Thursday, May 24, 2018

Bad faith

That's the only way to describe the Prime Minister's refusal to commit to being bound by the result of the marijuana referendum if people vote to legalise it for recreational use. Firstly, its bad faith with the people of New Zealand: she's promising us a vote, but refusing to pay attention to it. So why bother with the charade? Its another example of politicians earning their reputation as dishonest liars, and she deserves every bit of that. Secondly, it's bad faith with her support parties: she promised this to the Greens in their confidence and supply agreement, and the implication in that promise is that the will of the people would be obeyed. By refusing that, she's basicly tearing up the agreement - and inviting the Greens to do likewise. (say, by refusing to support NZ First's awful party-hopping legislation until Labour keeps its promises to them).

Of course, if you're promising a binding referendum, the public should know exactly what we are voting for, as we did with MMP and the New Zealand flag. In this case, that means either publishing the agreed legalisation law, or actually passing it with a commencement clause saying that it will only come into effect if a referendum passes. But this would take control over this issue away from the politicians and give it to the people - which seems to be exactly what Jacinda Ardern opposes.