PREAMBLE:

The Conservative Party sees Binding Citizens Initiated Referenda as a means of adding a safeguard to our democracy. We see it as a tool to reign in government when they do not seem to be obeying the wishes of the people who elected them.

SHORT POLICY SUMMARY

POLICIES

The Conservative Party is committed to:

* Holding a government sponsored binding referendum aiming to make CIR binding on government when there is a greater than 2/3rds majority response in favour of a CIR proposal;

* Removing conscience voting from Parliament and seeing decisions normally made by conscience vote made by the people of New Zealand according to their conscience via binding referenda; 

* Changing the threshold of signatures needed to trigger a referendum from 10% of registered voters, to 5% of the number who voted in the most recent General Election, in the same way a party can have representation in Parliament with 5% of the party vote;

* Ensuring a referendum is fairly representative of the electorate before it can be considered binding on the government, by requiring that a minimum of 33.3% of eligible voters cast a valid referendum vote; 

* Making sure all referenda questions are sufficiently specific to ensure that there is no ambiguity in what is proposed, so that Parliament will act on the people’s clear wishes;

* Seeing that where a CIR proposal contains multiple parts, each part should stand as a separate question requiring a yes or no answer; 

* Increasing  the expenditure allowed for those who are seeking to trigger a referendum through petition from $50,000 + GST to $100,000 + GST, this amount to be indexed to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) thereafter;

* Ensuring that all participants taking part in educating the public following the successful activation of a referendum be entitled to spend $100,000 (CPI indexed)  plus $0.50 per voter signature acquired in the petition + GST, to educate the public as to the policy outcomes for referendum. If the referendum is successful, the proposer will be refunded those expenses, up to a maximum of $100,000 incurred in promoting the referenda; 

* Using local body and general elections as times to hold referenda to reduce cost, wherever possible;

* Continually assess whether or not electronic voting is secure enough to hold referenda.