INDEPENDENT NEWS

Labour Government stymies democracy

Published: Thu 5 Dec 2002 08:29 AM
Labour Government stymies democracy
The Government has denied Kiwis the chance to determine their own electoral destiny by opposing the Electoral Options Referenda Bill in the house tonight.
“Voters expected to have another say on the electoral system but this Government is determined their voice won’t be heard,” says National’s Rangitikei MP Simon Power.
“The Greens have sided with their Labour chums and voting against the idea, but of course it’s in their best interests to do so.
“That’s particularly ironic when they’re actively campaigning to change the way Local Government is elected,” says Mr Power.
The Electoral Options Referenda Bill provides for the holding of two referenda on the electoral system.
It’s essentially the same process used when MMP was adopted in 1992/93.
The first referendum has two parts.
The first part is whether electors wish to retain the current system of Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) or want to change the electoral system.
The second part asks all electors which alternative they prefer.
“National helped introduce the current system, it’s had three terms to settle in and now New Zealanders deserve the chance to say whether it’s right for us.”
Mr Power’s representing a Private Members Bill lodged by New Zealand’s first woman Prime Minister, National’s Jenny Shipley, in May 2001.
“New Zealanders deserve the opportunity to say whether they like what’s happening with our electoral system, it should be voters who decide the way forward, not politicians,” Mr Power says.

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