Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Big Norms

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  • Russell Brown,

    We have countless laws out there which are not enforced on a daily basis, because most of the time it would damage the integrity of the our civil society.

    And indeed, this particular law specifically provided against the pursuit of inconsequential matters.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    What annoys me is that people seem to have forgotten that National voted for the law change. Yet they will now be able to surf the wave of outrage against it? ARGH!

    Absolutely they're riding a wave of public ignorance on this, egged on by ignorant fuckwits in the media who label it a Labour initiative.

    It's been pure electoral poison for Labour, while the Greens (who initiated and drove the Bill), and National (all in favour on a whipped vote) are riding high.

    Go figure. The message, apparently, is that in future Labour would be well-advised not to vote on principle, merely adopt the most populist position. Other parties can do as they please free from consequences.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I'm assuming there has been some moderation here, as I can't seem to find the original irrelevant comment about someone's breasts? Good job that moderator!

    Actually, that was me in the original post, referring to Lisa Lewis's breasts, them being the point of Alt TV's Naked Newsflash.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    ... perpetuates the wingnut view that we're all going to jail for clipping our offspring round the ear.

    Speaking of which, when is Jimmy Mason facing his child assault charges in Christchurch? I was looking forward to that case.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    .. and although you like to attack poor referendum questions, you`re not in such a hurry to attack the poor legislation that led to these questions?

    That would be to assume I regarded the removal of the Section 59 defence as "poor legislation".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • johnno,

    Is it just me or do I detect a certain partisaness when I hear Scott Campbell and Duncan Garner reporting on Parliament?

    It often seems to me that Scott Campbell wants to be Duncan Garner.

    When he grows up, perhaps.

    ...pehaps its a little unkind, but the phrases "shrunken Duncan" and "mini-me" have been muttered in reference to Scott. Poor chap had a nasty run-in with a drunken lout at the Cross recently. It's not nice when someone takes to your face with a bottle just cos you're on the telly.

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 111 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    We have countless laws out there which are not enforced on a daily basis, because most of the time it would damage the integrity of the our civil society.

    Actually, from a certain POV (and a conservative one, I would argue) laws that are unenforced (or not applied to all without bias, fear or favour) or unenforceable are truly destructive of civil society -- of which general respect for the rule of law is an integral part. But that's a whole other kete of kai moana, and I've got to bugger off and earn a living. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    You can ask, and many would echo your sentiments but that's the price of Democracy. The Law says you need 350,000 signatures on a CIR petition. If the petition says "John Key is a Knob and should have to wear a T-Shirt everyday that says 'I Am A Knob'" and they can get 350,000 signatures ....

    Anyone want to put up the $500 and start this one rolling? I'll sign it...

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    So, who's up for repealing the Citizen Initiated Referenda Act

    Nope - I'd rather fix it. First step: make the question on an actual piece of legislation (which must comply with Standing Orders for form and content, and comply with the BORA), rather than a vague, leading motherhood statement. And that way, neither side will be able to hide behind the vagueness of the question.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    That would be the private member's bill from a Green MP for which both major parties, and , indeed, most of Parliament, voted. You'd think a political reporter might know that.

    Why lets the facts get in the way of the chosen narrative. Once the debate is framed in a particular way, media discourse tends to follow it pretty closely - either endorsing or contesting the point, but rarely discussing the merits of other ways of considering the issues.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    You can ask, and many would echo your sentiments but that's the price of Democracy. The Law says you need 350,000 signatures on a CIR petition. If the petition says "John Key is a Knob and should have to wear a T-Shirt everyday that says 'I Am A Knob'" and they can get 350,000 signatures ....

    Alternatively, we could do it about Larry Baldock. One bad referenda deserves another...

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • Julie Fairey,

    Oops, my bad Russell, thanks for the correction. For once it was relevant to be talking about someone's boobs! :-) Although as I'm currently breast-feeding your assertion that they looked sore did rather pique my interest...

    Ok, I'm going to stop now.

    Puketapapa Mt Roskill, AK… • Since Dec 2007 • 234 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    you`re not in such a hurry to attack the poor legislation that led to

    What poor legislation?

    I think the main motivation for sooner rather than later is that, much like homosexual law reform (which was reported as having only 50-odd percent approval when passed, and moved to well over 70% by the time the adding non-discrimination to the HRA rolled around), given a few years in place, the bill to criminilise sadism under the guise of discipline[1] will be seen as a non-issue by most people because the world won't have ended. Just like it didn't once we stopped threating to arrest men for preferring the naked company of other men.

    [1] Hey, if proponents of the right to thump kids are allowed stupid and emotive names for legislation, so am I.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    If it's actually a referendum then it should have legal powers, and the question should go through a proper process (like select committee, clerks etc) so that it actually makes sense if we vote it in.

    Proposed CIR questions do go through a proper process.

    When someone makes a proposal to start a CIR petition, he or she applies to the Clerk of the House of Representatives with proposed wording for the question.

    The Clerk then publicises the question and invites public comment. The comments are made available to the petitioner and to the public. The Clerk then consults with the petitioner and anyone else he or she thinks might be helpful. And then the Clerk formulates the precise question, bearing in mind the question originally sought, the submissions, the views of the petitioner and those other people and the need to ensure the question:

    Shall be such as to convey clearly the purpose and effect of the indicative referendum; and

    Shall be such as to ensure that only one of two answers may be given to the question.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    if proponents of the right to thump kids are allowed stupid and emotive names for legislation, so am I.

