Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Referendum II

Yesterday, I mentioned that if the date of a citizen's initiated referendum on the smacking legislation is to be announced before the announcement of an election day, the referendum can't obviously be held on an announced election day.

However, I`ve since discovered that should an election date be announced between the announcement of the referendum and the date of that referendum, the government can, if it wants to, revoke the former Order in Council and appoint the polling day as the day on which the referendum is to be held.

Or the House can pass a resolution setting the smacking referendum date itself. It can defer the referendum to the following year provided it has 75% support, and it is voted on before 23 September.

I can't see either happening. Assuming the petition is valid, the selective Labour law of common sense is the only thing preventing a printing of the the election papers and the referendum papers at the same time.Also, an early election won't necessarily stop a referendum.

UPDATE: The Herald's John Armstrong concurs
There would be a problem if the election was called before the Office of the Clerk had finished validating the signatures on the petition. That is highly unlikely.

When asked outside Labour's caucus meeting yesterday about how the referendum might square with the election date, Helen Clark walked away. The election timetable is not a subject she is ready to traverse.

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Blogger Andy said...

Hi Dave, just dropping in on some of the conservative/Christian blogs and seeing if they'll pretty much just copy the blog-post here, onto their own blogs...

I'm real keen to see the pro-life message promoted even more in NZ.

June 24, 2008 at 10:51 PM  
Blogger Steve Withers said...

The misunderstanding behind the petition seeking the referendum is the best reason not to have it on election day.

That this question could come to a referendum at all has finally (been over 20 years) made me conclude that Citizens Initiated Referenda are not good things.

People don't do their homework. They are lazy and vote on prejudice and unfounded belief.

Every referendum we have had to date, except perhaps the one on the fire Service - has been similar emotive rubbish based on ignorance.

Delay this referendum as long as you like. Hopefully by the time it is finally held, the majority of voters will FINALLY understand the law change around the old Section 59 of the Crimes Act.

No parent will be prosecuted for smacking their child.

"4) To avoid doubt, it is affirmed that the Police have the discretion not to prosecute complaints against a parent of a child or person in the place of a parent of a child in relation to an offence involving the use of force against a child, where the offence is considered to be so inconsequential that there is no public interest in proceeding with a prosecution."

But they CAN be prosecuted for beating their children.....which the old act COULD allow them to get away with.

June 25, 2008 at 10:48 AM  

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