UNLOCK THE DOORS!

Rob Tisinai

April 17th, 2013

Today Jim posted a video of the New Zealand Parliament breaking into song after passing a marriage equality bill. My favorite part, though, is just before the song: right after the vote is revealed, the speaker declares:

Unlock the doors. UNLOCK THE DOORS!

The little procedural phrase sounded in my ears like an exultation. It would be a great name for book, blog, or movie.

And I may just have it printed on a t-shirt.

Patrick C

April 17th, 2013

As someone who used to live in NZ, I was in tears when they broke out into Po Karekareana. Pakeha and Maori singing what is considered to be the greatest love song ever to come out of the country.

(Pakeha refers to the non indigenous population in NZ, usually for those of European descent)

nwt

April 17th, 2013

Spent some time this morning trying to figure out what this meant.

Apparently, when there is a Personal (as opposed to Party) vote, the doors are ordered closed and locked, and all MPs in the Chamber when the doors are closed and locked must vote or record their abstention. (I guess it gives MPs a way out of voting — to be simply absent when the doors were closed or locked?) Anyway, there’s no rule that requires that the doors be subsequently unlocked, but presumably that’s the import of the phrase. See http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Rules/StOrders/Chapter3/2/c/e/00HOHPBReferenceStOrdersChapter3HPutting1-Putting-the-question.htm#SO142

Carl

April 17th, 2013

I thought they were about to have a kiki….

jpeckjr

April 18th, 2013

@nwt. Thanks for that info. I was wondering if it meant, or has come to mean, “Inform the public of our decision.”

Here in the US, if we adopted it as a slogan to promote marriage equality, it would mean “Unlock the doors, to the courthouse.” I think it has some potential.

Neil

April 19th, 2013

There are variations around the world on the rules of locking the doors during parliamentary votes.

Here’s an example of politicians in Australia finding themselves locked in when it became apparent that a rep they’d spent much energy disapproving was about to record a vote with them.

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