What’s wrong with letting us choose?

Labour won’t support  National’s plan to hold a referendum on MMP.

What are they afraid of?

A referendum is a very blunt instrument for a very important matter and I’d prefer a Royal Commission or something similar to investigate the options before it goes to the people, but I don’t have any problem with giving people a choice.

It’s our voting system and many people believe that we were promised a referendum two terms after MMP was introduced. We weren’t – all that was promised was a review which was done by the politicians who had most to lose by any change. However, the belief that we were promised a say persists and even if it didn’t, a chance to look at the pluses and minuses of MMP and alternatives such as Single Transferable Vote or Supplementary Member is welcome.

If MMP is working well and people are happy with it the referendum will give it a stronger mandate than the 1993 one which brought it in; if people have problems with it then we’ll get something which might be better.

Labour isn’t comfortable with giving people a say but that’s not surprising, they’ve spent nine years proving they think they know what’s best for us, whether or not we agree.

[Update: I’ve just found today’s Herald editorial which supports the referendum too. It’s here.]

4 Responses to What’s wrong with letting us choose?

  1. Truthseeker says:

    hp: The National Party’s self-serving referendum on MMP isn’t the result of any public outcry or demand. There has been no successful petition with signatures from 5% of registered voters. There ARE a few millionaires (Peter Shortcliffe and Co) who want to get their party into a position where it can rule alone. As Lockwood Smith said in his secret truth this week, “If you try to do everything differently you’ll scare the horses and under MMP it’s very hard to win.”

    This is why National want a referendum on MMP. They want to win and do as they please…and are MORE than happy to deprive hundreds of thousands of Kiwis of a vote that actually COUNTS toward representation in order to do it.

    National’s referendum on MMP isn’t about democracy. It’s about getting rid of a system that keeps National out of power…..as Lockwood Smith makes clear.

  2. Truthseeker says:

    The Herald supporting National is like John Key’s wife voting for him. One would expect nothing else. The days when the Herald was a Horton Family newspaper are long gone. They belong to the global media billionaires club now…..like all of NZ’s newspapers bar a tiny handful.

  3. homepaddock says:

    TS: You’re assuming that the referendum will turf out MMP. If ,as you think, most people are happy with it then MMP will be endorsed and the system would have a much stronger mandate.

  4. exocet says:

    “This is why National want a referendum on MMP. They want to win and do as they please…”

    Sorta like Labour and the EFA eh?

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