The Green Party initiative to have electoral reform reviewed and managed by a citizens’ jury has been scrapped by the National government today. While not surprising, it does mean that electoral reform falls back into the hands of the politicians – putting the wolves back in charge of the hen house. The press release came at the usual “don’t look now” time of 4 pm on a Friday, a trick that both National and Labour use to hide unpopular announcements.
The Greens supported the EFA only with the promise of a wide ranging review of electoral reform, driven by a citizen’s jury to keep the politics to a minimum. That’s now history as National says it wants to start over from scratch. After all that I have learned and written about citizens’ juries, I still think it is the best way to go to get an independent, multipartisan view of a difficult topic.
While I understand the desire to make your own mark when entering government after a decade in the wilderness, throwing out an independent, sensible mechanism is a waste of time and resources.