Parliamentary and Law Reform
The numbers of people participating in our democratic processes such as elections, parliamentary submissions etc is falling rapidly. This poses a significant danger to our democracy. We will introduce Binding Citizens' Initiated Referenda, the right of Recall, and the teaching of Civics in schools to give real decision making power back to New Zealanders.
To enhance participation in our democracy Social Credit will:
• Introduce Binding Citizens’ Initiated Referenda
• Introduce the right of electors to recall elected representatives and call them to account
• Institute an Electoral Commission review after each election to recommend improvements to processes and review campaign funding regulations
• Re-establishment of such bodies as the Planning Council, a Commission for the Future and an Economic Advisory Committee
• Retain 120 Members of Parliament, but reduce the Cabinet to 16
• Reign in the power of the cabinet by making them more accountable to parliament
• Consider the introduction of the Single Transferable Vote system for general elections
• Entrench a Bill of Rights
• Have laws drafted in plain English
• Repeal outdated laws
• Add the teaching of civics and ethics to the school curriculum
The Initiative and Binding Referenda
Government will be obliged to hold a referendum on the petition of not less than 100,000 duly registered electors and a referendum will be promptly held on the proposed change to which the petition refers.
Where an absolute majority (currently 1,506,000) of registered electors support the changes placed before them at a referendum the result will be binding and the change will become Law.
Where a majority of people who voted in the referendum (but fewer than an absolute majority of registered electors) support the proposed changes placed before them, appropriate legislation to give effect to the changes will be promptly introduced for debate and a free vote in Parliament.
These provisions will also apply to local bodies, with appropriate adjustments for boundaries and population.
The Right of Recall
The Electoral Act will be amended to give electors the right, on the petition of 20 percent of registered voters in an electorate, to demand a binding poll as to whether the local MP should remain in office or a by-election be called.
Members elected from party lists under MMP will be accountable for their actions to the people they represent in the same way as Constituency MPs, but on the petitions of 20 percent of registered voters in the constituency where they normally reside.
An MP shall not be required to face more than one valid recall petition in any one Parliamentary term.
The recall provisions set out for Members of Parliament shall be equally applicable to all publicly elected officials except that local or territorial authority boundaries will be used and the minimum number of valid petitioners adjusted accordingly.