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The justice referendum of 1999 was a Citizens Initiated Referendum held in New Zealand on 27 November 1999, based on the question:
"Should there be a reform of our justice system placing greater emphasis on the needs of victims, providing restitution and compensation for them and imposing minimum sentences and hard labour for all serious violent offences?"
As a citizens initiated referendum, the results of the vote were non-binding on the New Zealand government. As a result, the changes suggested in the referendum question were not implemented.
|Electorate||Yes||No N||Total valid votes||Informal votes||Total votes counted||Electors on Roll||Turnout|
|Bay of Plenty||95.05%||32,786||4.95%||1,709||34,495||262||34,757||41,630||83.49%|
A referendum is a direct vote by the electorate on a proposal, law, or political issue. This is in contrast to an issue being voted on by a representative. This may result in the adoption of a new policy or specific law, or the referendum may be only advisory. In some countries, it is synonymous with or commonly known by other names including plebiscite, votation,popular consultation, ballot question, ballot measure, or proposition.
Direct democracy or pure democracy is a form of democracy in which the electorate decides on policy initiatives without elected representatives as proxies. This differs from the majority of currently established democracies, which are representative democracies. The theory and practice of direct democracy and participation as its common characteristic was the core of work of many theorists, philosophers, politicians, and social critics, among whom the most important are Jean Jacques Rousseau, John Stuart Mill, and G.D.H. Cole.
In political science, an initiative is a means by which a petition signed by a certain number of registered voters can force a government to choose either to enact a law or hold a public vote in the legislature in what is called indirect initiative, or under direct initiative, where the proposition is put to a plebiscite or referendum, in what is called a Popular initiated Referendum or citizen-initiated referendum.
Electoral reform in New Zealand has, in recent years, become a political issue as major changes have been made to both parliamentary and local government electoral systems.
In the politics of the United States, the process of initiatives and referendums allow citizens of many U.S. states to place new legislation, or to place legislation that has recently been passed by a legislature on a ballot for a popular vote. Initiatives and referendums, along with recall elections and popular primary elections, are signature reforms of the Progressive Era; they are written into several state constitutions, particularly in the West. It is a form of direct democracy.
The Kiwi Party was a political party operating in New Zealand between 2007 and 2011. Briefly known as Future New Zealand, it was a breakaway from the United Future New Zealand party and sought to carry on the tradition of Future New Zealand. The party was formed when MP Gordon Copeland left United Future after a dispute over support for the Crimes Amendment Act 2007. At the 2008 general election, the Kiwi Party was unsuccessful, and was not re-elected to Parliament. It did not contest the 2011 general election under its own banner, but the leaders and other members stood for the Conservative Party.
The Australian republic referendum held on 6 November 1999 was a two-question referendum to amend the Constitution of Australia. The first question asked whether Australia should become a republic with a President appointed by Parliament following a bi-partisan appointment model which had been approved by a half-elected, half-appointed Constitutional Convention held in Canberra in February 1998. The second question, generally deemed to be far less important politically, asked whether Australia should alter the Constitution to insert a preamble. For some years opinion polls had suggested that a majority of the electorate favoured a republic. Nonetheless, the republic referendum was defeated, partly due to division among republicans on the method proposed for selection of the president and dissident republicans opposed the president to have strong executive power.
The Royal Commission on the Electoral System was formed in New Zealand in 1985 and reported in 1986. The decision to form the Royal Commission was taken by the Fourth Labour government, after the Labour Party had received more votes, yet it won fewer seats than the National Party in both the 1978 and 1981 elections. It was also a reaction to the power displayed by Prime Minister Robert Muldoon, whose action of illegally abolishing the Superannuation scheme in 1975 without any repercussions highlighted the need to distribute power in a more democratic way. The Royal Commission's report Towards a Better Democracy was instrumental in effecting New Zealand to change its electoral system from first-past-the-post to mixed member proportional.
Referendums are held only occasionally by the Government of New Zealand. Referendums may be government-initiated or held in accordance with the Electoral Act 1993 or the Citizens Initiated Referenda Act 1993. Nineteen referendums have been held so far. Fourteen were government-led, and five were indicative citizen initiatives.
The Crimes Amendment Act 2007 is an amendment to New Zealand's Crimes Act 1961 which removed the legal defence of "reasonable force" for parents prosecuted for assault on their children.
The 2009 New Zealand Referendum on Child Discipline was held from 31 July to 21 August, and was a citizens-initiated referendum on parental corporal punishment. It asked:
Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?
The 2011 New Zealand voting system referendum was a referendum on whether to keep the existing mixed member proportional (MMP) voting system, or to change to another voting system, for electing Members of Parliament to New Zealand's House of Representatives. It was held on 26 November 2011 in conjunction with the 2011 general election.
The firefighter referendum of 1995 was the first Citizens Initiated Referendum held in New Zealand on 2 December 1995, based on the question:
"Should the number of professional firefighters employed full time in the New Zealand Fire Service be reduced below the number employed on 1 January 1995?"
The 1999 New Zealand MP reduction referendum was held during the 1999 general election on 27 November 1999. The Referendum considered two questions, in which one brought upon the question on whether New Zealand Parliament should be restructured - reducing the number of MPs from 120 to 99 members in the House of Representatives.
The 2011 New Zealand voting system referendum was a referendum held in conjunction with the 26 November 2011 general election to decide whether to retain the existing mixed member proportional (MMP) voting system, or to change to another voting system, in electing members of parliament to the New Zealand House of Representatives.
The 2013 New Zealand asset sales referendum is a citizens-initiated referendum that took place by postal ballot from 22 November 2013 to 13 December 2013. It was on the Fifth National (Key) government's policy to partially privatise four energy-related state-owned enterprises and reducing the government's share in Air New Zealand.
A referendum is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. This article summarises referendum laws and practice in various countries.
Two New Zealand flag referendums were held by the New Zealand Government in November/December 2015 and March 2016 to determine the nation's flag. The voting resulted in the retention of the current flag of New Zealand.
A referendum on the political status of Puerto Rico was held in Puerto Rico on June 11, 2017. The referendum had three options: becoming a state of the United States, independence/free association, or maintaining the current territorial status. Those who voted overwhelmingly chose statehood by 97%. This figure is attributed to a boycott led by the pro-status quo PPD party, which resulted in a 22.93% turnout.
The 2020 New Zealand cannabis referendum was a non-binding referendum held on 17 October 2020 in conjunction with the 2020 general election and a euthanasia referendum, on the question of whether to legalise the sale, use, possession and production of recreational cannabis. It was rejected by New Zealand voters. The form of the referendum was a vote for or against the proposed "Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill". Official results were released by the Electoral Commission on 6 November 2020 with 50.7% of voters opposing the legalisation and 48.4% in support.