Thursday, June 04, 2009

Misleading Incorrect claims from The Yes Vote

The Yes Vote is a site for people who believe that a smack as part of good parental correction should be a criminal offence in New Zealand. In its defence for the evils of light smacking, it runs stories about how the pain of smacking is sexually stimulating and can directly lead to suicide attempts.

No, I’m not kidding. There will be a story on how a smack caused someone to have an abortion next.

According to the site, a recent UMR survey showed that 37% of the population oppose the use of physical discipline. Meaning 63% don't. This survey was used by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner to establish a benchmark for monitoring attitudes to physical discipline.

But then the Yes Vote had this: “only 20 percent of people oppose the Child Discipline Law” based on that same survey. Righto, 63% are not anti-smackers, but even more are not opposed to the legislation.

The 20% figure is inaccurate because it is not the figure provided by the survey. Just for a minute, put aside the fact that the sample is not representative of the population and then reports as if it transferable, while conflating smacking and assault. Forget the under sampling of ethnic groups more likely to smack. How did the Yes Vote get it so wrong? They either lied or made the 20% figure up. The report says 28%.

According to the survey, 30% thought a misbehaving kid should be given a smack. But even more - 58% according to the survey - think it is alright to smack kids in certain circumstances. Just 20% disagreed. Given that 80% did not disagree, that is the benchmark. Therefore, they do not think a smack as part of good parental correction should be a criminal offence. To its credit, the survey actually reflected current polling on the issue in that 80% of the population actually oppose the law. You didn't hear that from the Children's Commissioner, though, who was replaced with a temp a few months after the report was issued.

But according to Yes Vote logic, the figure is probably about 88% who will vote No in the upcoming referendum. The figure is based on the Yes Vote unique eight percentage point scale system.

update Someone in comments pointed this out.

UMR found that 21% of those polled strongly supported the amendments to Section 59

That's nice - 79% didn't.

The report was done as a benchmark on attitudes to physical discipline not attitudes to the law change. You can't get valid stats when you ask questions conflating light smacking with horrific child abuse, while saying that those surveyed don't necessarily do so but reporting it as if they do.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you had any shame, Dave, you would take this post down. To mock the distressing life events and results of physical punishment in the way you do is distasteful enough. To claim that a lobby group is using this story as some kind of deviant sexual turn-on - the implication you leave hanging - is simply beyond the pale. Shame on you.

June 4, 2009 at 9:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again, nonsensical and misleading bluster from the beating brigade.

Here is what the UMR polling said:

New Zealanders strongly support the “anti-smacking” law changes by a margin of almost 2:1 over those who strongly oppose them, according to pollsters UMR Research.

In research for the Children’s Commissioner undertaken in July 2008, UMR found that 21% of those polled strongly supported the amendments to Section 59 of the Crimes Act, which make it an offence to claim parental discipline as a defence for child assault.

Only 12 per cent said they “strongly opposed” the controversial law change, which was widely cited as a bellwether for public disenchantment with the Labour Government in last week’s election.

Total support for the legislation stood at 43 per cent, with 28 per cent opposed, and fully 26% of those polled having neutral views on the issue.

People were well aware of the law change (91%), and 72% reckoned they knew “a lot or a fair amount” about the issue.

More tellingly, there was 89% agreement with the statement that “children are entitled to the same protection from assault as adults”. A mere 4% disagreed with this statement.

Awareness that police are not obliged to prosecute parents if they find a complaint to be of a minor nature was high also, at 81 per cent, although only a third of those polled were aware of the 2010 review of the law.

“This survey presents a different picture to the images pushed by opponents to changes to the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007,” said Childrens’ Commissioner Cindy Kiro. “Since the law changed in May last year, there has been vocal opposition to it from groups who want to cling on to violence in the name of disciplining children. Ironically, these are often the same groups who claim New Zealand society is excessively violent.”

Dr Kiro said attitudes towards child discipline had changed since the office first surveyed people in 1993. At that time, 87 percent of survey respondents thought there were times when it was all right to use physical punishment with children. This year’s survey showed that had reduced to 58 percent of respondents.

The poll had a sample size of 750 people, nationwide, and a margin of error of 3.6%.

By the way, a 750 sample size is widely used for national polling. Where you get the idea the poll was unrepresntative is anyone's guess. Suggest you stop making stuff up, Dave.

June 4, 2009 at 9:35 AM  
Anonymous Matt said...

I think shame on the Anonymous commentator who tried to detract from the real issue - that the "Yes Vote" website coordinator(s) lied on their site.
Keep up with the good work, Dave. It is time that good sense and the voice of the majority prevailed.

June 4, 2009 at 9:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good work Dave. Shame on "anonymous" above

June 4, 2009 at 10:51 AM  
Blogger Andy said...

good work Dave.

Your comment, "under sampling of ethnic groups more likely to smack" is relevant, as the sample size is not large enough to accurately reflect this.

June 4, 2009 at 12:02 PM  
Anonymous said...

Website is about Hot News in The World.Clip News of Today-Week and Month.

June 4, 2009 at 3:45 PM  
Anonymous Clip News said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

June 4, 2009 at 3:49 PM  

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