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The Public Not Politicians Should Decide On MMP

8 April 2002

The public not politicians should choose what political system they want, says National Party Leader Bill English.

"New Zealanders in the last election clearly signalled they want changes to the electoral system when they voted to reduce the number of politicians.

"It maybe that the public are now happy with MMP and with the number of politicians but what is important is that they are given the opportunity to have their say.

"The current debacle with Jim Anderton and the Alliance is making a mockery of Parliament. The only way any credibility can be restored is for the public to be given the chance to have a say on what political system is in place.

"Most New Zealanders thought after MMP was introduced they would get a chance to vote on whether or not they wanted to keep it. We are now heading for our third election under MMP and yet there has been no referendum on the matter.

"A National Government would guarantee that such a referendum would take place at the 2005 elections.

"Helen Clark and Jim Anderton persuaded voters that they could run a stable government under MMP better than anyone else. Events of the last week show that they can't. What is even more disturbing is their willingness to resort to blatant manipulation to keep up appearances that there is no problem.

"That is not good enough. New Zealanders expect to be treated with more respect than this and in the long term it must harm our country's credibility if such a farcical situation is allowed to continue," says Bill English.

Ends

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