Armstrong on Referendum timing

June 25th, 2008 at 6:23 pm by David Farrar

John Armstrong writes:

Unless the Prime Minister is planning to go to the country much earlier than everyone expects, her assertion that it is not possible to hold the anticipated citizens-initiated referendum on the anti-smacking law on election day simply does not stack up.

claims there is not enough time for the referendum to run alongside the general election “just in terms of sheer organisation”.

The real reason, of course, is Labour does not want its election campaign sullied by periodic discussion of the smacking law whose “nanny-state” connotations have proved to be so damaging to her and her party.

Yep.

There are good reasons for holding such plebiscites on election day. They are considerably cheaper than stand-alone ones. There is also likely to be a much higher voter turnout.

So to hide the realpolitik, the Prime Minister cites practical difficulties in organising a referendum.

But if that is the case, then it would be impossible to hold a snap election. In case the Prime Minister has forgotten, the 1984 snap election was called by Sir Robert Muldoon just four weeks before polling day. Somehow, electoral officials coped.

In fact, the law covering citizens-initiated referendums specifically allows Parliament to shift the date of a referendum to the day of a snap election. That suggests there is sufficient time and it is not a problem.

Useful piece of research. Basically saying one can do a referendum in 4 – 6 weeks if really pushed. Well with five months to go until the election, there is oodles of time.

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57 Responses to “Armstrong on Referendum timing”

  1. Political Busker (231 comments) says:

    The post and link by IdiotSavant from the Chief Electoral Office discounts John Armstrongs view. But the information clearly points to the decision that there was no intention of Labour to let this thing fly. So instead of allocating resources to protect direct democracy, where there was a clear indication that an important issue would be asked of this next election they apparently chose to mitigate the chances of direct democracy to engage.

    The demand from this point is one of urgency changing the momentum. Government is now in a difficult position for having made an incorrect choice prior budget. To put full and proper pressure on that reflects the public interest the public have to put a demand on the Chief Electoral Office to employ more people at election time. Additionally in order to meet with the issue of expediency, the information would have to be all on the same paper.

    This is to say that if Labour deserves a headache about how they have behaved dismissing the public interest: then this is the issue to promote.

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  2. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    I suppose treating the electorate with contempt just becomes habit-forming.

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  3. Graeme Edgeler (3,280 comments) says:

    Yeah, probably worth linking to the CEO’s advice, DPF.

    http://homepages.inspire.net.nz/%7Eidiot/Referenda.doc

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  4. dad4justice (8,051 comments) says:

    Oh great, surprise, surprise, from the hairdressers the super justice minister advises the graceless Queen Hell that the referendum is two months too late. Nice work H2 & the other goof girls, absolutely sensational that you got everything working like Clockwork Orange therapy. I will suggest more people have signed the petition than will vote for the corrupt cabal of twisted dark witches. How much more can kiwis endure of this nanny state bullshit?

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  5. getstaffed (9,189 comments) says:

    Graeme, I’m beyond believing anything that comes back from state-funded agencies. Helen would have predicted political fallout if the election and CIR were held together back in March this year. If the reverse was ture, ie there was a political advantage to holding these together we’d be reading a different document in that link you provided.

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  6. big bruv (13,678 comments) says:

    We all know that this is another nail in the coffin of dear corrupt leader, the question I have for the more senior political junkies here is this.

    Just how big is the fall out going to be inside the Labour party when they are thrashed at the next election?

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  7. tim barclay (886 comments) says:

    Why on earth does she lie about this. By lying she puts the real reason on big red lights.

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  8. Rex Widerstrom (5,345 comments) says:

    How is it that the Chief Electoral Officer says he can’t cope with two pieces of paper per voter when the Returning Officer in some backwater county in the southern USA can contend with a Presidential ballot, a Senatorial ballot, a Congressional District ballot, and usually a multitude of other positions from judge through DA to dogcatcher. Oh, and the quaint rule that allows “write in” candidates, so that if you feel your cousin Billy Joe Bob really oughta be the Pres-eey-dunt, then you can scrawl his name on the ballot and it must be counted?

