March for Democracy – vote with your feet
We need you! — your energy — and your networking ability — to get the message out!
The March for Democracy will be held in Queen St Auckland and will be calling on the government to amend s59 of the Crimes Act so that the law does not treat light smacking for the purpose of correction as a criminal offence, and to respect the democratic voice of NZ’ers.
Please mark this date in your diaries as we make a stand for families and for democracy in New Zealand on November 21st at 1.30pm
Colin Craig, an Auckland businessman who is funding the march, says
“I find it deeply disturbing that such a clear message from the people of this country to government has been ignored. My forefathers fought for a democracy and in a democracy the government does not pass and retain laws that nearly 90% of the people don’t want. It is my turn to help fight for the rights of ordinary New Zealanders.”
He’s absolutely right — but he’s not just moaning about it.
He’s putting his money where his mouth is. He wants to host the biggest public march NZ has seen — and we need to get in behind him.
When families speak with such a loud and united voice, as they have on the issue of the anti-smacking law, the politicians must not be allowed to ignore it. It is significant that politicians are willing to accept democracy when it is to their benefit but are willing to blatantly ignore it when it highlights wrong decisions. Voters clearly called for a law change — not comfort and more reviews of a rejected law change.
An average of 83% in the polls over the past 4 years have consistently opposed the anti-smacking law. The high threshold of 285,000 signatures was met for having the Referendum (in fact 310,000 valid signatures in the end), 87.4% of those who voted supported the law change, and yet within a couple of hours, the result was completely dismissed.
A Private Members Bill by ACT MP John Boscawen drawn just 3 days later, against all the odds, was then unilaterally ‘kicked for touch’ by the Prime Minister.
This is now far greater than just the smacking issue. It’s an issue of democracy in New Zealand, and the dismissal of the views of an overwhelming majority of voters by our elected representatives.
It may not be the smacking issue that ‘presses your button’. But imagine if an issue you were passionate about – that had the overwhelming support of the public – was simply ignored, belittled, and dismissed by the politicians. Is that the kind of representative democracy we want?
It appears that political parties are keen to accept petitions in their favour — United Future on daylight saving, Labour on night-classes — and support binding Referendums — National on MMP, Labour on the Super City, and the Greens on the Monarchy — but when it’s a Citizen’s Initiated Referendum, they suddenly go deaf!
Families need to speak up for democracy — and this is our opportunity.
Pass it on!