I hate the government because I believe they’ll be evil, because I…

The Government has cancelled the cencus. Queue stupidity from the left:

While I’m sure its a reasonable response in the situation, it is also clearly unlawful. Section 23 (1) of the Statistics Act 1976 is very clear:

The census of population and dwellings of New Zealand shall be taken by the Department in the year 1976 and in every fifth year thereafter.

While there’s no criminal penalty for failing to do so, its as binding on the government as the requirement to hold elections every three years.Hopefully, the cancellation will merely be a delay, and we’ll be filling out our forms later in the year. If not, then the government will have to amend the law. The proper way of doing this is of course through Parliament. It would be one of the few cases where extraordinary urgency was justified, and I have no doubt such an amendment would pass unanimously.

I’m uncertain at this point why I, or anyone else, would actually care. No one really thinks the census can, or should proceed. There is no controversy here.

But of course, with enough ill will, that can be fixed.

What worries me is that the government might not do that. After all, they have the Canterbury Earthquake Response and Recovery Act; isn’t this exactly what it was designed for?

Well, no. CERAA is very explicit: its purpose is to “facilitate the response to the Canterbury earthquake”,meaning “the earthquake that occurred on 4 September 2010 in Canterbury, and includes all of its aftershocks”. This is a new earthquake, so CERRA cannot legally be used.

“This is a new earthquake”.

Of course it is. How could it be an aftershock? All those experts who point to the scientific data are clearly just fools looking for attention or something. And we all know that reporters just follow whatever junk science that’s put in front of them. Yea, it couldn’t possibly be an aftershock – some random blogger from Palmerston North said so!

But carelessly waiving away inconvenient reality isn’t enough for Idiot/Savant. Oh no.

But the government has a possible solution: use CERRA to modify itself! It wouldn’t need to muck with the prohibited sections (listed here), so they could certainly legally do that. But CERRA was constitutionally objectionable, and abusing it in this fashion would be even more so. Unchecked, unreviewable, self-modifying emergency powers. Which is one of the things people in the Middle East are revolting against ATM.

Sadly, given this government’s habits of exercising power, I think it is their most likely solution. But I am very much hoping to be wrong on this one.

Quite why the government would want to use the CERRA to modify itself is beyond me.

  1. It doesn’t need to, because the law already covers this earthquake
  2. The census isn’t in any way controversial so any waiver law would pass quickly and without opposition
  3. While the law is too loose, I can’t recall (and Idiot does not quote) any instance of it being abused in any way

The more I think about it, the more I realise that Idiot has really outdone himself here. He’s managed to spin the least controversial law change ever into the National party creating a fascist, dictatorial state run by a guy in a black mask who can strangle people from the other side of the room.

The only thing missing is the death star.

Come to think of it, what caused that earthquake anyway?

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