    Still, since two whole pieces of paper would seemingly jam up the machinery of government, I look forward to the speedy implementation of an online referenda mechanism, with the ful backing and support of the CEO.

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  9. Political Busker (231 comments) says:

    The issue of force is absolutely important in this. Labour would be forced to plan for the referendum if the response by the public was instant and loud. If that were the case then the referendum would go through. Labour’s back peddling would be forced to be sincere and the only view to stay credible would be to acknowledge the public’s determination. They can no longer claim (for this public display of the CEO document) that the decision made was considerate of the public’s right to direct democracy on an issue of huge public interest.

    The balancing act required would be extraordinary but if by public demand then there would be no choice.

    The alternative is that the public are not willing to force the referendum (no matter its cost and no matter the logistics) and Labour is obliged to stand its ground pursuing any legitimate vote by the postal ballot in 2009.

    Ordinarily with the power of parliamentary privilege the issue has already been determined by the Prime Minister’s statement. With a public determined to remedy a clear disrespect for the public’s interest (of sound democratic process) the referendum would be held.

    Those who want to see reasonable and fair change and an access to a democratic system with integrity it is better to act proactively, than to sit back and watch. If those who want to see Labour’s arrogance and complaceny challenged it has got to be time to get off the couch. Given the document from the CEO it seems unlikely that the open window could be open much longer before the logistics become impossible.

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  10. emmess (1,418 comments) says:

    If the bitch won’t allow it
    The organisers of the petition should organize an unoffiical referendum to be held outside every polling booth in the country on election day

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  11. Ryan Sproull (7,093 comments) says:

    After the referendum succeeds, will new legislation be penned detailing exactly how hard one can hit their child before it becomes abuse? Or will the repeal be simply repealed, and the original legal defence against child-assault charges be reinstated to the Crimes Act identically to how they were before?

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  12. getstaffed (9,189 comments) says:

    Ryan, I’d suggest that the repeal is simply repealed. There were – I think – fewer that 5 successful uses of the s59 defence of ‘reasonable force’ in the last 10 years. Don’t have the reference for this – sorry. At the same time there were countless (1000’s??) cases of real abuse – total thugery on the part of parents or often step-parents / de facto partners.

    if we’re prepared to be honest about where the damage is being done then policing of the already suitable laws could be beefed up. And if that finds ‘fundie’ Christians, EB’s, Muslims, Atheists, P-users being locked for abuse up then I’ll be volunteering to help transport them to prison!

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  13. Steve (4,540 comments) says:

    getstaffed,
    “if we’re prepared to be honest about where the damage is being done then policing of the already suitable laws could be beefed up”
    Oh no, they just need education and rehabilitation.
    Soft cock justice system, the prisons are full.
    Beef up laws does nothing, severe punishment does include the deterant factor.

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  14. Ryan Sproull (7,093 comments) says:

    getstaffed,

    If there have been less than five successful uses of s59 in the last 10 years, why spend $10 million getting it put back in?

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  15. getstaffed (9,189 comments) says:

    ryan, because right now that law is making as-yet-unconvicted criminals of 100’s of 1000’s of excellent parents.
    Edit: oh, and the 10mil is the cost for the govt to defer the CIR. anything at election time would be much, much less costly (unless you believe the ‘spin’)

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  16. Ryan Sproull (7,093 comments) says:

    ryan, because right now that law is making as-yet-unconvicted criminals of 100’s of 1000’s of excellent parents.

    Because they’ve been denied a defence that’s been successfully used less than five times in the last 10 years?

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  17. Bok (740 comments) says:

    Ryan
    i’ll try and make this simple. before the repeal, parents who smacked were not breaking the law. The police and all agencies were on the look out for abuse, not smacking as correction (lets not argue the rights and wrongs of smacking i never smacked my children) Now S59 was a defense when people started to question the actual case and the police stepped in. So for the police to step in you would have to say that there would be reason for concern and as such S59 was only successful a few times.
    Once S59 was repealed it made not only smacking but a number of other actions illegal.
    Dont know why I bothered, because Helen said it is so so Ryan must agree.

