Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Key interfering with the democratic process

John Key is wrong to insist that the results of the smacking referendum won't change the law. Why? Because he appears to be sending a message to the public that they are wasting their time bothering to vote. At this stage he should just butt out. Instead he is taking up the case for the left, repeating their claims that the law is working well.

The debate may turn out to be an expensive waste of effort for both sides, with Mr Key saying yesterday that he had no intention of changing the law regardless of the outcome of the referendum.

"I think it's important that governments listen to the public, but the test I've had is that if I don't think the law is working I will change it," he said. "To date I have not seen any evidence that it is not working."

The question being asked in the referendum was ambiguous as it did not directly call for the law to be changed or repealed. The issue was of significant public concern two years ago but had died away, he said.

Again signalling to susceptible minds what to think or not to think.

Of course Mr Key doesn't want the referendum turnout to be large and meaningful because again, it will put him in the spotlight and if the overwhelming vote is 'no' he will have to come up with a better course of action than last time.

Update; Family First's Bob McCoskrie has unearthed this quote from Key when still in opposition -
The Labour Government has shown utter contempt for New Zealanders and the democratic process with its plan to railroad the anti-smacking bill through Parliament. The Labour-led Government knows the measure is deeply unpopular, so it plans to act against the wishes of the majority of Kiwis and ram the bill through under urgency. This is a deeply cynical abuse of power as Labour tries to clear the decks of this controversial issue. Helen Clark has refused to let her MPs vote the way they really think on this bill. To ram it through under the cover of urgency shows just how out of touch her government has become.

Key getting disturbingly close to walking in his predecessor's shoes.


KG said...

I just posted on this over at CR Lindsay.
It's an outrage and an affront to democracy. Amazingly, No Minister has a post up lauding the referendum, with no mention of Key's remarks.

Lindsay said...

Let's look on the positive side KG. If Key keeps this up he could inadvertently boost the referendum turn out.

Anonymous said...

Don't think this will boost the referendum turnout, but I do think people will start to turn off to Key.
Does the National Party have no one with enough political nous to give some commonsense guidance?
Mt Albert must have exposed enough flaws in the current heirachy to bring about some soul searching,

Dave said...

The rest of the Key quote is here

I've posted on this too.

Anonymous said...

Good post. Totally agree, Key is taking the Left's side, and ignoring the majority of New Zealanders on this issue. If the outcome of the referendum is a loud "no", and National do not back the people, then my vote will be lost. Where is the Nat's backbone, where is their sense of fair play and democracy?

Oswald Bastable said...

It's a small step to disregarding the results of elections...