Should a non binding referendum that asks if legislation on non binding referenda should be changed to binding referenda, be treated as binding in a non binding referendum?Larry Baldock has had his petition question amended and approved. The question is : should Parliament be required to pass legislation that implements the majority result of a citizens initiated referendum where that result supports a law change? And the answer to that question should be No.
Who decides whether the result supports a law change, and who decides on what form the legislation is to take? Not citizens that initiate referenda. In addition, Baldock doesn't even get to decide whether his referenda, if successful, is enacted, as his petition, if it progresses to a referenda, will be a non binding referenda that asks if non binding referenda should be binding - and it is the government who gets to decide that one, not parliament. So this petition is actually directed at the government.
Had this referendum been enacted with a Yes vote, and in place before the smacking referendum, the Government could easily say that the question asked did not "support a law change".
But Larry Baldock is happy
I am very pleased that the object of the Question is Parliament and not the Government."That is because it was Parliament and not the Government that passed the Anti-smacking law, as it was a member’s bill.A members bill had nothing to do with it. Parliament passes all legislation, not the Government.
If only 20% of the population bother to vote in a referendum, why should that be binding on parliament? I note that two years ago, a similar question regarding making citizens initiated referenda binding was approved by the clerk, but that question was quickly withdrawn.
If Baldock is successful, imagine what he would say if 40% voted in a CIR supporting, say gay marriage, or opposing home schooling.
Labels: Citizens Initiated Referenda