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  18. Ryan Sproull (7,093 comments) says:

    Bok,

    Please explain what I have ever said that supports your assertion “Helen said it is so, so Ryan must agree” or apologise for the lie.

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  19. Ryan Sproull (7,093 comments) says:

    And besides your lie, I’ll ask a few questions about the rest of what you said.

    What you’re saying is that the reason S59 has only been successfully used less than five times in the past 10 years is because police were not arresting people if they thought that S59 could be successfully used as a defence? And now that S59 is repealed, police are arresting all of those people who previously they had not?

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  20. getstaffed (9,189 comments) says:

    no, because right now that law makes ANY smack – irrespective of context, strength etc – a criminal act subject to prosecution. so previously there were 5 adults who should have had the book thrown at them and wormed of by having their good lawyer cite s59. So now there are a multitude of good parents who have broken then law, and they are simply at the mercy of the discretion of the state. Discretion – shudder. Imagine Mike Smith (Labour) being shown discretion and then Michael Smith (EB) seeking the same leniency. Not going to happen.

    This law does NOTHING to address the real issue of child abuse. Criminalising all parents in the hope of catching one or two real thugs is simply ludicrous. The old law was fine. It just needed to be enforced. And we just need the nanny state out of our lives. Sorry – rushed post. Back later in the evening.

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  21. Ryan Sproull (7,093 comments) says:

    getstaffed,

    If S59 was a legal defence against charges of assault, a defence that takes place in the courtroom after someone has ben charged with assault, how did its removal change who should be arrested in the first place?

    Would the removal of temporary insanity or self-defence as a legal defence change who should be arrested?

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  22. dad4justice (8,051 comments) says:

    Ryan , so the distraught father who flicked his toddler on the ear too try and stop him playing chicken with a bus is a criminal that requires bail after bail hearing. Six keystone cops attended the farcical incident. The criminalization of parents is the agenda at work here, as the radical feminist’s constantly demonize fatherhood.

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  23. Ryan Sproull (7,093 comments) says:

    d4j,

    I don’t think a distraught father who flicks his toddler on the ear to stop him playing chicken with a bus should be a criminal. I’m with you on that. What’s the deal with that situation now? Has it gone to trial?

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  24. dad4justice (8,051 comments) says:

    Ryan , Crown law are very nervous to proceed with the Mason case.Haha – just try as F4J will fly !! I wonder why Rob Pope said NO prosecutions have resulted from the scandalous Bradford Bill !! All about timing with the politicized keystone cops and the radical government fembots.

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  25. getstaffed (9,189 comments) says:

    ryan, are you ok with 100s of 1000s of excellent NZ parents being, technically speaking, unconvicted criminals? i know i’m not. i recoil at the thought. we need to get serious about the root causes of violence towards. factors like step/de-facto parenting have a >20 times impact on the liklihood of offending. various ethic groups have higher/lower incidences of offending. we need to leave PCness at the door and tackle the issues with honesty and integrity. simply changing the definition of ‘violence’ does nothing to stop the harm. bradford admitted as much.

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  26. Letterman (184 comments) says:

    Hey Ryan,

    You a parent?

    If not, then it is reasonable to assume that you are in no way affected by the new law.

    Me? I’m a parent, and am affected by the new law.

    If you can’t walk in my footsteps, then stay out of my shoes.

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  27. Bok (740 comments) says:

    Thank you getstaffed, you said it better. I find it hard to communicate with kids like Ryan. And Ryan Which of he 440 submissions here do you want me to quote? For your information as a non labour supporter , by definition I cannot lie.

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  28. getstaffed (9,189 comments) says:

    ryan, re ear flicking. do you think it should go to trial? for the sake of the person concerned, to clear his name and avoid being forever branded a child abuser under the current law, then i think it should go to trial. but i do wonder if there are more important things the police and judiciary should be concentrating on. hmmm.

