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.


Sunday, 6 September 2009

Baldock proposes new referendum

Larry Baldock, leader of the Kiwi Party and anti-smacking referendum organiser is now calling for a referendum to make referendums binding. Would you support that by collecting signatures? Read his press release below and email him your support.

New petition will be launched says Kiwi Party leader
Kiwi Party leader and organiser of the Anti-smacking referendum announced today that he had contacted the Clerk of the House of Representatives concerning approval to lodge an application as a proposer of a new Citizens Initiated Referendum.

Speaking at the Kiwi Party’s annual conference in Christchurch Mr Baldock said
“I believe the Prime Minister’s refusal to act upon the 87.4% ‘No’ vote in the recent referendum has raised the question amongst many as to whether our democracy has sufficient checks and balances in place to protect from the abuse of executive power.

The No Vote in the Anti-smacking Referendum got 1,470,755 votes
That’s 35% more votes than National got at the last election
That’s 78% more than Labour got at the last election
That’s 27 years worth of voting for Sue Bradford’s Greens based on their 2008 election results

“The final form of the question will obviously be the subject of public submissions as part of the process the Clerk is required to follow under the CIR Act 1993,” said Mr Baldock, but the wording of the question would focus on the issue of whether Citizens initiated referenda seeking the repeal or amendment of any law passed by parliament should be binding.
“The Kiwi Party’s policies spell out what amendments we believe should be made to the CIR Act 1993.

“Because it can take up to three months before the Clerk gives the final approval of the question and petition form, I want to begin the process as soon as possible. If the Prime Minister has a change of heart about his refusal to listen to the voice of the people expressed in the anti-smacking referendum over the next three months I would of course reconsider the plans to pursue the signature collection.

“If John Key continues to act without regard for the citizens he was given the privilege to govern, then he can be sure of this one thing. I will do all in my power to ensure that he will have to deal with another referendum and this time it will be almost impossible to avoid it being held at the 2011 elections.

“The abuse of executive power that has been occurring over the past 10 years must be corrected and the circumstances that have led to the appalling situation in the past two weeks must never happen again in a free and democratic New Zealand.

“I want to make one thing clear at the outset. The Kiwi Party is not seeking a complete constitutional change from representative democracy to direct democracy. We simply want the to provoke the nation to a discussion over whether there are sufficient checks within our system to protect from executive and parliamentary abuse of power and to give that discussion a constructive outlet through a referendum question.

“New Zealand is the only nation as far as I am aware, that does not have a written constitution and no second chamber for legislation to pass through before becoming law. With an MMP electoral system we also now find ourselves with party leaders holding additional power over list MPs concerned about their rankings on the party list at the next election, coupled with the over extended power of a large cabinet within a minority government party caucus.

“If we do not seriously address these constitutional issues now our children and grandchildren may be governed in a way our forebears never imagined possible when they resisted oppression on foreign battlefields to protect our liberty,” he said.
Contact Larry Baldock



Anonymous said...

It is high time the silent majority move their back side to have real democracy. It requires sacrifices of time and discomfort. History tells us very well that even freedom itself was not given freely, there were sacrifices on the way. Good on you Larry, I am fully behind you in this.

Steve Baron said...

This Larry's proposed question for the referendum petition.

"Should CIR referenda seeking to amend or change a law be binding upon the government?"

Personally I think New Zealander's would be more enthused if the wording was to simply make all referendums binding on the government. Larry however doesn't seem to agree with me though.

Dominic Baron said...

I congratulate Larry and Barbara and their team on their resilience in carrying on the good fight. However, I think the referendum question has to end up as a direct instruction:

"Do you command the government and the parliament to implement at once the results of all referendums, including this one?"

Steve Baron said...

I would suggest that the referendum should be "Should the law be amended to make the results of citizens initiated referenda binding on the New Zealand Government?"

You can also register support on Larry's new website click here

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I agree with Larry. Hold another Referendum to make this one binding !

Steve Baron said...

Only this one? What about other referendums or just when it suits you Anon?

Unknown said...

I'll start off by saying i'm really not a fan of John Key. However; by ignoring the CIR on hitting children he has taken a step towards having some level of respect from me.

I have only had a brief look at this site after randomly following a link during my new readings but it is clear that a group of people are hurt over losing some level of democracy by having CIR ignored when it had a decent vote in it's favour.

For CIR to be binding it would be fair to say that the questions they pose should be accurate and not misleading. I personally found the recent CIR on the Anti-Smacking law very misleading and many people I spoke to had no idea which way they were voting.

If you find it is ok to hit children to correct their behaviour I would like you to read this and perhaps have a rethink of this terrible idea, it was written by a good friend of mine:

'Today, as I was coming home on the bus, there was a young Maori mother with two young children. I mention her race because child abuse is at a horrible level in NZ, and unfortunately it is highest reported in Maori and Pacific Island families. I mention her race because whenever I made the mistake of looking at letters to the editor or blogs about the subject, there would be someone claiming that making "smacking" illegal would not stop people from beating their kids, and that child abuse is a problem for brown people, not good law-abiding white folks. This young mother looked at her wits end for a moment as her two young children bickered with each other, threw their bus tickets around and yelled. Then she took a breath and you know what she did?

She sang.

She sang a song that no late teens/early twenties woman would want to be seen singing in public. She sang complete with animal sounds and hand gestures, and in three lines or so her little girls had climbed back into their seats and started singing along, and when I realised what she was doing I nearly cried. She didn't shout, she didn't threaten, and the only time she raised her hand was to mime an elephant's trunk. I wish I'd said something to her, wish there was a way to tell her what an awesome thing she was doing without embarrassing the hell out of both of us. Most of all, I wish that everyone who voted no in the referendum - everyone who voted for the right of grown adults to assault the smallest, most vulnerable members of our community - could have seen her.'

Credit to people who read all of that. In this case I believe the Government having a veto right over CIR is protection against the majority who fail to think outside of the box and think hitting their children is a good idea.