Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Yes Vote

Most people know that in July there is to be a postal referendum on laws surrounding parental correction . The referendum will ask:
Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?
There are two ways you can answer that: yes, and no. Those who don't think a smack as part of good parental correction should be a criminal offence in New Zealand will answer 'no'. Simple.

No, not really.

There is a website that is encouraging people to answer yes in the referendum, not because they believe a smack as part of good parental correction should be a criminal offence (they don't), but because they are pissed off that the petition got enough signatures to force a referendum and to answer the question honestly, they'd have to say no.

But they don't want to do that.

So any 'yes' vote is not a vote that answers the referendum question with conviction. It is not even a vote for the current law on corrective discipline. It is a vote opposing any change to a law that will line up with their own convictions and beliefs on the question asked of them. It is simply a protest vote - against those who vote 'no'.

Anyone who wants to vote 'yes' in the referendum will be voting against their conviction, because they also don't think a smack as part of good parental correction should be a criminal offence. Like politicians, they don't want to answer this question at all; they`ll do it purely in an attempt to both sabotage the referendum and to shut down the opinions of people who they don't agree with - the views of people who will answer the question honestly.




Anonymous Deborah said...

Actually, it seems to me that most of the organisations supporting the YES Vote campaign are doing so because they support the law, because they support children and because they support parents. Not because they are pissed off about the petition and the referendum.
Their stand seems to be principled and correct. These are busy organisations with lots to do - they would only involve themselves if it was necessary to defend the law - not for political sport!

April 20, 2009 at 10:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right - the supporters of the Yes Vote don't believe that a smack is a part of good parental correction. They see it as an unnecessary way of parenting that is past its use-by date in a country which suffers such high levels of child abuse.

They also see parents abandoning smacking in droves because they prefer non-violent ways of instilling good behaviour.

Unfortunately, the referendum question is framed to force supporters of the changes to the Crime Act in 2007 to vote Yes while also, falsely, coopting them to the view that smacking and good parental correction are compatible.

The Yes Vote seeks to deconstruct this and allow supporters of the law as it stands to have their say too, instead of being marginalised in the way the referendum question apparently seeks to do.

April 21, 2009 at 11:17 AM  

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