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  29. Ryan Sproull (7,093 comments) says:

    ryan, are you ok with 100s of 1000s of excellent NZ parents being, technically speaking, unconvicted criminals? i know i’m not. i recoil at the thought. we need to get serious about the root causes of violence towards. factors like step/de-facto parenting have a >20 times impact on the liklihood of offending. various ethic groups have higher/lower incidences of offending. we need to leave PCness at the door and tackle the issues with honesty and integrity. simply changing the definition of ‘violence’ does nothing to stop the harm. bradford admitted as much.

    Getstaffed,

    Technically, every time you bump into someone on the street without their permission, you’re an unconvicted criminal. Putting unsolicited mail in a mailbox is trespassing. We are all unconvicted criminals, technically. That’s how the law works. It’s really only when these things become practice that it’s a problem.

    You gave me the impression that hundreds of parents had been charged as a result of the repeal of S59, claiming that the repeal had made smacking criminal. Can you tell me how many people have been charged, now that – according to you – something that was previously legal has become illegal?

    I absolutely, completely agree with you that the repeal of S59 does not stop child abuse. I think it is absurd that proponents of it ever suggested it would, though I have never actually heard anyone claiming it would. Anyone who understands it knows that it was a change at the courtroom level, and thus long after the horrible events have occurred.

    Poverty seems to be a big indicator. Alcohol abuse seems to be a big indicator (and tends to go hand in hand with poverty). These are absolutely things we should be addressing if we are concerned with preventing child abuse.

    But by the same token, since this thread has so far convinced me that the repeal of S59 made very little practical change, don’t you think that the kind of energy and cooperation that’s gone into trying to get it reinstated could have been put to better use addressing the actual problem? You said yourself that your concern is a technical definition of “criminal”. Isn’t the actual practical problem of child abuse far more important to you (and others who share your views) than whether or not people are “technically” this or that?

    It seems to me that the whole thing should never have become politicised. It was, if you’re right about how seldom it ever made a difference in the past 10 years, a tiny law change. Career politicians jumped on it for career-political reasons and convinced large numbers of Kiwis that it was a huge law change that was the tip of an iceberg of subtle devilry. If those politicians and activists really cared about child abuse, every bit of energy that has gone into promoting or opposing the repeal (and the repeal’s repeal) would have gone into concerns about the causes of child abuse.

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  30. Ryan Sproull (7,093 comments) says:

    Hey Ryan,

    You a parent?

    If not, then it is reasonable to assume that you are in no way affected by the new law.

    Me? I’m a parent, and am affected by the new law.

    If you can’t walk in my footsteps, then stay out of my shoes.

    I’m not a parent, but I’m afraid that your fancy rhetoric doesn’t alter any of the facts. Explain how you are affected (so far, we have arrived at not liking the idea of being “technically” a criminal, despite the fact that we are all technically criminals) or recognise your lack of contribution to the discussion.

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  31. Ryan Sproull (7,093 comments) says:

    ryan, re ear flicking. do you think it should go to trial? for the sake of the person concerned, to clear his name and avoid being forever branded a child abuser under the current law, then i think it should go to trial. but i do wonder if there are more important things the police and judiciary should be concentrating on. hmmm.

    Certainly. Having read the stories again just now, I think that the police overreacted by threatening to charge him, just because he was mouthing off at them. I’ve seen police do that many times before, such as during protests, when police use technical powers (“disruptive behaviour” or whatever) to mess with someone to whom they’ve taken a personal dislike.

    If he hadn’t told the cop to shut up, the cop wouldn’t have threatened the charge. If the cop hadn’t gotten emotional and overreacted, the cop wouldn’t have threatened the charge.

    But keep in mind that nothing about the repeal of S59 changed that. Five years ago, the police officer could have made exactly the same threat. The only difference is that five years ago Mason wouldn’t have had a legal defence available which has made a difference less than five times in the past 10 years.

