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Select Committee Tries To Subvert Democracy

Justice Select Committee Tries To Subvert Democratic Process

National's Justice spokesperson Wayne Mapp says New Zealanders may be denied their traditional, democratic right to vote on changes to the electoral system if the Justice and Electoral Select Committee's report on the Local Electoral Bill 2000 is accepted by Parliament.

The Bill proposes that from 2004 local authorities will have a choice of FPP or STV in local elections. The only recourse open to local electors is to petition for a referendum.

"Changes to any electoral system must be done by referendum, not by highhanded directives from Government members and their handmaidens the Greens.

"It is extraordinary that there won't be a mandatory referendum. Electors own the voting system and only they should decide whether there should be a change. It would not happen with the parliamentary system and it should not happen in the local electoral system.

"Voters now run the risk of three different voting systems; MMP for Parliament, FPP or STV for local authorities and regional councils, and STV for District Health Boards. This confusing complexity is likely to reduce voter participation and understanding in local elections," Dr Mapp said.

The other key issues of difference between the minority parties (National and ACT) and the majority parties (Labour, Alliance and the Greens) are over candidate profile statements, election expenditure and disclosure of donations.

Ends




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