OK, how the referendum question was "confusing" to me:
The question was: "Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence?"
"Should a smack - -"
First of all, what defines a smack? The word smack is really just a nicer way of saying hit, because to say hit implies something more forceful and that would go down the road of assault, something the framers of this question insist they have nothing to do with. There is a clear implication currently in our society that smacking = okay, hitting = bad. This exact same question with the word "hit" instead of "smack" would probably have seen quite a different outcome.
The definition found online for smack is:
- slap: a blow from a flat object (as an open hand)
- deliver a hard blow to; "The teacher smacked the student who had misbehaved"
Definition for hit:
- deal a blow to, either with the hand or with an instrument; "He hit her hard in the face"
But before the amendment and continuing today, people have shown they don't know the difference between a smack and a hit because they have been let off for using more than an open hand. One man's smack is another's hit. And now the organiser of the question is saying wooden spoons should be okay, so obviously he sees that as a "smack".
Even if we accept that a smack is open hand only, how hard? Should it not leave a mark or bruise? Do we go back to the Rule of Thumb?
How you define a smack seems to be quite important to me, since if what the people want is the power to smack, then the exact definition of a smack needs to be written into any new law.
"- -as part of good parental correction- -"
Who says a smack is part of good parental correction? Certainly not Plunkett, Barnadoes, Women's Refuge, Unicef, various other expert organisations and lots of studies. This is an intentionally loaded question. They chose not to ask "Should a smack as part of parental correction be a criminal offence?" because you see the word "good" and instinctually want to agree.
The question could've been "Is a smack part of good parental correction" and I would've answered no. If it was "Should smacking someone be a criminal offence" I would've answered yes.
"- - be a criminal offence?"
As far as I was aware, to hit (or smack) anyone was always a criminal offence - it was Section 59 that allowed a defence after the fact specific to children. So I felt the question - once you get past the loaded nature of it - was basically asking me something redundant.
Beside all that, everyone knew the question wasn't really about whether a smack as part of good parental correction should be a criminal offence, but it was a referendum on the recently amended Section 59, which a lot of people believe prevents them from smacking their kids, even if it doesn't in every case. So by voting no, you could be saying you don't think parents should go to jail for lightly smacking their child but want to keep the law as is because it is working, or you could be saying you want to law back the way it was, or you could be wanting to amend the law in some way.
The problem is, the question didn't ask what it's makers wanted it to ask because they knew they wouldn't have got such large support - namely, "Do you want to repeal the amendment to Section59?"
I laughed out loud at 7 Days, so it did its job. I did find it a bit weird how dated a lot of the jokes were however - seriously, Judy Bailey? I could see some younger viewers not getting the jokes they were so old.
Is a light smack for the right reasons reasonable force? Perhaps this referendum answers how NZ feels about that.
Unfortunately, hitting a child with a riding crop and bit of 4x2 is reasonable force to enough New Zealanders serving on juries as to make this whole law change come about in the first place.
I've known Simon Collins for a long time, have enormous respect for the man and he's smart enough to know a majority of a bare plurality of registered voters is NOT "88 percent" of "New Zealanders". I'll be generous and assume he screwed that up hard on deadline.
This would be the same Simon Collins who gave the entire second page of the Herald to Family First back in July as part of his series on the smacking debate. And I mean gave it to Bob McCroskie - I remember one section being something like "Eight Examples of Good Parents Prosecuted". There was no counter-argument either, because each story that week ended with "*CYFS will respond on Friday." When we go to Friday, Mr. Collins' gave us "CYFS says sorry to 'traumatised' family". The entire series was purely anecdotal rubbish.
He knows exactly what he's doing, and that's selling newspapers.
While I'm as interested in the breakdown of where the money goes as everyone else here, I think it's a little cynical to criticise KidsCan's purpose of giving food, raincoats and shoes to schoolkids. One of the biggest hurdles people have with problems like poverty is the impression that the problem is too big, there is nothing the ordinary citizen can do. So while the larger cause of poverty will always come down to government policy, I'm a fan of simpler short-term solutions like KidsCan's because it's an achievable, measurable goal. It's an example of how the ordinary citizen can make a difference. That the raincoats are branded and the food good advertising for the companies providing it is unfortunately part of the commercial world we live in. And yes, it might well be cheaper for me to buy the raincoats myself and pop down to the school and hand them out, but seriously, how many people are going to do that? Surely one organisation to centralise it is better.
The commentators were mentioning the need-to-win-by-6-points thing constantly throughout the game. I assumed the ABs knew, which is why McAllister went for the drop-goal. In fact, I thought that's what they were setting up for at the very end, and then Weepu kicked it out. I figured he'd been told it was better to win the match than worry about the trophy, but I guess not.
Oh and there seems to be an inordinate amount of tip-toeing through the tulips over the plain fact the Steven Donald isn't good enough. What gives? Since when have the selectors and media been so sensitive to the feelings of a good bloke who clearly should be cut?
I don't know of anyone who thinks Stephen Donald is any good apart from the selectors and commentators (and probably his mum). I think the reason is he's all we've got. With Carter injured, the selectors have convinced themselves Donald's our next best option because if he isn't, who's left? Ripia? Gopperth? I can't even remember who's No. 10 for Canterbury or Otago.
Short of hoping McAllister will be up to speed as soon as possible, we're stuck with him. So let's all pretend he's not mind-numbingly awful.
I'll take Oliver Driver over Paul "This is a dream come true for you, isn't it, Mr. Key?" Henry over on One any day of the week.
The idea that any party that reaches over 50% of the vote can be kept out by a group of small parties is one I have real ethical difficulty with.
Why? I don't get it. If the right wing gets 60 seats and the left wing gets 61, who cares if the former is made up of one or two parties and latter is made up of three or four? People voting for the Greens and the Maori Party (probably) know what side they're voting for. They're simply choosing a different flavour of liberalism because the system now allows it.
I do think all minor parties should state which major party they're aligned with before election day, however.
'I've fallen and I can't get up' is from, I believe, Urkel from Family Matters (I think that was the show).