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Colin Craig: Marriage vote a 'failure of democracy'

Thursday 30 Aug 2012 12:56 p.m.

Louisa Wall and Colin Craig

Louisa Wall and Colin Craig

By Dan Satherley

Conservative Party leader Colin Craig has called last night's 80-40 vote in favour of the Marriage Amendment Bill a "failure of democracy".

Parliament overwhelmingly voted in favour of Labour MP Louisa Wall's private member's bill, which would legalise same-sex marriages.

But Mr Craig, an outspoken opponent of the bill who debated Ms Wall on TV3's current affairs show The Nation, says MPs are "not at all willing to take direction from their electorates on this issue".

"The advancement of the social liberal agenda in this country is only possible because politicians lack the courage and integrity to vote the way their constituents want them to," Mr Craig wrote on his Facebook page today.

"The Conservative Party opposes redefining marriage and allowing same-sex couple adoption unless this change is mandated by a referendum of the New Zealand people.

"Louisa Wall wants a referendum on state assets, but is opposed to a referendum on the definition of marriage and same-sex couple adoption. We can all see that’s a double standard."

Mr Craig says his party is undertaking research to find out "which MP's (sic) are failing to represent their electorates".

A poll in June showed 63 percent of voters back gay marriage, and 31 percent are opposed. Last night's conscience vote almost matched that, with 66 percent of MPs voting in favour of the change, and 33 percent against.

Only one MP – Labour's Raymond Huo – didn't vote.

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