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  32. getstaffed (9,189 comments) says:

    Technically, every time you bump into someone on the street without their permission, you’re an unconvicted criminal. Putting unsolicited mail in a mailbox is trespassing. We are all unconvicted criminals, technically

    Ryan, if you actually buy that agrument, and it appears that you do, then this discussion is quite pointless.

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  33. Ryan Sproull (7,093 comments) says:

    Thank you getstaffed, you said it better. I find it hard to communicate with kids like Ryan. And Ryan Which of he 440 submissions here do you want me to quote? For your information as a non labour supporter , by definition I cannot lie.

    Bok, I am not a Labour supporter. It is possible for people to disagree with you and not be a Labour supporter. Consider yourself educated. I’ll take your lack of quotation as an implicit apology, which I accept, just try to be a bit more thoughtful in future before throwing around such unsupported claims.

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  34. Ryan Sproull (7,093 comments) says:

    Ryan, if you actually buy that agrument, and it appears that you do, then this discussion is quite pointless.

    Find a lawyer and ask them, if you like. You’ll find I’m correct. In fact, I wrote a letter to John Key congratulating him for being the first person in the media I’d seen point out what I’ve just said. If you’re interested, he did so on May the 2nd, on Close Up.

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  35. Bok (740 comments) says:

    Ryan, you supercilious little prat. Unlike you, when I apologize the words I am sorry , I was wrong will usually find their way out of my mouth. You show your total lack of adult thought processes by playing silly schoolyard games like:”’ll take your lack of quotation as an implicit apology, which I accept, just try to be a bit more thoughtful in future before throwing around such unsupported claims.”
    Why is it that labour supporters never ever own up to the fact that they are labour supporters. So that you are under no misconception of my meaning this time. Your arguments is bullshit and you are full of it. And FFS no that is not an apology either fool. Christ I am out of here. My kids left home years ago, I don’t need to go back to those sorts of arguments . Night all.

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  36. Ryan Sproull (7,093 comments) says:

    Bok,

    I’ll miss you.

    And I still don’t support Labour.

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  37. getstaffed (9,189 comments) says:

    An interesting study on incidences of harm cause to children, categorised by family structure. Oz based. Table 2, pp5 is particularly telling. Is society brave enough to tackle this kind of stuff head on? Certainly not where we are today IMHO.

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  38. Ryan Sproull (7,093 comments) says:

    That is pretty terrifying, getstaffed. I expect sexual-abuse statistics would be similar. What do you suggest is done to tackle those stats?

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  39. dad4justice (8,051 comments) says:

    It is obvious Ryan all our selfish and disgraceful politicians are doing nothing about child abuse and infanticide and Bradford’s Bill was a pathetic attempt at tackling the insidious problem . What is the Maori Party doing about it when they’re not getting billions in cash !! This country treats its children like shit , have another Hui bro !
    Proud to be kiwi – yeah right !!

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  40. Ryan Sproull (7,093 comments) says:

    d4j,

    Are there no parties at the moment who you think have good ideas on how to reduce child abuse?

    Or are there any non-governmental groups who you think are doing the right kind of thing?

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  41. dad4justice (8,051 comments) says:

    Ryan – I have plenty of ideas but I’m not a parasitic – useless politician. How these creeps can sleep at night is beyond my comprehension. Shame on you New Zealand. What a cot case country. Our CHILDREN DESERVE BETTER !

    Edit – Goodnight ryan.

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  42. Ryan Sproull (7,093 comments) says:

    G’night, d4j. Have a good one.

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  43. Win (1 comment) says:

    I totally agree with John Armstrong’s take on the petition situation.
    I heard there is a party that can change things…The Kiwi Party. It is a newly registered party (Feb08) and already on par at the polls with UF, Act and Family. This is a party one can use to upset the Liarbour applecart. Kiwi Party leader Larry Baldock has been tirelessly travelling around the country the past year working with supporters and collecting petition signatures. One need only to stand around the petition collectors and eavesdrop on the conversations and one would know how passionate people are to see the Anti-smacking law gone by lunchtime! People of Tauranga hold the key to this, if they get Baldock in, and the Kiwi Party becomes part of a National coalition, then people can have hope that the next govt will listen to the voice of the people.

