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No Sedition in New Zealand

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Rather surprisingly the New Zealand government, lead by New Zealand Labour, have agreed to repeal New Zealand's sedition law. The Law Commission and four minor parties in Parliament called for the repeal and Labour agreed to repeal it. A proposal is set to be tabled as early as this week apparently. Interestingly those four minor parties and Labour are not known for making such freedom enhancing moves. They are more known for restricting or calling for the restriction of freedoms. But all five parties agree that the law is out-dated and removing it will improve democracy (as in voting for the government, not as in direct democracy) and free speech in New Zealand.

I am very surprised that this has happened at all. I am also surprised that it is happening so fast. I doubt the petition that me and others signed to have the law repealed is their motive, so I can only assume political gain is.

Does your country have a sedition law? Please state your country as well as saying yes or no.

EDIT: I want to clarify that I want to discuss the philosophy and motive behind this move as well as sedition laws. So here is a second question: What do you think said philosophies and motives are?

Edited by DragonMaci
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Yes, it would be great if they actually lifted the damn sedition laws (and of course very worrying if after all this talk they decide that they will not do so after all, however lets see how things turn out).

As you say, I doubt the petition has anything to do with it, I do not think the parties were all that aware of it, or took it very seriously (though I could be wrong and it could be at least a small factor in their decision, Labour have developed some track record of backing down in part of some hings due to public protest).

I think it is them trying to get more votes, as they have figured that people will support them if they repeal an "archaic unfair law", regardless of the other legel monstories that they are guilty of or wont remove.

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John Adams created the Alien and Sedition acts in the U.S., which Thomas Jefferson allowed to expire in 1801. Since then, de nada.

The idea of seditious speech pretty much directly contradicts the 1st Amendment in the U.S. in any case, although it looks like the Bush may be on the road to bringing that kind of thing back with his weird anti-terrorism bill. Not to mention that there's all sorts of other censorship in the U.S. now anyway.

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As you say, I doubt the petition has anything to do with it, I do not think the parties were all that aware of it...

Oh, they were aware of it. The guy who done the petition sent it to them.

Labour have developed some track record of backing down in part of some hings due to public protest).

In this case the public vastly support the move. That may be the motive as Labour have a track record of doing some things simply because the public want it (though they also have a history of sometimes ignoring the public).

I think it is them trying to get more votes, as they have figured that people will support them if they repeal an "archaic unfair law", regardless of the other legel monstories that they are guilty of or wont remove.

Indeed. I just implied agreement in the last paragraph.

If anyone is interested the four minor parties are The Greens (who are the least freedom supporting of the five parties involved), United Future (a religious party), the Maori Party (they focus on the indeginious people, the Maori (the singular and plural of Maori is the same)), and ACT (they are like the US Libertarians Party in that they preach support for individual liberty and soverignty but do not practice what they preach).

The idea of seditious speech pretty much directly contradicts the 1st Amendment in the U.S. in any case, although it looks like the Bush may be on the road to bringing that kind of thing back with his weird anti-terrorism bill. Not to mention that there's all sorts of other censorship in the U.S. now anyway.

Indeed it is. It is a shame about the possible return and the other censorships. We have a few of them here already or coming, such as a law to forbid criticising any poltical party during elections unless you are a politician.

Oh, and the guy that done that petition is moving onto blasphemous libel next. Oh, and it was an online petition by the way.

Edited by DragonMaci
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Oh, they were aware of it. The guy who done the petition sent it to them.

In this case the public vastly support the move. That may be the motive as Labour have a track record of doing some things simply because the public want it (though they also have a history of sometimes ignoring the public).

Indeed. I just implied agreement in the last paragraph.

.....

Oh, and the guy that done that petition is moving onto blasphemous libel next. Oh, and it was an online petition by the way.

Yeah, but my point was that beyond being aware that it existed, they pretty much overlooked it as irrelevant, and after receiving it I suspect they threw it in the thrash to to speak.

If that guy you mention has any brains, he will use the fact that the government apparently want to repeal that to his advantage, and I am quite sure that he will do this to some extent (whether in the right way remains to be seen of course).

As for free speech in US, yes well anyone paying much attention to it and appraising the situation rationally can see that the 1st Amendment is starting to become less and less powerful. Heck, it would seem that a lot of people do not understand it and this seems to be getting worse and worse all the time. I suspect that the lawyers do not help this, nor do "Amendment" Lawyers that severly misrepresent the meaning of the Amendment (one such I saw on a documentary once claimed that it is not meant to be taken literally and should not apply to "attacks against religious viewpoints" for instance) .

Edited by Prometheus98876
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although it looks like the Bush may be on the road to bringing that kind of thing back with his weird anti-terrorism bill.

Doesn't the mccain-feingold bill make it illegal to say bad things about a politician 60 days before an election?

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Does your country have a sedition law? Please state your country as well as saying yes or no.

Yes, my country (Australia) has an anti-sedition law. It defines Seditious Intent as:

An intention to use force or violence to effect any of the following purposes:

( a ) to bring the Sovereign into hatred or contempt;

( b ) to urge disaffection against the following:

(i) the Constitution;

(ii) the Government of the Commonwealth;

(iii) either House of the Parliament;

( c ) to urge another person to attempt, otherwise than by lawful means, to procure a change to any matter established by law in the Commonwealth;

( d ) to promote feelings of ill-will or hostility between different groups so as to threaten the peace, order and good government of the Commonwealth.

The laws have only been used a handful of times over the years, detailed here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_sedition_law#History

They were renewed as part of the Anti-terrorism Act 2005, due to Islamists preaching the overthrow of the Commonwealth and establishment of an Islamic state.

Edited by ian
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Yeah, but my point was that beyond being aware that it existed, they pretty much overlooked it as irrelevant, and after receiving it I suspect they threw it in the thrash to to speak.

I am not so sure. As far as I know there were no polls or anything else that could of told them the public was in support of the removal of sedition law.

If that guy you mention has any brains, he will use the fact that the government apparently want to repeal that to his advantage, and I am quite sure that he will do this to some extent (whether in the right way remains to be seen of course).

Last I knew he has announced no plans to do so, but as you, know that does not mean he is not going to.

...(one such I saw on a documentary once claimed that it is not meant to be taken literally and should not apply to "attacks against religious viewpoints" for instance) .

I do not see how it should be taken any other way.

Doesn't the mccain-feingold bill make it illegal to say bad things about a politician 60 days before an election?

That is the sort of thing Labour wants to pass here.

(i) the Constitution;

I was unaware of the fact that Australia had a Constitution.

The laws have only been used a handful of times over the years, detailed here:

Until last year or this year the sedition law in NZ had not been used for about 50 years.

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