Family First NZ says that Labour has failed to represent the voice of NZ’ers in Parliament tonight.
Independent MP Gordon Copeland sought leave of the House for a debate on a motion that the House recommends to the Government that that anti-smacking referendum be held at the same time as the General Election. (Under section 22AA (5) of the Citizens Initiated Referenda Act 1993, a Referendum can be scheduled for polling day if the “House of Representatives passes a resolution requiring the indicative referendum to be held on the polling day for the general election.” A postal vote can also close on Election day.)
“We support the call for politicians to acknowledge the voice of 310,000 signatories to the petition and require that the Referendum be held at the most obvious and effective time of the upcoming election.” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ
In a recent online poll by TVNZ, 81% of the 4624 voters said that the referendum should be held at the same time as the election.
The motion was moved just before 8pm but was opposed by several Labour MP’s.
Family First NZ is also disappointed that the Deputy Prime Minister Dr Michael Cullen yesterday refused to allow acknowledgement of the huge effort put in by organisers of the two petitions on this issue which obtained more than 600,000 signatures. (The second petition fell just short of the required numbers).
“Democracy is defined as being where the people have a voice through their elected representatives. To simply shut down even debate about the issue shows the contempt that is held towards an overwhelming majority of NZ’ers.”
“When you combine the events of tonight with the effects of the Electoral Finance Act, there are now serious doubts as to whether we do live in a healthy and lively democracy,” says Mr McCoskrie.