Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Better than the ballot mojo

Green MP Sue Bradford is one of new Zealand's most successful backbenchers, having successfully navigated three member's bills - including the highly controversial child discipline act - into law. And now it seems she will be able to add another one to her tally, having apparently persuaded National to adopt her Citizens Initiated Referenda (Wording of Questions) Amendment Bill.

This is a good move on both parties' parts - the bill is a sensible measure which will remove one of the major problems with our system of citizens' initiated referenda. If enacted, it will not only mean we voters are faced with clearer questions - it will also mean politicians will be more accountable for obeying referenda as they will no longer be able to wriggle out of them. And that's a good thing no matter which side of the political spectrum you're on.

Meanwhile, its another victory for Bradford. She has a remarkable ability to find issues which advance Green party goals while drawing wide support from across the political spectrum (remember, the child discipline act was supported by all parties except ACT and NZ First). Long may it continue!