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Should politicians have to listen to you?
The politicians have a bad track record with citizen’s initiated referendums..
o In 1999, 82% of NZ’ers said the number of MP’s should be reduced to 99 – the politicians ignored it
o In 1999, 92% of NZ’ers said that the needs of victims should have greater emphasis, restitution and compensation should be provided, and there should be minimum sentences and hard labour for all serious violent offences – in response, the politicians reduced parole eligibility to 1/3’rd of sentences, instructed judges to impose the least restrictive sentence, and have made unenforceable token gestures towards victims
o In 2009, 87.4% said that a smack for the purpose of correction should not be a crime under the law – the politicians ignored it
o And some people believe that we need a referendum on the proposed Auckland ‘Supercity’ because of the major changes it makes to the form of citizen representation.
It’s about time the politicians got the message!
As you know, we are working with businessman Colin Craig on the March for Democracy www.themarch.co.nz
Colin Craig has been quoted as saying that he finds it “ deeply disturbing that such a clear message from the people of this country to government has been ignored. My forefathers fought for a democracy and in a democracy the government does not pass and retain laws that nearly 90% of the people don’t want. It is my turn to help fight for the rights of ordinary New Zealanders.”
Colin isn’t just talking. He’s putting his money where his mouth is. And we need to get in behind him.
As you can see, the purpose of this March goes even further than just the anti-smacking law. When NZ’ers and families speak with such a loud and united voice, as they have on these issues, the politicians must not be allowed to ignore them. It is significant that politicians are willing to accept democracy when it is to their benefit (i.e. getting elected!) but are willing to blatantly ignore it when suits their political agenda.
The March is not a one-off – it is part of a long term strategy to bring representative democracy back to NZ
Ironically, it appears that political parties are keen to accept petitions in their favour – United Future on daylight saving , Labour on night-classes – and they also support Referendums – National on MMP , Labour on the Auckland SuperCity , and the Greens on the Monarchy – but when it’s a Citizen’s Initiated Referendum, they suddenly go deaf!
When the law was passed in 1993 allowing referendums to be initiated by the people, senior National MP Sir Doug Graham said “..it will be obvious that, if the public overwhelmingly supported a proposition contained in a referendum, clearly it would have great persuasive weight and any Government that simply ignored it would do so at its peril .”
PLEASE MARK 1.30pm SATURDAY 21 NOVEMBER (meeting at the bottom of Queen St Auckland) IN YOUR DIARY – AND MARCH FOR DEMOCRACY!
More details will be added to the website over the next couple of weeks www.themarch.co.nz
Thanks for your consideration.
Great Referendum results!
Here are two excellent links with suggestions as to where to now.
Larry Baldock: The way Forward
Read other press releases
Here’s what we think needs to happen: until this issue is dead and buried, we need to continue to lobby and stir up the MPs, especially John Key and the leader of the ACT Party, who are part of this Government and therefore have some leverage. Rather than go for a new bill, just repeal bits of the current one, as Larry Baldock suggests below. This is good.
Just another few letters, emails and faxes. Not a big deal. Bob McCoskrie of Family First has been at it non stop for quite a while now. Let’s all join in and really put the pressure on, just a little effort on the part of each of us and the overall effect is very great.
The following will help with locating addresses.
Email the PM : email@example.com
Face Book him: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/John-Key/12635800428?ref=ts
Email your local MP: http://www.betterdemocracy.co.nz/mail.mps.php
Craig & Barbara Smith
Please note the following in your diaries, those able to attend.
PO Box 9064
Palmerston North 4441
Ph. +64 6 357-4399
Rodney Hide Invites You To His Constituent Forum
Theme: The “anti smacking referendum”
Friday 24 July, 5.30pm
Mecca Café , Cnr Remuera Road and Nuffield Street, Newmarket
Special Guest speaker: Bob McCoskrie, National Director, Family First
The title of Bob’s speech is “Why the Referendum Answer is No”
Go to Bob’s website http://www.familyfirst.org.nz
Free Entry. Cash bar available. Everyone welcome
RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org Further info Phone 09 524 6173
Email correspondence released today confirms the Prime Minister John Key turned down an offer to call off the referendum and save taxpayers money.
