Title: Backlash helped to defeat Death with Dignity Bill Credit: Peter Grace Comment Sunday 17th August 2003 - 12:00pm1061078400 Article: 94 Rights
WELLINGTON - The Leader of the Opposition, Bill English, says he was surprised the Death with Dignity Bill was defeated on July 30, at its first reading in Parliament. Mr English expected MPs to take the easier option of voting for the bill so it would go to a select committee for consideration. The public would then have been able to make submissions on it. However, he thinks MPs against the bill debated more effectively than those for it, swinging more votes against it. A more important reason, Mr English believes, is a negative public feeling. "The Government in particular is starting to feel a backlash from the Prostitution Reform Bill. When this [euthanasia] legislation came up, they [the Government] were much less interested in crusading than they were with the Prostitution Reform Bill." The Government is also starting to feel the pressure from reaction to the rewriting of a lot of social legislation, such as the Property Relationships Act, the Care of Children Bill, legislation related to the family, and now the Civil Union Bill, said Mr English. MPs had also received a lot of letters against the bill, and this correspondence had an effect. For most MPs, said Mr English, when they started to get more than 10 or a dozen letters on one subject in a week, they began to take notice. Peter Grace - 17th August 2003    
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