They’re called Citizen’s Initiated Referenda for good reason – they’re supposed to be a vehicle by which the people can send a message to parliament.
That parliament has chosen to take little if any notice of the results of those held shows it isn’t a particularly effective one.
They’re also an expensive one.
The Green Party’s promotion of a CIR to oppose the Mixed Ownership Model for a few state assets adds the distortion of the intention of the process to a waste of money.
That they’re using taxpayer funds to employ people to collect signatures makes it worse.
I accept Graeme Edgler’s view that this is within the rules but that still doesn’t make it right.
It merely provides more evidence for the case for taking the setting of the rules over parliamentary spending from MPs to an independent person or body.
It’s not just people with my political bias who are unimpressed by the Green Party’s actions.
Andres Geddis who says he likes the Greens and admires their stance on several issues is also less than impressed:
So as far as I’m concerned, this is an example of spending public money on an activity designed to force the spending of more public money on something that should not happen. Which is, in my opinion, a bad thing to do. . .
. . . There then is a broader problem with a political party so deeply involving itself in the CIR process. When this was set up, it was designed to be a way in which broader civil society can send a message to parliamentarians on issues that it thinks important enough to mobilise around. . .
. . . So to now have a political party effectively bankrolling the process of forcing a CIR represents something of a distortion of its intent.
Exactly, not the people sending a message to parliament but MPs using the public and public funds for their own political ends.