    Given the "anti-smacking bill" was Sue Bradford's name for the legislation, I think you may owe her an apology.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite,

    As devilish satire of the media discourse, it sure ain't Jonathan Swift.

    No having seen it, I'll comment on the concept anyway in relation to the discussion of the other television journalists, wossname and his mini-me: I was wondering if postmodernism has vanished up its own fundament, or perhaps reached its fulfilment, so that we have now reached a stage that it does not matter if anything is ironic or not as it is indistinguishable from that which it parodies on form, content and consumption.

    After all, something can be presented with ironic intent, but death-of-the-author yadda yadda, the reader/viewer can say, "Yeah, so? One thinks journalistic craft is about telling a 'story' while another is telling me a story about journalism. Both ultimately - insofar as there is an ultimate - are refering solipsitically to their own discourse. Baudrillard, I believe, says that it is the nature of the simulacrum that there is no longer - or never was - any original for it to simulate. The only difference is taste, and de gustibus non disputandum est etcetera."

    Yes, elements of parody there, but...

    ... and then again, it might not be the end of the world, just bad, inept, satire.

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 982 posts Report Reply

  • A S,

    A lot of the discussion appears (to me anyway) to carry an implication that CIR are somehow a bad thing.

    Is this correct? Do we think that CIR are bad? Should the public be allowed a voice on issues outside of the election process? I for one, would be quite interested in the different perspectives on this.

    Do we in fact need to separate the topic of this particular CIR, from the function of the CIR?

    Actually, from a certain POV (and a conservative one, I would argue) laws that are unenforced (or not applied to all without bias, fear or favour) or unenforceable are truly destructive of civil society -- of which general respect for the rule of law is an integral part.

    I'm in total agreement with you on that sentiment, Craig.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2007 • 269 posts Report Reply

  • dave crampton,

    That would be to assume I regarded the removal of the Section 59 defence as "poor legislation".

    No it doesn't, given the removal of the defence is only part of the legislation, and the removal of the defence is not even the purpose of the legislation, it is its effect ( as clearly stated in that legislation, BTW).

    So, how <i>do </i>you regard the legislation , in terms of its purpose and effect: excellent, very good , good, fair, or poor?

    welli • Since Jan 2007 • 144 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    Russell Pound and the panel discuss how the Broadcasting

    are they taking the piss? tv adds weight but I think you look ok
    [[http://tvnz.co.nz/Media7PodcastMP4|media 7 podcast]

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    media 7 podcast

    preview, always preview

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Proposed CIR questions do go through a proper process.

    I mean something like what I/S said. If it were to have actual powers of bringing in some laws, then it would need to be written in legal terms. "That Section 59 of the Crimes Act etc be repealed." Yay or Nay.

    Based on the wording of this one, and the wording of the Law and Order one in 1999, I've been pretty disappointed with the wording process.

    To me the point should be a clear direction of what the population thinks on an issue - keep it the same, change it to X. I don't get that at all clearly for this referendum. You shouldn't walk into the polling booth (or... postal ballot whatever) and think "umm. What the hell does that mean in reality?"

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • slarty,

    Actually, from a certain POV (and a conservative one, I would argue) laws that are unenforced (or not applied to all without bias, fear or favour) or unenforceable are truly destructive of civil society -- of which general respect for the rule of law is an integral part.

    I'm in total agreement with you on that sentiment, Craig.

    I do understand the necessity of integrity for a society to function. I like the old fashioned words like universality, pernicious and capricious in such a context. But what I'm saying is that the practical implementation is much more complicated.

    I guess there's a couple of bits to this.

    Not enforcing is different to "not applied to all without bias, fear or favour". The rule may have effect or coverage universally, but the implementation on the ground may be varied. Good examples are what can be carried on to aircraft, various stationary and moving vehicle offences etc.

    Enforcing means you do it every single time (zero tolerance?) and it has a complex implication - it means you need to construct highly detailed rules that cover every situation (Bentham called this monster the "Pannomion"). You end up with black letter law being used extensively. I think it's fair to say the societies that get closest to such a mechanism are probably not ones you'd want to live in... The practical outcome is a never ending game of chase, with people arguing "you didn't specifically say I couldn't, so I did". And it absolutely fails to deliver a fair and just environment.

    The second aspect is that for it to work, you would have to have a mechanism to allow retrospective law change to take into account situations where the rule mis-fires, and you would need to continuously refresh to take into account changes in the mood of the people over time.

    Like I say, I like our system of checks, balances and transparency. Those principles are far more useful than rigid adherence to universal implementation.

    I suspect we're saying the same thing, but from slightly different perspectives.

    Since Nov 2006 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    keep it the same, change it to X.

    Exactly. The 99 MPs ballot would be a good example?

    No "mom and apple pie".

    No ability to interpret a vote for change as something already satisfied by existing law (as could happen with this referendum).

    No potential for internal inconsistency in the question. e.g., it is quite plausible to reject the very notion that a smack has any role in "good" or "normal" parenting whatsoever. A minority opinion, I realize, but nevertheless a plausible one.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • dave crampton,

    You shouldn't walk into the polling booth (or... postal ballot whatever) and think "umm. What the hell does that mean in reality?"

    Well if that was a condition of voting we may as well not have elections....

    welli • Since Jan 2007 • 144 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Exactly. The 99 MPs ballot would be a good example?

    While its clearer than most, I'd still prefer an actual bill. it's not that hard, and the Office of the Clerk should be there to help.

    No "mom and apple pie".

    Really?

    I'd have thought "do you hate politicians" was as "mom and apple pie" as you can get.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

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