17 February 2000
COLIN KEATING IN THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES
Christian Heritage Party Leader Graham Capill has discredited the view expressed by the Justice Secretary, Colin
Keating, to the Justice and Electoral Select Committee that it was difficult to tell what voters voted for in the
referendum on justice last year.
Mr Capill said, “Mr Keating is like the Emperor in his new clothes. Everyone except he knows exactly what they see and
what they want. Which part of a reform of our justice system placing greater emphasis on the needs of victims does the
Secretary not understand?
“Mr Keating should be held accountable for judging the situation on ‘witnessing people in polling booths scratching
their heads and thinking what does this mean’. Apart from the simple fact that Mr Keating cannot judge what people might
be thinking in a polling booth (nor ought he to be in a position to make such observations), what is he doing judging
the result of the referendum on such a nebulous basis?
“Any objective person now knows that over 90% of the public want victims to be taken seriously and violent crime to
attract tougher sentences. If the Secretary of Justice cannot glean that information is he competent to hold such an
“The government does not deserve to remain in office after the next election if it does not do more than merely tinker
with the justice system. Too many criminals are locked up doing little or nothing when they should be working to pay
their victims back. Others are paroled when they should be locked up in order to keep society safe. The new government
could not get a clearer mandate for change than it did in the referendum and any attempt to sidestep the real issues
will not be forgotten by the public at the next election,” Mr Capill concluded.
Contact: Party Leader Graham Capill (021) 661 766