Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A simple question about a complex subject

Last weekend we learned about Larry Baldock's latest joke: a referendum on referenda. The Clerk's office has now received the formal proposal to promote an indicative referendum petition on the question of

Should Citizens Initiated Referenda seeking to repeal or amend a law be binding?
It's a deceptively simple question covering a rather complex subject. But as usual with CIR promoters, Baldock makes no effort to engage with that complexity or pin down his inchoate desire for politicians to Do As They're Told into a concrete proposal (let alone one with proper checks and balances). Which simply gives the politicians an excuse to ignore it. And if they do listen, its a safe bet that Baldock will be unhappy with their implementation. But by failing to specify those details in the question (e.g. in the form "should the attached bill to make CIR's binding be passed into law?"), he will have no-one to blame but himself.

The Clerk is currently asking for submissions on the wording of the question. If you have an opinion on the subject, then send three hardcopies by Friday, 16 October 2009, to

The Clerk of the House of Representatives
Parliament Buildings