- Head of State debate
- The case for a New Zealand republic
- Defending the monarchy
- The facts
- Constitutional review
- The Treaty of Waitangi
- Commonwealth membership
- Common Cause
Are Citizens Initiated Referendum an option for our campaign?
As you've probably noticed, there's a citizens initiated referendum (CIR) about to be held by postal vote. Would a CIR be a good course for our campaign to take to bring about a Kiwi head of State?
There's a number of factors to consider:
- To bring about a CIR, you need 10% (that's about 300,000 signatures) of registered electors to sign a petition for a referendum, within 12 months of the petition being accepted. This requires nationwide coverage, an army of volunteers and money to print and promote it;
- The wording of the question is as important as the referendum. It plays a large part in determining the outcome.
The Government can now force questions to a postal vote, rather than holding them at a general election. The result is lower voter turn outs at referendums, allegations of missing ballots, and perhaps more importantly a tendency of those opposed to a proposal to vote where those in favour don't.
- Assuming the petition is successful, the question is well-structured, and the vote is to be held at a general election, the next factor is fighting the referendum. Again this will take money and time. In that sense, it could work in our campaign's favour to have a referendum separately to a general election, as most of our members are also members of political parties and tend to go off campaigning during general elections;
- And then, assuming the referendum campaign results in a positive outcome, is the challenge at getting the government to commit to taking action on the referendum.
A simple question such as "Do you want New Zealand to become a republic?" with either yes or no answers doesn't cut the mustard.
- Under section 10(1)(b) of the CIR Act 1993, the question must have two answers. It seems the best approach for would be to aim for a question based around process.
It really wouldn't be worth the effort, unless we had first got the infrastructure in place to gather the signatures.