Better Democracy NZ is a non-partisan, non-profit organisation.

Our mission is to foster the improvement of New Zealand's democratic system and encourage the use of direct democracy through the

Veto, Citizens' Initiated and Recall referendum.


Monday, 20 April 2009

The Guardian Political Review

My article that got published in the Guardian Political Review.

Better Democracy NZ progress

NZ Herald - “Government passes legislation for Binding Citizens Initiated Referendums”.

If only it were true, but at this point in time it is only a figment of my imagination, but a goal New Zealanders will eventually achieve. I'm forever hopeful it will be in my lifetime but it's not a matter of “if”, it's only a matter of “when”. How do I know that? Because there will come a time when New Zealanders say enough is enough, when we are no longer prepared to give our politicians unbridled power. We will demand more say than just once every three years at a general election. We will no longer stand for the continuation of elected dictatorships. Strong words you might say, but that is all we have in reality. Yes New Zealand is a wonderful place and far more democratic than many countries, but it can always become better.

So how are we progressing in our crusade? Slowly, but we are progressing. As an example, I was amazed by the number of local body candidates that knew about and supported Binding Referendums at the last election. The election before that, very few even knew what I was talking about when I contacted them. The progress in this area has been enormous thanks in large to Michael Laws the Mayor of Wanganui. His Council has used them extensively to give the public a much bigger say in how Wanganui is run.

But it didn't all start in Wanganui. The Swiss have led the way on Binding Referendums for over 130 years. The USA use it in 23 States. For example Arnold Schwarzenegger gained his Governors seat through a Referendum. Australia can only make changes to it's Constitution by referendum. In fact Binding Referendums are used by about 160 million people around the world – that is a reflection of a well adjusted population, a sign of education and freedom.... could we call it true democracy??

Our website has been a great success with many visitors each week. Many people use it for our “Email an MP” & “Email an Editor” functions. They are great tools that make life easier and anyone is welcome to use them for any reason. It doesn't just have to be about Binding Referendums. If you can bring yourself to make a donation while you are there it would be much appreciated.

We have also just launched our new blogsite as a focal point for Political & Economic Democracy. There are many great topics listed and many comments which stimulate debate. We invite you to join in the debate at or from the link via our website.

I feel our focus must now be to put more pressure on the government to adopt Binding Referendums. But they aren't going to do anything about it unless people continue to press the issue. We have to keep it in their face at every opportunity, face to face and in writing. To those of you who have made the effort of talking to politicians I sincerely thank you. This is not a one man crusade, more and more people are coming on board and making an effort. Eventually momentum will build to a point where it will be unstoppable.

I also hope to publish a new book this year to build on the efforts of our first book “People Power” which Jon Eisen and myself produced. I now have a lot more information to include in the book so plan to make it far more comprehensive.

In the meantime I am adopting some advice given to me by my old friend Gary Knapp who said, “Do what you can do at a pace you can sustain”. Rome wasn't built in a day.

1 comment:

Rusty Kane said...


Government passes legislation for Binding Citizens Initiated Referendums”.

And it will came true..

Thats what they say Steve..

Me and many others VISUALISED that a recession was on its way.. And see it came true..

Visualise Steve Visualise.. Its a good start.