Saturday, March 14, 2009

Credit where due

I may not have had much reason lately to praise the National-led government or the National Party specifically. Today I have praise of the ACT Party (I know, I didn’t see that one coming, either).

At the party’s annual conference, party leader Rodney Hide said he would work to repeal Section 92A of the Copyright Act, which is currently suspended until/unless a Code of practice can be agreed to by Internet Service Providers, the music industry, and other related parties. The suspension was done after a widespread Internet-based protest, including what is believed to be the first grassroots campaign conducted on Twitter.

Hide said of Section 92A, “It should be repealed . . . it is fundamentally flawed because it breaches the principles of natural justice. It makes people guilty without trial and that is wrong." The phrase “natural justice” ordinarily refers to fundamental, essential fairness that citizens have a right to expect from government.

I don’t have anything against Hide personally, but he does often really annoy me (for example, his pledge on 92A came with a strongly partisan attack, which is typical for him). I have stronger feelings about the ACT Party: I simply cannot stand it or its neoconservative agenda. But if they and Hide can help get Section 92A repealed, I’ll certainly give them credit for that, even if I criticise them normally. Right now, it’s obviously just words, however good they may be. We’ll see if I’ll have reason to praise Hide and ACT again, but I’d like to be able to praise other parties on this, too; all they have to do is repeal Section 92A.

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