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Party and Policy
|POLICY DIRECTIVES - Citizen Initiated Referendums|
Page 6 of 17
We as a party support the notion of the public being able to initiate their own referendum and that government follow the results. This is something that is so significant it is unacceptable that Australian voters do not have the legal ability to do so yet. As the Hon. Kim Beazley, Labor's former Minister, once said of the Swiss system of governance when comparing it with the Australian model and the virtues of citizen-initiated referendums, "They don't have ‘God governments'. Their governments are not named for leaders as though they belonged to them - ‘the Whitlam Government,' ‘the Fraser Government.'" To date, the Hon. Elaine Nile previously sought to introduce a Bill supporting the rights of citizens to initiate the own referendum and was m et with staunch resistance from the Hon. D. J. Gay who stated that “It is an absolutely frightening and appalling piece of legislation” that “threaten the control of the political system of existing elected governments”. Because to his way of thinking “Parliament should have the final say on laws, and its power should remain unchallenged except by itself”.
This is a policy directive that will restore governance and power to the voter so that the voting public is recognised as being the true source of power of which Parliament is their servant. Even our near neighbour, New Zealand, recently had a citizen’s initiated referendum for an issue the citizens within that country thought important eno ugh. New Zealand did not consider such a thing as threatening the “control” of the existing government. Recently Europe has permitted their half a billion voters to enjoy the empowerment that comes through this policy directive. This is democracy at work, and as such ought to be encouraged and legislated.
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