Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: What to Do?

322 Responses

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  • Luke Williamson,

    If it costs $9m to run this debacle, perhaps in future, anyone who wants to sign a petition that hopes to get 300k signatures should have to hand over a $30 bond for running the CIR. They can have their money back if the CIR is successful. At least it would make people think about what they were signing (once, twice, three times).

    Warkworth • Since Oct 2007 • 241 posts Report Reply

  • Brickley Paiste,

    “…so loaded, so freighted, such an insult to the intelligence, that to address it at all is to allow oneself to be co-opted into a political charade…”

    I think that's absolutely correct. Still, I'm going to vote yes because I don't want it getting around that the question is absurd so all the normal people who like the change in the law don't vote and only the lunatics I listened to on Talkback yesterday ("I currently don't follow the law at all myself personally, Leighton") vote.

    Obfuscation is an important element to referendum questions, especially if you're pushing water up hill with a rake.

    In 1995, there was a referndum in Quebec on whether it should separate from Canada. The question didn't say "Wanna be our own country mes amis?" but actually said:

    "Do you agree that Quebec should become sovereign, after having made a formal offer to Canada for a new economic and political partnership, within the scope of the bill respecting the future of Quebec and of the agreement signed on June 12, 1995? Yes/No."

    Sovereign or a partnership? Unilateral declaration of independence or a partnership? A lot of people voted yes because they thought it meant staying in Canada.

    Our current referendum question seems equally prolix. The Fed in Canada then passed the "Clarity Act" which required a clear question on a separation referendum. Maybe we should do the same but keep CIRs.

    Since Mar 2009 • 163 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I see Sue Bradford has announced this morning that she has a members bill to go in the ballot tomorrow addressng the wording of CIR questions; she says

    The Bill requires the Clerk of the House to only allow referendum questions which are not ambiguous, complex, leading or misleading.

    Oh, shit. Sorry, but 10/10 for good intentions, minus several million for thinking it through. I'd really like to hear what the Clerk thinks about being expected to make determinations that are, to put it mildly, highly subjective. Though it would be rather intriguing if the Clerk had the power to vet legislation and amendments using the same criteria. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11786 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Arbury,

    Surely if a smack was to be "legalised" then one would need to change assault laws and not s59?

    Auckland • Since May 2009 • 216 posts Report Reply

  • Brickley Paiste,

    Creepy. I see Sue has been talking to Quebec federalists.

    highly subjective

    I think the Clerk could make a determination on an objective bassis. Would reasonable person honestly find that to be a clear question? It isn't that subjective.

    I think it's a good idea. I like CIRs because I don't want to think I've totally yielded control to legislators but at the same time, such as in this case, the questions are loaded and opaque.

    Since Mar 2009 • 163 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And no disrespect intended to Sue Bradford (who I personally have a lot of time for), but does putting lipstick on a pig somehow make it kosher? Someone really needs to explain to me what the point of CIR is, beyond (as Robin put it so well) being very expensive opinion polls no reputable pollster would touch with a barge pole?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11786 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    why boyo?

    Because I usually mung my attempts at quoting someone.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Lyth,

    tomorrow will almost see the first ballot

    tomorrow will almost certainly see the first ballot.

    Stupid Edit feature: why does The Standard have the only good Edit feature in town?

    If 300,0000 vote NO
    150,000 vote YES
    700,000 spoil papers

    Then the headline would be "60% says its a stupid question" and the No vote would be of no significance to anyone who matters

    Wellington • Since Apr 2009 • 443 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    No no, parental correction. The correcting of parents.


    Oh I understand now. I thought it was wingnuts wanting to beat their kids again.

    But actually it will mean if I see someone being a bad parent I can give them a good smack. Well that sounds fun.

    Thanks, Emma and Bart. I'll feel a whole lot better thinking of it that way no matter what I eventually decide to do with the voting paper.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16279 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    If 300,0000 vote NO
    150,000 vote YES
    700,000 spoil papers

    I wish I shared your optimism, Phil. Given the way our media are behaving lately, the headline would probably be "one million people do not vote yes".

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16279 posts Report Reply

  • Sonic,

    My 2c is that while I'm tempted just to ignore the whole thing, abstention is not really an option.

    I agree with the law change so I'm voting yes. Even if if to cancel out some right-wing, slap happy nutters vote.

    A reverse of this

    http://www.theonion.com/content/opinion/yee_haw_my_vote_cancels_out

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 102 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Lyth,

    There has only been one postal referendum in NZ's history. In 1997 NZ voted emphatically on Winston Peters' idea for Compulsory Retirement Savings.

    80.3% of all people enrolled returned their votes with 91.8% voting No. Over 73% of all people on the electoral roll were against.