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  44. Political Busker (231 comments) says:

    Good point, Rex Widerstrom.

    Your point further alienates Labour as a party appearing intent to override the public’s access to any form of direct remedial affect. If as you point out the issues of confusion or practical application are moot, then the lack of available resourse is driven to another efficiency. Given that the public are screaming about how the overwhelming public opinion has been treated, this overriding authority to financially disempower that expression reflects on some kind of unstated agenda rather than a exercise of fiscal prudence. The idea that there is some greater agenda thrivng under the skin of a long term incumbent force is alarming and calls more for the public to force the referenda at the election.

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  45. getstaffed (9,189 comments) says:

    Ryan, you asked for ideas re: child abuse state above and prevention options.

    There are undoubtedly plenty of initiatives, programmes, studies and schemes that could be targeted at where there is most risk. That is, of course, if society at large is honest enough to tackle things head on rather than apply the faulty band-aide of broad brush legislation.

    From looking at those stats science appears to be showing us that building healthy, strong and lasting family relationships where both biological parents provide care for their children is a no-brainer in terms of reducing abuse and accidental death of children. Of course the last 30 years has seen a progressive devaluation of the traditional, nuclear family as a societal building block. It is seen as ‘not progressive’ or worse, the domain of ‘repressive conservatives’.

    Whether you believe the family unit is a societal construct honed by million of years of evolution, or it is a religiously defined best practice is unimportant. Irrespective of the motivations, we can see is that the traditional family unit delivers the safest environment for children, and yet we seem committed to pulling that apart (gently and slowly…) and lambasting anyone who dares to call ‘stop’.

    My day is cactus, so won’t be able to indulge much more discussion on this, despite it being an issue close to my heart.

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  46. Political Busker (231 comments) says:

    getstaffed and Ryan,

    my view is different on this list, at least from dad4justice. That does not downgrade d4j’s commitment, view or energy. I went up and looked at his site and it is impossible not to see that you have one of the most dedicated dads building a support system for a group in society (fathers) who have no stable institution to protect them to do the extraordinarily difficult and natural demanding task known: being a dad.

    And your post above getstaffed is the best opinion piece I’ve read on this site so far.

    What has been missing in these millions of years of evolution is a demand that both natural parents have a natural duty to protect the child. The act of sex produces those vessels of natural responsibility. If humans want to take care of themselves because as any species they must, (protecting the group is a primary function of any species) then we have to wake up to how we engage in our responsibility toward the act of sex. We don’t. There is no code. Demonstrably in New Zealand at least there is a considerable break in the rules of discipline. So while we do not show discipline to the act of sex and we focus primarily on the adults wants and needs instead of the child’s young to develop in security and strenght we seriously damage our species. A child’s currency is love and an adult’s currency is money.

    In regards to the issue on who to vote for ‘in these elections’ if there are minds of a similar view, is only material ‘in these elections’ if there is an ability to block vote. Certainly there is huge passion on the blog but additionally there is an unrelenting demand for one or other to work to undermine the confidence of any perceived adversary. This is as unpleasant as it is common. Irrespective of the interesting and innovative rules system of the blog, while there is no objective collectable purpose a recommendation on the party best to protect the child wouldn’t have any emphatic effect. Yet this isn’t isolated to this blog, it is everywhere. So while there is no consistency in the opposition the incumbent rules with impunity.

    What folk have to want to do is to challenge the incumbent. The first thing is to recognise what it is that is ruling that is damaging the public. It might not just be the incumbent party. I suggest that because there is so much disparity of view and individuals are prepared to pick the eyes out of their would be friends that the incumbent that rules is cloaked by natural disguise.