Kiwi Party Leader and Petition organiser Larry Baldock said he had made a genuine offer that could have put the whole matter to rest.
“It seems that the same man who rushed to make a compromise deal with Helen Clark and Sue Bradford in 2007 is no longer interested in finding sensible solutions,” said Mr Baldock
On April 18th, 2007 John Key’s reported position was very clear when he said, “If Labour really believes that ‘light smacking for the purposes of correction’ will not be outlawed, then they need to explain that. But no matter how you read this bill in its present form it will be illegal to ‘lightly smack for the purposes of correction’.
Last week, after fudging on the question for more than 4 years, Sue Bradford herself finally admitted on National Radio that every parent who uses a light smack or any reasonable force for the purpose of correction was now a criminal in this country, regardless of whether they are eventually prosecuted or not!
John Key then went on to say, “The way to send a strong message on child abuse is to make the law clear and precise and then to police it strongly and vigilantly. This bill as it stands does the opposite. For me, a result that sees the criminalisation of parents for a light smack is simply not on the table.”
In May 2007 the whole nation was shocked by the news that John Key was willing to suddenly change the National party’s position on the anti-smacking law and strike a compromise deal with Helen Clark and Sue Bradford.
I recall John Key explaining his actions then on the basis that the Anti-smacking law was a bad law, but since the Government had the numbers to pass it anyway, he felt responsible to do what he could to minimise the harm the law could cause to parents and families all over the country.
Now that he has the power to amend the ‘bad law’ he seems to have completely changed his position and thinks his amendment has made it into a ‘good law’. In the email reply to my offer, Wayne Eagleson wrote, “As the Prime Minister has indicated publicly on a number of occasions, the government is of the view that the current law is working.”
Perhaps the Prime Minister would take the time to explain to Glenn Groves who was recently convicted of assaulting his 7 year old son for nothing more serious than shoving him in the back, how well his amendment to the ‘bad law’ is working.
My proposed amendments as outlined in the attached correspondence (posted below) would remove the criminalisation of good parents,” said Mr Baldock.
From: Larry Baldock
Sent: Wednesday, 17 June 2009 2:23 pm
To: Hon. John Key (MIN)
Cc: Hon. Bill English (MIN); Wayne Eagleson (MIN)
Subject: Proposal to withdraw the referendum.
The Prime Minister,
June 16, 2009.
Dear Prime Minister,
In the interests of saving our country most of the estimated $9 million to complete the referendum, Sheryl Savill, the petition proposer, and myself would withdraw the referendum, (as per Sec 22A (1) of the CIR Act 1993) in return for an agreement by yourself to amend the current sec 59 of the crimes Act in the following way.
Delete the following sub clauses from the amended Sec 59,
(2) Nothing in subsection (1) or in any rule of common law justifies the use of force for the purpose of correction.
(3) Subsection (2) prevails over subsection (1),
In this way, the criminalisation of parents who use some reasonable force to correct and train their children would be removed, whilst the other clarifications in Subsection (1) of the permissible use of reasonable force would remain.
Your amendment emphasising the need for the police to use discretion could also remain.
I would be happy to discuss these proposals with your officials and act promptly to call off the referendum and save the hard-earned money of the taxpayers of New Zealand.
On 18/06/09 11:45 AM, “Wayne Eagleson (MIN)” <Wayne.Eagleson@parliament.govt.nz> wrote:
The Prime Minister has asked me to reply on his behalf to your email regarding the s59 referendum.
As the Prime Minister has indicated publicly on a number of occasions, the government is of the view that the current law is working. On that basis, the Prime Minister does not support your proposed changes to the law.
With respect to the issue of the cost of the referendum, the Prime Minister said in the House yesterday that while he was concerned at having to spend $9 million, with a legal process having triggered the referendum it would be followed through on.
Thank you for writing to the Prime Minister on this issue.
Chief of Staff
Office of the Prime Minister
Ph: 64 4 817-9365 or 64 21 709 067