‘Politicians butt out’ signal welcomed

 

Campaign for MMP has welcomed a clear signal this week from politicians that the referendum on voting systems belongs to the public, not political parties.

Sandra Grey, spokesperson for Campaign for MMP, said that several party leaders had this week confirmed that their parties would not be taking a position on the referendum.

“Of course from time to time politicians will get asked their personal views about our voting system, at electorate meetings and the like,” she said.

“But this referendum is ours, not theirs, and we welcome confirmation of this from the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition and others.”

Sandra Grey said that with the vote now less than 5 months away, it was helpful that public debate on the MMP referendum had stepped up a notch.

A major aspect of this year’s referendum is that voters who opt to keep MMP can do so in the confidence that it automatically triggers a thorough review of it, she said.

“We fully support the process designed by Justice Minister Simon Power that will see a full, independent review of MMP if a majority vote to keep MMP at the referendum.”

“It’s time to take a fresh look at how MMP is working, but that doesn’t mean we should throw the baby out with the bathwater,” Sandra Grey said.

Ends.
Background:

Details about the review of MMP are set out in the Electoral Referendum Act.

If a majority vote to keep MMP, the Electoral Commission must prepare a report by 31 October 2012 whether changes to MMP are necessary or desirable.

Part 4 of the Act deals with this review, the subject matter, the opportunity for public input and other matters, and is here: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2010/0139/latest/whole.html#DLM2833632.

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