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Bill English: A PM for every New Zealander?

UPDATE: The Abortion Supervisory Committee has called for New Zealand's abortion laws to be updated. Currently, they're forty years old and part of the Crimes Act.

In what's becoming a pattern, Bill English said he'd prefer to stay in the past and ignore that recommendation.

Check out our post from a couple of months ago where we pointed out that Bill English has voted against almost every progressive piece of law since he's been in Parliament:

The Prime Minister should represent each and every New Zealander. No matter our race, gender, or sexuality; no matter what we earn; no matter who our parents are, or where we’re born.

But we’ve had a look at Bill English’s voting record, and it’s hard to imagine him as a Prime Minister for every New Zealander because on many issues, his values aren’t New Zealanders’ values.

He’s voted against equality for our rainbow community; compassion for sick New Zealanders; legislation to help young parents, families, and our workers; and he’s voted against our kids getting the best start in life possible.

In fact, Bill English has voted against almost every progressive piece of law that has come before Parliament in recent years. He’s a politician stuck in the past as the rest of us move forward.

Here are 7 times Bill English voted against New Zealanders:

1. He voted against civil unions...

So did former PM John Key ‒ but Key’s views eventually progressed enough so that he voted for gay marriage 9 years on. English’s didn’t.

2. …and he voted against marriage equality.

Now, four years on and upon becoming PM, he says he would have voted differently. But we need a leader who makes good decisions at the time that they’re needed.

3. He voted against medicinal marijuana.

There’s overwhelming public support for the use of medicinal cannabis ‒ currently it’s at 72%. Bill English voted against it in 2009 and there’s no sign his position has changed, or will change. Labour’s Damien O’Connor currently has a Member’s Bill in the ballot to allow greater access to medicinal cannabis.

4. He vetoed 26 weeks paid parental leave, despite a majority in Parliament.

All parties except National and ACT voted for Sue Moroney’s paid parental leave Bill, which would’ve extended paid parental leave from 18 to 26 weeks. Despite the fact that the Bill had a majority in Parliament, Bill English used an extraordinary power to shoot it down and deny these families the extra eight weeks of paid parental leave to spend with their newborn.

5. He voted against Andrew Little’s Healthy Homes Bill.

Children’s Commissioner Russell Wills says the effects of cold, mouldy, and damp housing on kids contributes to 42,000 hospital admissions and 15 deaths each year. Andrew Little’s Healthy Homes Bill will ensure that all Kiwi rentals are warm, dry, and safe to live in. Bill English and National voted against it.

6. He voted against Kiwi workers and jobs.

Andrew Little’s Our Work, Our Future Bill would ensure the Government buys Kiwi-made wherever possible. It’s a commonsense way to back Kiwi jobs and Kiwi workers, and keep the money the Government spends in New Zealand. Bill English and National voted against it.

7. He’s running the state house sell-off.

Despite record demand and growing waiting lists for state housing, Bill English is still trying to sell it off. That’s a disgrace when we have a housing crisis and over 40,000 New Zealanders are homeless.

We need a Prime Minister who makes the right decisions when they're needed, and who backs every New Zealander. That isn't Bill English.

Help us get a Prime Minister who shares our values. Join our movement to change the Government here.

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LabourVoices on December 15, 2016

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