Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The People Speak

So the Anti-Anti-Smacking petition is now up to 280,000 signatures. Just 20,000 short of initiating a referendum. And they'll get there for sure - they've gathered 30,000 since it was reported on January 3 that they had 250,000. This over the holiday period in politically apathetic NZ. That's already 8% of the population over 16 years.

There have been only a handful of citizen's initiated referenda since the legislation was passed in 1993. And because they are non binding they have rarely got anywhere. You can be sure this referendum won't happen this year as the government gets to dictate timing.

What annoys me is the (once again) stupid commentary from Sue Bradford:

"Family First is increasingly out of step with public opinion and in fact some of the people who signed this petition for the referendum back before my bill went through may have even changed their minds in the intervening period,"

Um Sue - Family First is supportive of this initiative because they don't see responsible parental smacking as child abuse, but its not their petition. And further, its not out of step with at least 280,000 Kiwis who you don't see as having the requisite intellectual quality to make a clear decision on something like this. I encourage you to continue work on your (Sue likes to make sure we know these are HER bills) "Parental Licensing Bill" that will require a certain IQ and genetic profile before a parental license will be issued.

Then we have Helen Clark's highly manipulative and condescending comment:

"It's really a question for Kiwis - do we keep trying to make our homes a safer place for children or do we abandon the effort? I'm not for abandoning the effort."

Once again, Helen marginalises NZer's who differ from her view of the civic society. If you're for the petition then you're against making our homes a safer place for Kiwis. Well Helen, 280,000 Kiwis already disagree with you.

Fortunately, there is a different kind of referendum happening this year. Its called a general election. This time it will be binding. And it will see the end of Helen Clark. She's due for some time out...


Rhett said...

I signed it on Sunday.

I completely agree with you; I felt total frustration watching those two on the news last night. Hopefully people who voted Green will see that the party has been hijacked by a woman who is clearly out of step with the country and that they seem to have abandoned a environmental agenda for a social one.

John Key is set to announce a new scheme which provides school leavers under 18 with free training but no access to the benefit, which I think is a great step. It strikes at the root of the problem (or at least one of the problems).

BJ said...

And now that Christchurch guy has been charged with "flicking" his sons ear when he rode his bike near traffic. Police say he would have been charged regardless of the new legislation which makes me think it was more of a cuff than a flick - a cuff to the head of a 3 year old is over the line, but a flick to the ear would be less harmful you'd think.

I certainly felt safer in America when the occasional physical discipline was required!

servant said...

I get the feeling the media isn't giving us the full story on the 'flicking' incident. My hunch is they're simply trying to inflame the situation.

I don't think the police would have charged the man if it wasn't serious enough.

Steve said...

You guys need a good Libertarian party in NZ. I have no idea what the Kiwi Constitution looks like, but I'm sure you'd have more than a few people who would prefer a true Free Market Democracy... you know, where people are actually smarter than the Government and a truly open market will do much more good than a benevolent (though wasteful and inefficient bureaucracy) nanny state. As you can see, I'm completely unbiased. BTW, Ron Paul is a Christian too.

servant said...

The last leader of the National party leaned that way and he got the boot. Our country likes looking after the poor and understands that a pure free market economy just plays into the hands of the selfish.

Of course, our country could do a whole lot better than it is. But a belief in a pure free market economy misses the hitch of a little thing called human nature.

servant said...

... and that sounded way more argumentative and cocky than was intended...

I find the discussion of economic structures and how they relate to human nature to be a very interesting one.

In my perfect world the market would be entirely free... but sadly, the world I live in is a fallen one.