New Zealanders Prepare to Vote With Their Feet
MEDIA RELEASE 16 November 2009
The March for Democracy this Saturday, Queen St 1:30pm, is calling for politicians to set aside their own agendas and act as directed by the people of New Zealand. Particular attention is being drawn to the three Citizens Initiated Referendums on which little if any action has been taken.
“People don’t need excuses from government - they want to see politicians deliver what the people ask for. It’s time to honour the citizens and do what the people want” says march organizer Colin Craig.
“82% of NZ’ers voted for a reduced number of MP’s in 1999 yet this was shelved. 92% of NZ’ers also voted for a more victim-centred justice system yet parole eligibility was shortened, least restrictive sentences recommended, and unenforceable token gestures towards victims were put in place. And just this year, ‘comfort’ was offered to 87% who wanted a specific law change on the anti-smacking law, yet the law remains unchanged.”
Bob McCoskrie from Family First NZ says, “The response by the politicians to the will of the people has been “we won’t”! There has been a disturbing trend of the democratic voice of NZ’ers being ignored on some key issues affecting the welfare of families that they have spoken clearly on.”
Garth McVicar, who has lobbied for almost 10 years on justice reform says “92% called for harsher penalties for violent offenders. Politicians said we didn’t understand the question. We understood the question – now we understand the problem!”
Margaret Robertson, the proposer of the 99 MP referendum in 1999, says “We do have the power to rescue our democracy and Parliament from self-serving politicians and unelected bureaucrats. Please help us make them listen."
The March for Democracy will be held at 1:30pm on Saturday 21 November starting at the bottom of Queen St. Full information including details of free shuttle bus services are on the website www.themarch.co.nz Marchers will be endorsing the following Statement:
• We the citizens of New Zealand affirm that the people of New Zealand are to be valued and respected as individuals who count in a democratic society.
• We the citizens of New Zealand demand that the government employ the principle of democracy; enacting laws in accordance with the wishes of the majority.
• Accordingly, we demand immediate amendment of the law so that a parent correcting a child with a light smack will not be committing a criminal offence.
• We also demand that the wishes of citizens expressed in prior referendums by a clear majority be honoured.