this is good democracy, with “the people” deciding the outcome, but others claim it an avoidance of responsibility of parliament in a representative democracy, where nearly all decisions are made by MPs and by parties that have been voted into Parliament.

It is claimed that MPs are in a better position to make important decisions as they all should have listened to extensive arguments for and against legislation, as opposed to ‘the people”, most of whom hear or read little of the arguments and are more susceptible to misinformation and emotive and coercive claims.

Stuff:  Euthanasia referendum on the cards after tight vote in Parliament

New Zealanders will likely be asked to decide whether euthanasia should be legal in a referendum at the 2020 election after a tight vote in Parliament.

David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill was amended on Wednesday night to include a binding referendum on whether it should come into force, by a knife-edge vote of 63 to 57.

The referendum is not certain as the bill still has to make it through a third reading vote next month.

But the referendum gives it a much higher chance of passing as it keeps NZ First on board with the legislation.

Seymour mostly kept together his coalition that helped him pass the second reading of the bill, although 10 previous “yes” votes voted against the referendum, while three previous “no” votes voted for it.

A majority of Labour MPs (28) voted for the referendum, including leader Jacinda Ardern. A majority of National MPs (39) voted against it, including leader Simon Bridges.

Seymour struck a deal with NZ First early in the bill’s passage to get the party’s support for the bill in exchange for the referendum.

He and many other supporters of the bill are not generally supportive of the bill being a referendum, but understood the need for it to go to one in order to pass the next vote.

“This referendum clause is critical to keeping a coalition of MPs to be able to give people choice at the end of their life,” Seymour said at the opening of the debate.

This vote for a referendum can’t be taken as an indicator of possible support for the bill, as some supporters of the bill will have preferred no referendum, while some opponents of the bill may prefer a referendum.

Voting on the bill in Parliament  is in an unusual situation, with National and Labour allowing their MPs a conscience vote, but NZ First and Green MPs required to vote as party blocs.

The votes on the referendum):

AYES (63)

Labour (29): ARDERN Jacinda, DAVIS Kelvin, LITTLE Andrew, ROBERTSON Grant, WOODS Megan, HIPKINS Chris, SEPULONI Carmel Jean, PARKER David, NASH Stuart, HUO Raymond, LEES-GALLOWAY Iain Francis, TINETTI Jan, PRIME Willow-Jean, FAAFOI Kris, ALLAN Kiri, CURRAN Clare, DYSON Ruth, ANDERSEN Ginny, LUXTON Jo RUSSELL Deborah, CRAIG Liz, LUBECK Marja, EAGLE Paul, McANULTY Kieran, RADHAKRISHNAN Priyanca, WARREN-CLARK Angie, O’CONNOR Greg, HENARE Peeni, WEBB Duncan.

National (15): BENNETT Paula, ADAMS Amy, KAYE Nikki, COLLINS Judith, MITCHELL Mark, BENNETT David, SIMPSON Scott, KURIGER Barbara, DOOCEY Matt, YANG Jian, BISHOP Chris, KING Matt, FALLOON Andrew, STANFORD Erica, YULE Lawrence.

NZ First (9): PETERS Winston, MARK Ron, MARTIN Tracey, TABUTEAU Fletcher, BALL Darroch, MITCHELL Clayton, PATTERSON Mark JONES Shane, MARCROFT Jenny.

Green (8): SHAW James DAVIDSON Marama, GENTER Julie Anne, SAGE Eugenie, HUGHES Gareth, LOGIE Jan, SWARBRICK Chlöe, GHAHRAMAN Golriz.

ACT (1): SEYMOUR David.

Independent (1): ROSS Jami-Lee.

