Big tick for proportional representation
Leaders of the Anglican Church in New Zealand hope that voters at next weekend’s election referendum on MMP will give proportional representation the big tick.
Archbishops David Moxon and Brown Turei – along with the church’s Social Justice Commissioner, the Rev Dr Anthony Dancer – say they’ve been encouraged to speak out because their experience has convinced them that proportional representation works .
Almost 30 years ago the Anglican Church in this country adopted a constitution which deliberately empowers and safeguards minority cultural streams.
That’s worked for the church, they say – and they’re convinced proportional representation is the way to go where choosing our central government is concerned, too.
“We hold this view,” they say, “because we have valued this kind of power sharing and partnership within our own constitution and church government.”
“We strongly encourage consideration of the various proportional representation models available in the referendum, acknowledging the democratic value of MMP as it has developed so far in New Zealand.”
The full text of their statement follows:
“The Standing Committee of the General Synod of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia endorses the view of the two New Zealand-based Archbishops of this church, Archbishops Brown Turei and David Moxon, and the Church’s Social Justice Commissioner Reverend Dr Anthony Dancer.
"We believe that the referendum on MMP offers an opportunity for affirmation of the principle that, in a democracy like ours, there needs to be provision for minority groups to be included in the formation and exercise of government. The voices of all significant political groups in this country need the opportunity to work in various forms of partnership and collation following the electoral process. We hold this view because we have valued this kind of power sharing and partnership within our own constitution and church government. We strongly encourage consideration of the various proportional representation models available in the referendum, acknowledging the democratic value of MMP as it has developed so far in New Zealand.”
Footnote: The Social Justice Commission has gone further - it backs MMP, and has just released another 'Just Facts' sheet outlining the reasons for its support. Click here to read that.