30 Aug 2004

Cooks hopes one question referendum will boost reply rate

7:43 am on 30 August 2004

The Cook Islands government is hoping a single, concise, referendum question on the term of parliament will persuade more people to answer it.

Voters go to the polls next week and will be presented with the referendum at the same time.

A government spokesman, Arthur Taripo, says previous turnouts in general elections have hit about ninety per cent.

But Mr Taripo says referenda held at the same time often only get a response rate of sixty per cent:

He expects more voters to take part this time:

"There's only one question being asked, and that's whether the term of parliament should be reduced to four years, from five years. And the previous referendum, there was something like six questions, that were asked; not only the term of parliament, but things like the national anthem, things like the flag; these sort of things. So the last referendum was quite a complicated one as compared to this one. Going on that experience I think this one will be a lot easier, and the participation will be a lot higher."

The Cook Islands government spokesman, Arthur Taripo.