NOES (57)

Labour (17): TWYFORD Phil, CLARK David,=sum SIO Aupito Tofae Sua William, O’CONNOR Damien, SALESA Jenny, JACKSON Willie, WILLIAMS Poto, WALL Louisa, WOOD Michael Philip, MALLARD Trevor, COFFEY Tamati, STRANGE Jamie, KANONGATA’A-SUISUIKI Anahila, MAHUTA Nanaia, WHATIRI Meka, RURAWHE Adrian, TIRIKATENE Rino.

National (40): CARTER David, PUGH Maureen, BROWNLEE Gerry, BRIDGES Simon, LOHENI Agnes, WOODHOUSE Michael, TOLLEY Anne, GUY Nathan, McCLAY Todd, SMITH Nick, BARRY Maggie, GOLDSMITH Paul, UPSTON Louise, NGARO Alfred, WAGNER Nicky, DEAN Jacqui, HUDSON Brett, LEE Melissa, BAKSHI Kanwaljit Singh, PARMAR Parmjeet, YOUNG Jonathan, HAYES Jo, McKELVIE Ian, O’CONNOR Simon, BAYY Andrew, DOWIE Sarah, MULLER Todd, RETI Shane, SCOTT Alastair, SMITH Stuart, BROWN Simeon, HIPANGO Harete, LEE Denise, PENK Chris, VAN de MOLEN Tim, WALKER Hamish, GARCIA Paulo, WILLIS Nicola, BIDOIS Dan.


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  1. In general (without knowing the final form of the bill) I support this End of Life Choice Bill.

    I think that I should be able to make a decision for myself as to whether I can legally be assisted to die when I choose if facing a terminal illness.

    I don’t really support the referendum part of the process – I don’t think that the general publicly should be able to vote (dictate to me) that i can’t make a legal choice for myself.

    Those who oppose euthanasia can simply choose not to do it under any circumstances, and leave the choice to others who may think and feel differently.

    • Corky

       /  24th October 2019

      I agree with you 100%, Pete. Would your attitude also transfer to legal use of all drugs as a personal choice?

  2. duperez

     /  24th October 2019

    I’ve already heard the bit from an MP that he is far better placed than me to decide for me so doesn’t want a referendum. I’ve also heard that I am incapable of going into a polling booth and putting ticks on a couple of referendums and on an electorate and party voting form. I will apparently not be well-informed and will be confused.

    Let’s simplify the system then, streamline it, take the confusion out of it pick one person to decide everything for everyone.

    Bags be that person rather than some condescending MP who no doubt when it suits them, spouts out the adage “the public aren’t stupid.”

  3. Corky.

     /  24th October 2019

    I notice generally, Polynesian MPs don’t want a bar of this legislation. I wonder why that is? I’m sure the all-knowing oracle will tell us.

    • Gezza

       /  24th October 2019

      😮 Jesus Christ !

      Damn near frightened the life out of me.

      Where’d you come from, Corks? o_O

      Doesn’t need an oracle. The answer’s easy as, Bro. Find me one that isn’t a solid, simple churchgoing, God-fearing soul, representing constituents & beholden to entire communities of Pasifika folk whose pastors tell them every Sunday that it’s The Lord, & He alone who should decide when & where to call someone to the Pearly Gates.

      • It’s a blimmin shame that people like Maggie Barry are spreading misinformation in an attempt to stop it.

        There are so many safeguards that it will be impossible for anyone who is not making the decision for themselves to be given it.

  4. NOEL

     /  25th October 2019

    If the answer is yes will the media have to change “Suicide Pact”to “Euthanasia Pact”?


  5. PartisanZ

     /  25th October 2019

    Winston Peters lasting legacy will be holding the country to ransom with not one (cannabis) but three or four referendum – EOLC, abortion and MMP Threshold – by putting his spanner in the works of his own coalition government to delay everything one more election cycle in a desperate attempt to win back his failing voter base, the ones he betrayed in the agreement he made to form his coalition government, who can’t ever be replaced because they’re old and grey … or get Shane Jones elected in Northland!


    Politics makes so much sense!!!

  1. If euthanasia bill passes it will be decided by referendum — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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