I’ve said before that I believe Australian citizens should have a means to over rule their elected representatives when it comes to the existance of legislation. I think our constitution should include a mechanism where by if enough citizens sign a petition objecting to a specific law then a referendum is triggered (perhaps in conjunction with the next general election) to consider repealing the law. Now New Zealand has a classic case where such a mechanism would be relevant.
Two years ago the Labour Party in New Zealand passed a law turning parents who smack their kids into criminals. In a non-binding referendum just held the people of New Zealand made it clear they want the law repealed. In fact a whopping 88% of voters are against the law. However in an appalling disregard for the will of the people the National government says the law is staying. New Zealand like Australia needs a constitutional mechanism where by the people can through a binding referendum repeal the laws of parliament. At the end of the day sovereignty should lay with the people and parliament should merely act as their agent.