MMP Referendum process significantly improved

The addition of limits to advertising from campaign promoters will further strengthened chances of a fair and impartial MMP referendum next year, Campaign for MMP said today.

“Over 1,000 people made submissions on the Referendum bill and a majority asked for a cap on advertising spending by campaign promoters. Parliament has listened,” said Sandra Grey, Campaign for MMP spokesperson.

“Political candidates and parties cannot just spend as much as they like on election campaigns, and it is great news that the same principle will guide the MMP referendum rules,” she said.

Sandra Grey said a key issue for the referendum was making sure voters understood that the best way to improve MMP was to vote for it in 2011 as this will trigger an independent review.

The revised processes for the 2011 referendum announced today will ensure clarity on this issue.

“New Zealanders can choose MMP next year in the confidence that this triggers a thorough review of it MMP has been running well for 5 elections, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be made even better,” she said.

Campaign for MMP was also happy that the Government also listened to its proposals on the language of the ballot paper, the voting process, the timing of the referendum and the importance of an independent public information campaign, Sandra Grey said.

She said Campaign for MMP was proud of both the number and quality of the submissions in favour of the group’s stance on promoting a fair and impartial referendum.

“Our supporters are thrilled we have won a cap on spending and to be acknowledged that their submissions were critical in ensuring this. It renews their faith in the democratic consultation process,” Sandra Grey said.

Sandra Grey said Campaign for MMP’s attention would now turn to the campaign to retain MMP next year, and the group was confident of the public’s support for keeping MMP.

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