    I'm not expecting a result that clear-cut this time.

    But looking back that was an astounding turnout, virtually double that for local bodiy elections. Probably because the question was so straightforward.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2009 • 443 posts Report Reply

  • Kim_Wright,

    Someone really needs to explain to me what the point of CIR is

    And me.... I was going to say "Isn't an election every three years a mandate for declared policies so what's the purpose of CIRs..." and then I realised I was channeling Rodney Hide!

    Just shoot me now....or perhaps a "light"' bullet to the head as part of good correction might be more appropriate

    Wellington • Since May 2009 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    I keep reading it as parenteral correction. It's unclear whether that makes more or less sense than the original.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 682 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    There are no CIR proposals for open for submissions on wording. There is one (only) CIR petition with wording approved and open for signature - the Unite petition on the minimum wage

    I must make a point of keeping an eye out for any new proposals.

    I was looking out for that one when Unite had announced they'd applied, I don't believe it appeared on Parliament's home page. I can't remember what the question said when submitted, but I can't see a problem with it now, so assume my concern was fixed anyway.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2988 posts Report Reply

  • Sonic,

    In fact I've decided hat I'm going to use my vote to cancel out Bob McCoskrie's vote

    http://www.familyfirst.org.nz/index.cfm/about_us

    Hard luck Bob, your vote is gone, and I'm going to get my friend to cancel out Mrs MsCoskrie's vote as well.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 102 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Lyth,

    Sacha: that was Ian MacKay's optimism rather than mine. I just quoted.

    I'm with Craig Ranapia's implied position (Swoon!) that

    meaningful political action and policy debate.

    are far better than sound and fury.

    The question is how to get more people engaging, when the environment is one where anyone putting forward a view often immediately faces intense hostility from many? Who would bell the cat?

    And likewise, who will start meaningful political action and policy debate to change the CIR Act? Just wondering.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2009 • 443 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    First time I read it I read it as;
    "Should a smack, as part of good prenatal correction, be a criminal offence in New Zealand?"
    wtf? thought I.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4613 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    But looking back that was an astounding turnout, virtually double that for local bodiy elections. Probably because the question was so straightforward.

    The question being: "Do you love Winston Peters?"

    All the people that didn't love Winston Peters voted No, and all the people that had loved Winston Peters but felt betrayed, voted No. In 1997 there were plenty of both.

    I suspect most of Cabinet voted against.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 692 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Even if the referendum gets its No vote, Key has said he won't do anything, so the issue will be dead until after the next election. By then child-beating will have been illegal without ill effect for 4 years, and the whole thing will just cease to be an issue.

    You don't get anyone bar a small lunatic fringe wanting to allow teachers to beat pupils, do you? Or management to flog lazy staff?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4362 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Or management to flog lazy staff?

    Oh those were the days! Wonder how the productivity figures compare...

    Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    If it costs $9m to run this debacle, perhaps in future, anyone who wants to sign a petition that hopes to get 300k signatures should have to hand over a $30 bond for running the CIR. They can have their money back if the CIR is successful. At least it would make people think about what they were signing (once, twice, three times).

    Perhaps we could charge everyone $50 when they turn up to vote at the ballot box as well. $10,000 if you want to run as a candidate, $1 million more if you want to run as a party.

    We could balance the books on this whole democracy thing!

    Since Nov 2006 • 6150 posts Report Reply

  • Mike Graham,

    Probably because the question was so straightforward

    which was: “Do you support the proposed compulsory retirement savings scheme?”

    A very straightforward question, but I seem to remember that the proposed scheme wasn't that good. As a result you got a lot of people voting NO, even though they supported the concept of a compulsory retirement savings scheme. Well, speaking for myself anyway. A huge turnout none the less.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 195 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Even if the referendum gets its No vote, Key has said he won't do anything, so the issue will be dead until after the next election. By then child-beating will have been illegal without ill effect for 4 years, and the whole thing will just cease to be an issue.

    Rich, you have a lot of faith in politicians. Knock 10% off John Key's poll ratings and suddenly the issue might look a lot more attractive. He doesn't need to do anything obviously cynical. For example, there's an ACT member's bill in the ballot, which he might be persuaded to allow a 'free' vote on.

    In short, please vote Yes. Anything else leaves the door open, and there are plenty willing to give it a push.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 692 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Arbury,

    This will be an interesting question in parliament today:

    JOHN BOSCAWEN to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement that the wording of the referendum “Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?” is “a bit ambiguous”; if so, why?

    Good to see a fight between Act and National on the cards.

    Auckland • Since May 2009 • 216 posts Report Reply

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