NZ Herald 1 November 2020
Our additional comment: “While the “no” vote swung into action in an impressive way, the “yes” vote was AWOL,“ 👍😄
It isn’t Jacinda Ardern’s fault that the cannabis legalisation referendum failed.
Plenty of disappointed pro-legalisation voters are unfairly blaming the Prime Minister. They believe the vote might’ve passed if only she had declared earlier how she’d voted, rather than keeping it a secret until after the results were announced.
As soon as Ardern finally admitted to a “yes” vote, social media filled with messages accusing her of “zero leadership on this issue”, wishing she had “mentioned BEFORE the election”, saying she “was unwilling to spend a cent of her political capital to get it across the line” and arguing that it “could have made a difference to the results if she had told us beforehand”.
It might’ve made a difference, it might not have. Maybe Ardern could have led a few undecideds to follow her into the “yes” camp through her moral leadership.
Maybe it would’ve backfired in the way Sir John Key’s preference in the flag referendum is thought to have, with people voting to oppose his preference just because it was his preference.
Who’s to know?
While the “no” vote swung into action in an impressive way, the “yes” vote was AWOL, bar Chloe Swarbrick’s hard work and frequent media appearances. Good as Chloe is, one MP is not enough against an organised campaign of opposition.
READ MORE: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/politics/heather-du-plessis-allan-its-not-jacinda-arderns-fault-that-nz-voted-against-legalising-cannabis/CZ2XAKX2QITT5IHOL3WBMLLQ5Y/