Philip Temple is a earnest person, if somewhat confused about his politics. He was one of the main people lobbying to retain MMP, ironically in a referendum, which he now says are a waste of time in the NZ Herald (heh another irony)
A waste of time. A waste of money. The government takes no notice. What’s the point of non-binding referendums? How come we have them anyway?
He then goes into a TL;DR explanation of the history of referendum…It seems we can blame Murray McCully. He concludes:
The present referendum on asset sales is the fifth since 1993. Many more failed at the first hurdle of persuading 10 per cent of enrolled voters to sign a petition. The first, at the end of 1995, asked if the number of firefighters should be reduced below the number employed on January 1, 1995: 87.8 per cent of voters said No. The second in November 1999 asked if the number of MPs should be reduced from 120 to 99: 81.5 per cent said Yes. The third, held at the same time, asked if the justice system should place greater emphasis on the needs of victims and impose hard labour for all serious violent offences: 91.8 per cent agreed. The fourth, in August 2009, asked, “Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand” and 87.4 per cent said it should not. ¬† Read more »