John Key is refusing to do anything about euthanasia legislation, regardless of the outcome of the current select committee inquiry.
Newstalk ZB: John Key: ‘No chance’ of Govt legalising euthanasia
There is zero chance of Government introducing legislation to legalise euthanasia even if an inquiry strongly recommends it, Prime Minister John Key says.
A select committee is part-way through a major inquiry on public attitudes to euthanasia in New Zealand, which is considering more than 20,000 public submissions and holding hearings around the country.
Key said today that regardless of the committee’s conclusions and the level of public support, the Government would not propose a change.
“There is no chance of it being a Government bill,” Key told reporters at Parliament this morning.
Key said he personally supported euthanasia. He would not take the step himself, but he believed others should be able to.
However, there was strong opposition to it within the National caucus, he said.
Senior members of the Cabinet such as Bill English and Gerry Brownlee have previously voted against bills which would have made euthanasia legal.
“Ultimately you’re dealing with a really sensitive issue and I think the process is best handled through a member’s bill, as I’ve said so often before,” Key said.
Saying it is “best handled through a member’s bill”, which is a long shot lottery, is gutless bollocks.
It may be Key-speak for ‘I am outnumbered in the National caucus on this’.
The Prime Minister said the select committee’s work was still useful because it would inform any debate if a private member’s bill on the issue was drawn.
That’s pathetic, effectively not allowing Parliament to do what it should, debate issues of public importance.
Andrew is little better.
Andrew Little said the Government should “at least” allow a euthanasia bill to come before the House so that a debate could take place.
However, he said a law change would not be a priority for a Labour-led Government.
He would personally support the legalisation of euthanasia if it had the same safeguards as former MP Maryan Street’s proposed bill.
Street’s bill was withdrawn from the member’s ballot ahead of the 2014 election at the request of former Labour leader David Shearer, who was concerned it could become a distraction in election year.
It was taken over by another Labour MP, Iain Lees-Galloway, but Little asked him not to return it to the ballot.
The Labour Party passed a remit at its annual conference on the weekend which said MPs would have a conscience vote on any euthanasia legislation.
Little said he was unsure about the level of support for a law change within his party.
So Little is ‘unsure about the level of support within his party’ but nevertheless had a Labour member’s bill withdrawn from the ballot and consigned it to ‘not a priority’, which is much the same as Key’s refusal to address it.
Euthanasia is a difficult and sensitive issue, but making it as hard as possible for parliament to debate it is gutless politics.
Act’s David Seymour is the only Member of Parliament willing to push for debate on this. He has effectively taken over the bill from Lees-Galloway. The rest of them are ducking for cover when they should be representing the interests of us the people.
The outcome of a euthanasia bill is obviously unknown, but debate on it should be allowed.
I’m especially disappointed with Key’s refusal to do anything, very poor leadership.