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Labour will strengthen New Zealand's democracy

Labour will strengthen New Zealand's democracy

A Labour Government will act quickly to protect and enhance New Zealand’s reputation as one of the most open and least corrupt countries in the world, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.

“The health of any democracy is improved by greater participation of its people.

“I am voting early today to encourage all New Zealanders to exercise their democratic rights and cast a vote before September 20.

“However, a robust and good government also requires voters have full confidence in its checks and balances.

“Unfortunately increasing numbers of New Zealanders no longer have faith in our democratic processes, do not believe politics is practised ethically and want greater transparency.

“This is unsurprising given recent events suggesting systematic abuses of power which lead back to the Beehive.
“New Zealanders rightly expect full accountability and Labour will make it a priority to clean up the National Government's mess to achieve this.

“Labour will:

• Establish a broad-ranging Commission of Inquiry to look into concerning behaviour of Ministers and their staff.
• Strengthen the power of the Ombudsman to investigate alleged misdeeds.
• Strengthen the rules and authority of the Cabinet Manual.
• Work with other parties to establish a Parliamentary code of ethics.
• Increase Parliamentary accountability of the security services.
• Implement the recommendations of the Electoral Commission to abolish coat-tailing.
• Enhance awareness and understanding of democracy by adding civics to the school curriculum.

“For democracy to thrive it must not only be done but it must be seen to be done.

“The Labour Government I lead will make sure all New Zealanders – of every political persuasion – can once again have faith and pride in our democracy,” David Cunliffe says.

http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/1409/Protecting_and_Enhancing_Our_Democracy.pdf

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Gordon Campbell:
On First Time Voting (Centre Right)

For the next two days, I’m turning my column over to two guest columnists who are first time voters. I’ve asked them to explain why they were voting, for whom and what role they thought their parental upbringing had played in shaping their political beliefs ; and at the end, to choose a piece of music.

One guest columnist will be from the centre right, one from the centre left. Today’s column is from the centre right – by James Penn:

As someone who likes to consider himself, in admittedly vainglorious fashion, a considered and rational actor, the act of voting for the first time is a somewhat confusing one. I know that my vote has a close to zero chance of actually influencing the outcome of Parliament. The chance I will cast the marginal vote that adds to National or Act’s number of seats in Parliament is miniscule. The chance, even if I did, that doing so would affect the government makes voting on a strictly practical level even more spurious as a worthwhile exercise.

But somehow I have spent a large amount of time (perhaps detrimentally so, depending on the outcome of my upcoming exams) agonising over how to cast my first vote in a national election. More>>

 

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