    The answer? Gordon Copeland is being interviewed this Sunday on Sunday Radio New Zealand National after 8am on abortion. There will be other views, not just his own that is presented yet it will be a valuable discussion where the listener can decide whetehr or not as a nation we are in fact hurting our children by killing them. Surely this is a good place to start to consider whetehr or not we put our children first. In the meantime, I haven’t really looked into the philisophical views of Family First, other than skimming through the mission statements. At this stage, the name seems to fit what it is that they expect to achieve.

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  47. Letterman (184 comments) says:

    Ryan,

    Asked and answered.

    Justifying myself (a parent) to you (a non-parent) as a parent affected by this law would be like me advising a man on the how to live the experience of a womans menstrual cycle. As you would have no reference point for the discussion, it is your contribution that would be absent of value, as opposed to mine.

    Honestly, whenever I see your name pop up on a blog, someone is giving you a right old caning – don’t know when to quit huh?

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  48. Chuck Bird (4,825 comments) says:

    This tread has got very much off topic. This issue is when and what type of referendum will be held.

    I think a postal vote with the results being made public at least three weeks befor the election whould have some merit.

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  49. dave strings (608 comments) says:

    Ryan
    “Technically, every time you bump into someone on the street without their permission, you’re an unconvicted criminal.”

    NOT true! THere is always the matter of intent to be established. IF I carry a tool box in my car, because it is an old car and prone to breaking down, or I am on my way to my son’s house to visit my grandchildren, I am not “going equiped” for burglary. Common law, which our laws are based on, actually required that there in INTENT to commit an act, after that it doesn’t matter if you know it is illegal or not.

    In the case of bumping into someone on the street, if I do so accidentally, i.e. with no intent to assault, I am not guilty of anything. However, if I give my grandson a clip behind the ear WITH THE INTENT OF TECHING THEM A LESSON IN MANNERS, I am, by current definition, a criminal and should, if I believe in the rule of law, hand myself in to the police for proecution with a guilty plea; once in court I can offer mitiga6ting circumstances, but I will be, forever more, a convicted criminal.

    THis is the point of the discussion! Society establishes laws, in part, to deter people from doing things that are anti-social by making them feel guilt. I DO NOT WANT MY FAMILY, especially my children who are now parents in their own right, to feel guilty for doing something that is natural and GOOD for society. JUst the other day a convicted criminal shouted to the district court that “six months in the Naughty Corner was no problem”, you see, that’s what jail has become, a naughty corner with time (lots of it) off for normal behaviour.

    Let’s keep our prisons, police and courts for dealing with true ‘anti-social’ (as opposed to anti-family/nanny) behaviour such as true assault, battery, murder, theft, burglary, etc., and while we’re at it, let’s change the law so that we abolish parole and instead of giving time-off for good behaviour we ADD TIME ON for bad behaviour. THen the system will again be a deterrant and more people will be able to enjoy the facilities of this wonderful backward country!

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  50. Ryan Sproull (7,093 comments) says:

    Getstaffed,

    Fair enough, but what about those many very loving step-parents? My mother remarried to a truly wonderful guy, who was an amazing parent to my younger brother, and my mother was wonderful to my new step-siblings. Is there any way to approach the statistics you’re talking about without encroaching on such a wonderful situation as they have?

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  51. Ryan Sproull (7,093 comments) says:

    Justifying myself (a parent) to you (a non-parent) as a parent affected by this law would be like me advising a man on the how to live the experience of a womans menstrual cycle. As you would have no reference point for the discussion, it is your contribution that would be absent of value, as opposed to mine.

    Letterman,

    That might hold some weight if we were talking about whether or not parents should smack – though even that’s debatable. Would you similarly tell me that, as a non-parent, I have no right to tell a parent not to put cigarettes out on their children’s arms?

    But we are not talking about whether or not parents should smack. We’re talking about whether or not this law change was the landmark life-altering cataclysm that its opponents (and some of its proponents) make it out to be. My point is that it made very little legal difference, and this is supported by getstaffed’s observation that the piece of law that was repealed had made a difference in less than five cases of child-assault charges in the past 10 years.

