Thursday, August 18, 2005

United Future's constitution policy

United Future has something the other parties don't: an actual constitution policy. They're promising a Royal Commission to follow in the footsteps of the recent select committee inquiry and make recommendations on the Treaty, a written constitution and a republic. This would be followed by a referendum on any proposed changes. They're also proposing greater use of referenda on other issues, suggesting reducing the barrier to initiate a referendum to 5% of eligible voters, and having a successful referendum automatically trigger an inquiry into the appropriate issue. I'd suggest that the inquiry be performed by Parliament, rather than the government, but that's more a technical issue.

On the negative side, United Future are also suggesting not just requiring referenda on "conscience issues", but requiring a supermajority to pass any legislation on such topics. This is a blatant attempt to stack the deck in favour of social conservativism and policy stasis, and a perfect example of American-style gaming the constitution for partisan political advantage. I'd expected better from Dunne than that.


Dunne and friends would recoil in horror at the notion a super-majority be required for votes which cut benefits, privatize hospitals, bulk-fund schools, abolish the Maori seats, etc. ... But if it's social liberalism, then by god they're going to stop it. He really is a tiresome fellow, more full of bluster than commonsense. With a bit of luck his party will be pruned back to nothing.

Posted by dc_red : 8/18/2005 09:15:00 AM

Um, there's at least one other party with a constitution policy. And Libertarianz have even written a proposed constitution.

Posted by Peter Cresswell : 8/18/2005 09:47:00 AM

PC, you beat me to it :-)

Posted by Duncan Bayne : 8/18/2005 12:58:00 PM

While having very little time for UF, it is good to see from their press release on Scoop that they also support the inclusion of civics and learning about the democratic process on the school curriculum. Without that kind of step, I think it is unlikely that more progress will be made on the public participation in policy-making front which underlies one of the purposes of the OIA.

Posted by Anonymous : 8/18/2005 02:16:00 PM

I didn't.


Posted by Anonymous : 8/18/2005 02:33:00 PM