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Referenda Galore

It is a bit like waiting for a bus, you don't get to vote for three years and then three come along all at once.

The Clerk of the House has confirmed that Christchurch man, Norm Withers has gained enough signatures, at the second attempt, to force a Citizens Initiated Referendum on the justice system.

Mr Withers launched the petition after his mother - Nan Withers - was brutally bashed while looking after his store.

The original petition fell short of the 252,0000 signatures required, however the today announced that the revised petition has 285,000 thousand signatures.

The referendum calls for the justice system to be reformed in favour of victims and asks for compensation and restitution for the victims of violent crime, as well as minimum sentences and hard labour for all serious violent offenders.

No date has been set for the referendum, but it could be held along with the general election when another referendum on reducing the number of MPs will also be held.

Depending on the result of the general election itself, a fourth referendum could also be in the wings. The Prime Minister has received National Party support for putting the future of MMP to the electorate instead of having a select committee look at the electoral system's fate.

In order for that to happen, Mrs Shipley would have to be returned to Parliament in a very strong position to force the deal on MMP reliant supporters.

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