Tuesday, January 8, 2008

ZenTiger A brick through the window of democracy

Lucyna posted about a person who assaulted a teenager collecting signatures for a petition to repeal s59. Apparently, this person wanted also to steal the petition containing names and addresses of people prepared to sign. That sounds deadly serious. Allegations of Police inaction over this matter are somewhat chilling. Are these cases "not in the public interest" or are the police not interested in the public? Chuck Bird explains:

I hope the police take the case at least as seriously as the chap who threw a brick through the window of Helen Clark’s electorate office. It is doubtful if some vandalising of MP/MPs offices with have any effect on legislation. However, if those collecting signatures are allowed to be intimidated it is possible that we could not reach the required number in time.

This is an extremely serious matter. A number of women were reluctant to put down their address. They usually do so after being assured that these details will only be forwarded to the appropriate people. One does not know what the intent of this woman was. If is probable that she just intended to destroy the signatures. The fact remains that the names and addresses of the people who signed the petition should not have got into the wrong hands. Fortunately, they didn’t because of the quick thinking a brave young lady.

If the police not make a serious effect to apprehend this woman who attempted to steal the signed petitions and also assaulted this woman who resisted the attempted theft others will think they can do the same. Most people are quite supportive of those collecting signatures yet there are a few that can even become abusive.

There police know this woman. They have her name and vehicle registration number and know she is from the Hamilton area. If they had this much information about the person who threw the brick through Clark’s electorate office window I bet the person would be in custody now.

This is an attack on the democratic process. Opponents of the petition have done their best to obstruct this campaign. They have approached shop owners who have already given permission for a table to be set up in front of their shop to rescind this permission. We are on course to reach the required number of signatures. However, we have a number of elderly people collecting. The police should ensure these collectors are not intimidated by a speedy arrest. We have less than two months to collect the balance of the required signatures. It is not good enough for the police to give this matter a low priority and take weeks to find this alleged thief.

I view this as seriously as theft of mail. People have a right to privacy when they sign a petition as much as they have right to privacy on who they vote for of if they are a member of a political party.

I call on Helen Clark and Sue Bradford to condemn this attack on the democratic process. I will be following this up with the police and post their response to this blog.

Chuck Bird
Related Link: Comment from Chuck

4 comment(s):

Sittingbull said...

That puts it in a different light. All we need is a few noisy intimidators and the passive Kiwi will walk straight past the collectors.

Psycho Milt said...

Much an' all as I wouldn't sign this petition and personally don't believe that any politician gives a rat's ass how many people sign a petition, I agree this was an assault on the democratic process and the cops should be taking some stick for their slackness in following it up. Intimidation of petitioners should be a big no-no.

MK said...

Slowly but surely you folks are getting dragged down the path to what, a totalitarian state!! I hope you folks kick this mob to the kerb at the next election.

Matthew said...

PM,

how many people sign this petition is not really relevant to the politicians, but it is to the law. We need about 300,000 signatures to force a CIR. Then at the General Election, all 3,000,000 voters get to vote on the petition question(s).

The last time a CIR was held in the 1999 election the law was changed to reflect the will of the people on that one, so I think in that instance you will find very much that politicians care ho wpeopel vote in this CIR. A tiny margin of error in the CIR, unlike a poll.

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