Democracy Policy > Referendum (BCIR)
New Conservative sees Binding Citizens Initiated Referenda (BCIR) as a means of adding a safeguard to our democracy. We see it as a tool to rein in government when they seem to be ignoring the wishes of the people who elected them.
New Conservative is committed to making Citizens Initiated Referenda binding on the government when there is more than two-thirds (66%) majority response in favour of a referenda proposal, and at least one-third (33%) of registered voters participated in the referenda. Where a Citizens Initiated Referendum contains multiple parts for decision, each part will stand as a separate question requiring a simple “Yes” or “No” answer.
New Conservative would reduce the threshold of signatures required to trigger a referendum from 10% of registered voters to 5% of those who voted at the last General Election.
New Conservative is the only Party that believes the will of the people must be implemented.
New Conservative would increase the maximum expenditure allowed to promote a petition from $50,000 + GST to $100,000 + GST and index it to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
After a referendum has been triggered, participants involved in educating and informing the public on the referendum choices will be entitled to spend $100,000 (CPI indexed) plus $0.50 per voter signature acquired in the petition + GST.
New Conservative would ensure that wherever possible referenda would be held in conjunction with local body elections and general elections to save costs.
No Conscience Votes
New Conservative would replace parliamentary conscience voting with Binding Referenda. While MPs are in the house as representatives, they are elected on the basis of policy, not conscience. It is unreasonable to expect them to represent their electorate on matters of conscience.
It may even be dangerous as an MP’s ability to be true to his/her conscience is vulnerable to being affected by the opinions and expectations of others, particularly party leadership.
Matters currently requiring a conscience vote are usually matters of morality. The voting public should be the ones who set the moral code of the nation, not 61 MPs.