New Zealanders are being called on to march for democracy, in response to the dismissal of the anti-smacking Referendum result by the Prime Minister and other politicians.
“When families speak with such a loud and united voice, as they have on this particular issue, the politicians must not be allowed to ignore it. It is significant that politicians are willing to accept democracy when it is to their benefit but are willing to blatantly ignore it when it highlights wrong decisions,” says Bob McCoskrie from Family First NZ. “Voters clearly called for a law change – not comfort and more reviews of a rejected law change.”
Colin Craig, an Auckland businessman who is funding the march, says “I find it deeply disturbing that such a clear message from the people of this country to government has been ignored. My forefathers fought for a democracy and in a democracy the government does not pass and retain laws that nearly 90% of the people don’t want. It is my turn to help fight for the rights of ordinary New Zealanders.”
Sheryl Savill who was the sponsor of the Referendum says “It is staggering that the high threshold of 285,000 signatures was met for having the Referendum, that 87.4% of those who voted supported the law change, and yet within a couple of hours, the result was completely dismissed.”
The March for Democracy will be held at 1:30pm on Saturday 21 November in Queen Street and will be calling on the government to amend s59 of the Crimes Act so that the law does not treat light smacking for the purpose of correction as a criminal offence.
“This is now far greater than just the smacking issue. It’s an issue of democracy in New Zealand, and the dismissal of the views of an overwhelming majority of voters by our elected representatives,” says Mr McCoskrie.
“It appears that political parties are keen to accept petitions in their favour – United Future on daylight saving, Labour on night-classes – and support binding Referendums – National on MMP, Labour on the Super City, and the Greens on the Monarchy – but when it’s a Citizen’s Initiated Referendum, they suddenly go deaf.”
“New Zealanders need to speak up for democracy – and this is their opportunity.” ENDS