National to ignore referendum | The Jackal

12 Mar 2013

National to ignore referendum

Today, Stuff reported:

The Government has vowed to proceed with asset sales irrespective of whether a referendum on the process comes out against the issue.

I would expect around 70 per cent of public voting in that referendum will want to keep our assets, meaning that 70 per cent of the voting public will feel let down if their wishes are ignored by National.

That's 70 per cent of the voting public who are more likely to vote for a political party that respects their opinions, and not one that would dismiss them outright without any proper justification for doing so.

Finance Minister Bill English said it would make no difference to the process.

"The sales are going ahead," English told TV3's Firstline. "We've already launched the Mighty River Power float and there will be others.

"This is an issue that was campaigned on right through election year, we laid out the policy in detail, the opposition parties had a year to debate it, and they didn't win the election so we're proceeding with the sales on the basis of that mandate."

The election was held on various different issues and didn't give National any clear mandate to sell off our most profitable state owned assets.

I shouldn't even need to reiterate that a referendum on the issue is the only way to find out if the government has a mandate to pursue their plans for partial privatisation or not... Without it, National simply don't have a mandate.

In my opinion, ignoring what the public wants in that referendum will be a one way ticket out of office, and gaining the publics trust again will take a very long time indeed.