INDEPENDENT NEWS

Nats Bill Says People Should Decide On MMP

Published: Wed 11 Oct 2000 11:56 AM
National's Bill Gives Power To The People On Electoral Reform
National is going to give New Zealanders the chance to vote for or against MMP once and for all.
Leader of the Opposition Jenny Shipley today lodged a Private Members Bill giving New Zealanders a direct say on the future of MMP.
"National believes New Zealanders need to own their electoral system by either confirming the status quo or signalling their desire for change. We want to give them that opportunity.
"This Bill is about National fulfilling our promise to give New Zealanders the chance to have their say on the future of our electoral system.
"Many New Zealanders believed they were going to have a second opportunity to vote on this issue.
"It was National's election policy last year to have two referenda on the electoral system. We sought the Labour-Alliance Government's agreement on that earlier this year but they refused to let New Zealanders make the decision for themselves," Mrs Shipley said.
The Electoral Options Referenda Bill proposes two referenda on the electoral system. The first establishes whether New Zealanders are happy with MMP or want a change and if so, what option they would prefer. In the event the majority want a change from MMP, a second referendum pits MMP against the most favoured alternative system.
"As I said at the time the MMP Review was announced, the process has been soured by the Government's refusal to specifically guarantee a referendum at the conclusion of the review process. If the committee recommends that the 1992/93 referenda be rerun we would be very willing to co-operate with the Government.
"The fact is that the public expected the chance to have a say on the success, or otherwise, of MMP when they voted for electoral change in 1993. New Zealanders should be entitled to that democratic say.
"New Zealand's electoral system is the people's, not the politicians', and Parliament must recognise that. My Private Members Bill will ensure everyone has a say via two referenda," Mrs Shipley said.
Ends
A printable formatted copy of this press release will be available on http://www.national.org.nz along with an archive of previous releases.

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