OPINION: ‘New Zealand is not a democracy’

New Conservative candidate for Pakuranga, Ian Sampson. Photo supplied

By Ian Sampson

Most people have the mistaken belief that New Zealand is a democratic country.

New Zealand has not been a democracy since the 1930s, particularly after the Parliament-appointed Legislative Council was abolished in 1951.

The relative prosperity of New Zealand has masked that New Zealand has become, in the words of Sir Geoffrey Palmer, an elected dictatorship; that our only democracy is that every three years we get to elect who is going to dictate for the next three years.

The Prime Minister governs/dictates through the power to control the Cabinet process of secrecy and collective responsibility.

Whether New Zealanders agree or disagree with Cabinet dictates is of little concern of Cabinet or compliant governing party MPs.

Sir Robert Muldoon as Prime Minister perfected that system by appointing himself Minister of Finance in 1975, then nearly destroying our economy until removed in 1984.

I have been involved in various groups seeking proportional representation, resulting with the MMP system we now have; and for a Binding Citizen’s Initiated Referendum process to allow the people to control the major decisions of Government.

Such as that which has governed Switzerland for over 100 years to its current prosperity, governed by the common sense of its people.

New Conservative as a major policy wishes to establish such a system that if 5 per cent of enrolled electors petition for a Referendum on any Government decision then that decision is put on hold until a referendum is held.

New Conservative advocates that for a referendum voted on by the people, if 67 per cent vote ‘yes’ then that decision shall be become law by the Parliament, provided also that one third of voters on the Electoral rolls vote in that referendum.

Such a system can be used for Local Government (councils).

How a Referenda system is constructed can be set up by the Parliamentary processes with public input through the Select Committee process. There are many Binding Referenda systems throughout the world to provide guidance.

Then New Zealanders would have the power to control their destiny. Not 120 Members of Parliament of whatever party.

New Conservative wants you to have the power to make the big decisions for you and your children’s future.

  • Ian Sampson, New Conservative candidate for Pakuranga

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