Just do it! The Auckland referendum

datePosted on 18:50, April 27th, 2009 by Anita

If a political party, or combination of political parties, truly wanted a referendum they could just run one. It wouldn’t be governed by any legislation, but who cares? It would be just as powerful as a CIR (which relies on expressing public opinion and is not binding).

Political parties have access to electoral rolls, parliamentary service funding for material and postage, and free mail for people returning material to parliamentary addresses.

The parties would probably want  to find some eminent people for a panel to oversee the decision on the question and the rules under which the referendum will be run. They’d also benefit from maximum transparency: invite in all the media who want to be there, ensure all meetings are open, all agendas and minutes are public, and so on.

Figuring out the question’s gonna be tough; that’s the key to a referendum and worth putting time and effort into consultation and getting it right.

But, seriously, just do it!

It doesn’t matter that National and Act don’t want one, run it anyway!

It doesn’t matter that National and Act will say it’s not binding, would they ignore the outcome?

Just do it!

9 Responses to “Just do it! The Auckland referendum”

  1. SPC on April 27th, 2009 at 18:58

    Commissioning a large sample poll would be easier. It (and a petition or phone/text in support of a referendum) would allow the public to declare (perhaps seeking donations to cover the cost) their preference for a referendum.

  2. Anita on April 27th, 2009 at 19:33

    SPC,

    We could similarly elect our parliament by large sample poll, or petitions, or phone, or txt.

  3. Lee - MWT on April 27th, 2009 at 20:33

    I’m still waiting in vain for the referendum on s.59 – did you come out in support of that one too?

  4. Anita on April 27th, 2009 at 20:38

    Lee,

    The child discipline referendum will be held from 31 July to 21 August.

    I am in favour of there being a referendum (a sufficiently large proportion of NZ wanted one) but against having such a poorly drafted question (see my previous post on the issue).

  5. imperial zeppelin on April 27th, 2009 at 20:43

    If a political party, or combination of political parties, truly wanted a referendum they could just run one. It wouldn’t be governed by any legislation, but who cares?

    Erm. They do. Your suggestion, to put it quaintly, would simply not be cricket, you see. And all political parties depend on the cricket being the one and only game in town. Otherwise, who knows what might happen?

    The rabble cannot be encouraged lest we make up our own rules for our own completely different game that didn’t require all the paraphernalia and external restrictions of the present game. And we might even stumble upon a sense of self empowerment and start to mull over a concept like freedom.

    So, cricket it is.

  6. SPC on April 27th, 2009 at 20:45

    The problem with an “unofficial” referendum is that Nats could too easily run an effective campaign of non participation which would render it meaningless (and probably discourage many of those opposed to a Super Council from taking part).

  7. Quoth the Raven on April 27th, 2009 at 21:41

    Great idea Anita. A real do it yourself attitude – maybe you’re a closet anarchist.

  8. Rich on April 28th, 2009 at 14:44

    Figuring out the question’s gonna be tough;

    Really, it should be after the Auckland Bill passes (without a referendum provision) and should be simply: “Should the council reorganisation in the Auckland Act go ahead?”

    That might attract a number of votes, though the risk is that it would get 30% or something and the government could just dismiss it.

  9. Alex Jesaulenko on May 1st, 2009 at 17:27

    Our you could just organise a blockade (I would suggest everyone have their cars breakdown on Spaghetti junction one morning), although everyone would forget your cause (what was the truck blockade about?) by the next day. More practically internet users groups can be used to devastating effect to attract money and volunteers- did anyone see last years US election.

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