The series got off to a hesitant start, with only Democratic Party leader Tina Brown replying to a question on political reform.
The Cook Islands Party was unable to provide an answer to that question in time for today’s CINews, but did answer a second question regarding the party’s preferred aid partners. This will appear in Saturday’s CINews, together with the response from the other parties.
Today’s question: Political reform – Would your party support the tabling of the Constitution Amendment (No 29) Bill as it currently stands? Would your party adopt any of the recommendations made in the 1998 report on political reform?
“Genuine and not expedient political reform is the commitment of the Democratic Party to the public for a better, equitable and more cost effective government. With full respect to the gravity and importance of this matter we will give consideration to an Electoral Commission to be formed, its functions and responsibilities similar to that of the New Zealand Electoral Commission with the ultimate aim of advancing fairer representation in the Cook Islands electoral processes. We will review the Cook Islands Constitution, the Electoral Act and the anti-party hopping legislation and seek inspiration from fair and equitable systems worldwide. This would all be with the input of the people and would be practical, timely and with firmly stated and implementable outcomes.”
Browne will elaborate on the Democratic Party’s stance regarding political reform in her regular column in Saturday’s CINews.
One Cook Islands leader Teina Bishop responded simply that the Constitution Amendment (No 29) Bill was OCI’s “number one” national priority policy. - CS