Conservative Party leader Colin Craig says he would not form a Government with National unless it agreed to introduce binding referenda.
Mr Craig confirmed the party's bottom line for potential coalition talks at its annual meeting in Auckland this afternoon, attended by around 120 delegates.
In his keynote speech, he said: "We are not playing a mystery game. We are being upfront with the electorate.
"The thing that we want, that will be required if a party wants our support, is that they are going to need to agree to a change whereby that the people of this country have the right on those rare occasions ... to tell the government where to go and what to do."
Oh well, they won't be going into coalition with National, then.
I'm personally against making citizens initiated referenda binding the Government. The closest thing I would support would be a Voter Veto on Parliament's conscience votes. That would mean any legislation passed by politician's consciences would be then subject to approval by the people. If politicians don't want their moral decisions overturned, then their only option would be to make whatever the issue is a party issue. On that basis, I doubt that same-sex marriage would have stood, it would have been voted out by the population.
I also don't believe that Conservatism really supports binding referenda - it's more an anarchistic thing. The stuff of revolutions. Conservatism is for stability, not for providing a back door method to have the Government controlled by the mob on any issue whatsoever. So, if we all voted for abolishing existing mortgages - how is that going to work? An extreme example, but possible under a binding referenda.
New Zealand doesn't have a history of binding referenda, therefore we don't have experience with needing to be prudent with the type of power that these can give and therefore maybe unable deal with a Kim Dot Com type takeover of the process. Imagine if Kim managed to get enough people to vote to keep him in the country. Maybe he could promise each person who voted for him a cash bonus. I don't want to give him ideas, but that's the sort of backdoor thing that could happen.
I wouldn't be surprised if Colin Craig just can't see past the anti-smacking referendum to all the other possibilities that are out there, just lurking in the background.
Related link: Colin Craig reveals Conservative Party's bottom line ~ NZ Herald