The Labour Party is engaged in a publicity campaign for themselves by trying to force a citizen’s initiated referendum on the government’s plan to sell minority shares in a few energy companies.
If they get the required 310,000 signatures – 10 per cent of the voting population – in a year we’ll have the expense of a referendum but it won’t be binding on the government.
The story had attracted 69 comments when I read it last night.
Among them were:
Labour…leaders of the few stupid enough to not understand even IF they get the support, that the referendum is NON BINDING and the recent election, in which Labour were smashed into the ground was a clear mandate to PARTIALLY SELL (ie retain majority ownership 51%) state assets to help the country get out of the financial crap it is in….DUH !!!
The asset sales were clearly set as policy before the election, and as one of the major items of debate the election itself was a virtual referendum on this.
If Labour seriously thinks wasting a huge amount of revenue running a referendum, on an issue that has been debated and agreed, is a proper way to behave, it just shows how out of touch they are with reality.
Mr Shearer must be the most highly paid clip board holder in the history of petitions. Mind you as a Labour leader about all he’s good for.
What an absolute load of rubbish. – Total waste of time – the govt has a mandate to sell them and even if 80% of population vote against asset sales, the current govt wont change their mind. – Total waste of money which could be used elsewhere.
Keeping total ownership of all state assets while the country goes further into the red is like keeping your holiday home while the bank forecloses on the house you live in.
The government have a mandate. They campaigned on partial asset sales. They got voted back into power. That’s a mandate.
If you don’t think its a mandate, then look at your warped logic. If the government doesn’t have a mandate (based on the argument that they didn’t gain over 50% of votes) then no government ever had one or ever will. Quite simple really. So, question. When is a mandate a mandate?
If Shearer and others are so certain, why don’t we ask John Key to have a new election and let the population vote on it. Lets have another election or didn’t labour lose the last election on this matter!
The whole reason assets are being sold is to fix the economy after Labour stuffed it up. It’s always the same. Labour comes in, screws up the economy & country, National is voted in, sells assets to fix the economy, Labour is voted in, buys back the assets, screws the economy & country, National is voted in, sells assets to fix the economy, and the whole cycle goes on and on and on. Labour should just get over it – they aren’t good for the country. . .
Sorry Labour, but as long as you have silly policies like giving solo mums massive pay rises, putting the pension age up and borrowing billions to get us out of trouble, I will be voting National just to keep you out of power. Ex labour man.
haha cos they are forced to word things in a non misleading way they have to state things truthfully as ‘up to 49 percent’ of 5 companies. That’s goes against the spin and hype they have been spinning up until now. I can just see the signature labour target market going “huh, i thought they were selling the whole of everything?”
That last comment nails it – opponents of the policy have been raving about asset sales when the policy is not to sell assets but a minority share in them.
But the petition reads:
“Do you support the Government selling up to 49 per cent of Meridian Energy, Mighty River Power, Genesis Power, Solid Energy and Air New Zealand?”
If those signing the petition really don’t want minority shares in those companies sold do they also want the government to buy back the shares it doesn’t already own in Air New Zealand?
There are some comments supporting the petition and there is also this one:
Just stopping partial asset sales is pointless unless it is accompanied by a credible alternative to raise the same amount of money.
Very few people really want partial asset sales, but it is better than increasing debt.
And this one:
Kiwi’s don’t want to borrow money but also anti-asset sales. We want renewable energy, but we don’t want any wind farms polluting the skyline, nor dams flooding our land, nor fossil fuel burning plants, nor geothermal. The people of this backward country are a basket-case!
Maybe someone could start a petition asking if people support an increase in debt. Unless and until Labour has a credible economic plan that will return the country to surplus while funding mcuh-needed new infrastructure without increasing debt, opposing the Mixed Ownership Model for state assets is empty rhetoric and the petition an exercise in futility.