    And, as I pointed out, the situation with Jimmy Mason could have occurred exactly as it did before or after the repeal of S59. The repeal removed a courtroom defence. Assault charges against children existed before the repeal, as did the potential for a stroppy policeman to threaten someone with those charges.

    Honestly, whenever I see your name pop up on a blog, someone is giving you a right old caning – don’t know when to quit huh?

    It’s a right-wing statist blog, and I’m a socialist libertarian. I doubt there’s anyone who comments here who agrees with me on everything, and most agree with me on very little. I rely instead on being polite to those who are polite to me, and playing the ball rather than the man. I simply ask that you do the same. Address what I am saying, not who you think I am.

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  52. Ryan Sproull (7,093 comments) says:

    NOT true! THere is always the matter of intent to be established. IF I carry a tool box in my car, because it is an old car and prone to breaking down, or I am on my way to my son’s house to visit my grandchildren, I am not “going equiped” for burglary. Common law, which our laws are based on, actually required that there in INTENT to commit an act, after that it doesn’t matter if you know it is illegal or not.

    In the case of bumping into someone on the street, if I do so accidentally, i.e. with no intent to assault, I am not guilty of anything. However, if I give my grandson a clip behind the ear WITH THE INTENT OF TECHING THEM A LESSON IN MANNERS, I am, by current definition, a criminal and should, if I believe in the rule of law, hand myself in to the police for proecution with a guilty plea; once in court I can offer mitiga6ting circumstances, but I will be, forever more, a convicted criminal.

    Fair enough. Let me revise my statement and say that we are all arrestable, rather than all criminals.

    THis is the point of the discussion! Society establishes laws, in part, to deter people from doing things that are anti-social by making them feel guilt. I DO NOT WANT MY FAMILY, especially my children who are now parents in their own right, to feel guilty for doing something that is natural and GOOD for society. JUst the other day a convicted criminal shouted to the district court that “six months in the Naughty Corner was no problem”, you see, that’s what jail has become, a naughty corner with time (lots of it) off for normal behaviour.

    Let’s keep our prisons, police and courts for dealing with true ‘anti-social’ (as opposed to anti-family/nanny) behaviour such as true assault, battery, murder, theft, burglary, etc., and while we’re at it, let’s change the law so that we abolish parole and instead of giving time-off for good behaviour we ADD TIME ON for bad behaviour. THen the system will again be a deterrant and more people will be able to enjoy the facilities of this wonderful backward country!

    This is possibly part of where the disagreement stems from. I don’t feel like the government tells me what is right and wrong. If the government legislates against something I do not believe is wrong, I am aware that there are potential consequences of breaking that law, but if I do I do not feel guilty about it. I reserve my guilt for when I do things that are wrong to me, not wrong to anyone else, no matter how many they are or what letters come after their name.

    You honestly believe that smacking is good and right, but feel guilty if you do it?

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  53. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    So Dear Leader believes we are to thick to handle two bits of paper in one sitting and we would become confused. She is probably right, I see my GST form has two pages, I am confused, prehaps we should become “confused” with every government form over one page long. That would make the bastards sit up and take notice.

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  54. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    how many animals did you hurt/kill today..?..bloody-hands-bob..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  55. paradigm (507 comments) says:

    There is a certain irony when an unemployed loser who has kids he can’t afford goes on to insult someone else for being gainfully employed. What’s the problem philu? Vegetarian? I understand iron is important for brain development, perhaps you need to invest in some supplement tablets, it might improve your ability to post coherently.

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  56. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..gainfully employed..”

    yeah..slave traders were also ‘gainfully employed’..

    ‘bloody-hands-bob’ is the modern moral equivalent of the slaver..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  57. Shunda barunda (2,977 comments) says:

    Its a sad thing when a government is so afraid of what its citizens think that it won’t print a non binding referendum question . Have New Zealanders become so pathetic that simply asking a question on the voting papers is enough to change their vote?. What if the paper has too much red ink could that sway it back to Labour? The state of democracy in this country is very sick indeed.

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