Housing Minister Megan Woods this week eased herself past the KiwiBuild fiasco to announce a fresh range of housing policies. She conceded the commitment to specific KiwiBuild targets had been a “mistake”: others have labelled KiwiBuild as a “political humiliation”. Woods exuded confidence the new bundle of policies has what it takes to deliver on the government’s housing goals.
As for Greens co-leader Marama Davidson who appeared alongside Woods as the government’s housing policies were “reset”, she exclaimed that it was one of the best days in her political career. “I want to say to those NZers today who have given up hope on their dream of owning a home we have opened the door to you”.
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Twenty-one eminent constitutional lawyers expressed this view in a letter to the Times (3 4 19): ‘Any attempt to advise refusal of Royal Assent to a Bill passed by Parliament would stand constitutional principle on its head. It would presume a governmental power to override Parliament, yet it is in Parliament, not the Executive, that sovereignty resides’.
But it is the eminent-21 who stand constitutional principle on its head. The true principle is: it is in Parliament (not the Executive, and not the Legislature) that sovereignty resides.
The name Parliament, or parliamentum, came (from the Old French: parlement, parler) into use in England in the 14th century (the Modus Tenendi Parliamentum, probably 1321), but by the 15th century it had come to mean a legislature (OED 3rd edition, 2005); and, indeed, that’s what it was. The movement from an absolute monarch to a legislative Parliament…
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The decision to prorogue Parliament does not only have implications for whether Parliament can prevent a no deal Brexit, it also has important consequences for the making of primary and secondary legislation prior to exit day. We are particularly concerned with statutory instruments (SIs). There is already a strained position vis-à-vis the lack of scrutiny of secondary legislation, to such an extent that Parliament scrutiny is effectively incapacitated. It is clear that prorogation will exacerbate this incapacitation. In this post, we explain why this is the case.
When Parliament is prorogued all Bills fall unless expressly carried over to the next session. This means they need to start the legislative process again in a new session, if they are to be revived. At present, there are five Brexit Bills progressing through Parliament. Two of these, the Trade Bill and the Financial Services Bill are ineligible to be carried…
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Do we really need another article that telling us that evolution isn’t always “progressive”, going in a straight line towards traits that we consider “advanced”? (These are nearly always traits that humans have, like intelligence, high consciousness, and big brains.)
This form of evolution, often represented by the “straight line” diagram of human evolution shown in the new The Conversation article below, also called “orthogenesis,” is said to misrepresent evolution in several ways. It implies, for instance, that there’s an inherent directionality to evolution, which isn’t true (though in some cases, like arms races, it can approximate truth). It could be taken to imply that the directionality isn’t conferred by natural selection, but by some teleological force, like the “drive to consciousness” broached by computer scientist David Gelernter in a recent, dreadful, and grossly misleading critique of evolution. And it implies a scala naturae—a “scale of nature”—that could…
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