Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Big Norms

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  • Paul Campbell,

    dc_red: certainly it's my opinion - in fact from my point of view voting to allow it seems insane to me since it makes no sense

    It's sort like "have you stopped beating your wife?" in that it requires you do agree with the questioner's world view in order to make sense of the question - or like that push poll that Katerine Rich drops in my mail box every so often

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2606 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    "Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?"

    Doesn't that just boil down to "Should something good be illegal?"

    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...

    I'm in for 10 bucks.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

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

    Me. Tools of dictators (and other would be controllers) to give a veneer of credibility to otherwise outrageous positions. They have no place in a democracy.

    Now, where do I sign?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

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

    Not me; as ineffective as they may be, they're one of the few tools easily accessible to the general citizenry I'm only sorry they've been largely captured by wingnuts.

    Bit of a non-sequitur but maybe, if it's not too middle-class, we could suggest compulsory civics classes...

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    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.

    You want non-binding referendums on actual legislation?

    The commencing of the 99-MP petition should have resulted in the drafting of a bill to reduce the size of Parliament to 99 that we'd have gotten to vote in favour of or against which would then not become law even if everyone wanted it to?

    For exercises is futility that takes the cake.

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

  • dc_red,

    Doesn't that just boil down to "Should something good be illegal?"

    Don't ask Jim Anderton. ;-)

    It's sort like "have you stopped beating your wife?" in that it requires you do agree with the questioner's world view in order to make sense of the question

    Well said. Hadn't quite thought of it in those terms.

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

    Perhaps, but then why stop at 99 MPs? Why not 79? Or 29? Or 9? Or in fact none whatsoever?

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

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Maybe we should try and swamp the system with meaningless referenda. Can you have a multishot petition:

    - Taxation should be completely abolished for hard-working Kiwis

    - Pensions should be increased to 150% of average wages

    - Every Kiwi family should be entitled to a 4 bedroom house on a quarter-acre section

    - Every Kiwi child should leave school with a well earned honours degree

    - Crime should be abolished

    - Every Kiwi should be entitled to a bach on the coast

    - Every Kiwi should have the right to go fishing and catch at least one snapper per evening

    etc.. Oops, is that the leaked United Future manifesto?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    - Every Kiwi should be entitled to a bach on the coast

    Every kiwi should have an awesome view of the coast from said bach, uninterrupted by monstrous eyesores, of the sort owned by John Key.

    Travel to said bach should be on smooth, wide highways, unencumbered by traffic or tolls, and fuelled by petrol/diesel completely exempt from duty, excise, and GST.

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

  • Kyle Matthews,

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

    Well, a referendum and voting for a representative for the next 3 years are completely different things.

    You want non-binding referendums on actual legislation?

    I think if you have referendum, they should be binding. Exactly what they should and shouldn't cover, and how they should come about in that instance, is another question, but at least then we'd know that the people voting actually had power. So far, for the all the CIR we've seen, they've largely felt like a waste of time to me. I think it's a falsehood to give everyone an option, and then say thanks and do what you want anyway. At the very least we should either do them properly, or stop doing them and save some trees.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • dyan campbell,

    A smack, even as part of good parental correction, is now a crime. And it was not before.

    This is incorrect; it has always been illegal to smack your child.

    Section 59 of the Crimes Act meant that when a paediatrician notified the police about an assault and if this resulted in a charge being laid and a case going to court, the defendant could successfully argue "reasonable force", which was what Section 59 of the Crimes act provided in those instances.

    Because no such provision exists to excuse the assault of anyone else - intractable drunks, the mentally ill, the mentally handicapped -there was seen to be a need to repeal a section of the crimes act that amounted to a loophole exclusively for those who stand trial for assaulting a child.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    intractable drunks, the mentally ill, the mentally handicapped

    Meh, let's just give everyone "three free smacks a year", to be dished out as they see fit to anyone annoying them or in need of discipline for any reason. They could perhaps be accumulated to a maximum of nine smacks.

    I intend to use mine immediately however. Mssrs Ryall, Williamson and McCully better watch out.

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

  • Idiot Savant,

    You want non-binding referendums on actual legislation?

    Actually, with proper questions and some decent checks and balances, I'd want them to be binding - basically used as an alternative mchanism to pass laws. But that would require that they be treated with some maturity, rather than just a venue for grumpy buggers to grandstand and vent their spleens.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Maybe we should try and swamp the system with meaningless referenda. Can you have a multishot petition:

    Nope - it has to ask only one question (though how the 1999 crime one got through I'll never know).

    Swamping th system would be difficult, given the threshold is so high (something else I'd be happy to change with the right framework). And it seems to be quite difficult to get even a few hundred signatures on a petition to Parliament, let alone ~300,000 to force a poll. But if you can build such a network, then it could be quite useful for other things...

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite,

    - Every Kiwi should be entitled to a bach on the coast

    Excellent! Make mine J. S. Sunset, sand, claret and "The Well Tempered Clavier" - what more could I ask for (well, lots, actually)?

    Sorry, someone had to make that pun. Just doing an onerous duty.

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

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    This is incorrect; it has always been illegal to smack your child.

    Section 59 of the Crimes Act meant that when a paediatrician notified the police about an assault and if this resulted in a charge being laid and a case going to court, the defendant could successfully argue "reasonable force", which was what Section 59 of the Crimes act provided in those instances.

    False.

    By analogy:

    It has always been illegal to imprison a convicted criminal.

    Section 26 of the Crimes Act meant that when a convicted prisoner alleged he was being held against his will (a kidnapping) and if this resulted in a charge being laid and a case going to court, the prison officials could successfully argue they were "executing a lawful sentence" which is what Section 26 of the Crimes Act provided in those instances.

    or:

    It has always been illegal to arrest someone.

    Sections 32 and 39 of the Crimes Act meant that when a police officer arrested someone on suspicion of committing an offence, and used force in affecting that arrest when that person alleged an assault and if this resulted in a charge being laid and a case going to court, the police officer could successfully argue they were "arresting them on suspicion of committing an offence" and were using "reasonable force" to effect that arrest, which is what Sections 32 and 39 of the Crimes Act meant in those instances.

    This argument has always been bunk. And it was one of the reasons I got really annoyed with the pro-repeal crowd. They had plenty of great arguments to resort to without these falsehoods, yet they really didn't want to engage with anyone. Smacking children for the purposes of correction was always an assault, but it was legal.

    no such provision exists to excuse the assault of anyone else

    Well - there's also passengers on aircraft and on ships (whose pilots and masters are entitled to use reasonable force to maintain discipline).

    And everyone in the country (because police officers are entitled to use reasonable force to effect an arrest).

    etc.

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

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    I thought last nights Media 7 was a good one.Oliver Driver looked a bit tired (or was it angst?) Lyndsay Freer is definately a good spokesperson for the church. I do think Oliver had good points regarding the "creation" of hysteria because of the unnecessary attention to the likes of South Park. Just when it could get juicy it finishes and i'm left a bit...well, wanting more! I figure get Wallace(Back Benchers) a full half hour then you can go 50 mins ish

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Every Kiwi should be entitled to a bach on the coast

    See there you guys go again, you have to be so careful with your wording ... everone south of Timaru is going to go "a what?" or maybe "what about us?" - but then if you say "bach or crib" all those in Christchurch will go "cool, we can get chimneys without a consent"

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2606 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Lyndsay Freer is definately a good spokesperson for the church.

    Yes, not least because she gives lie to the impression conveyed by certain other people who purport to represent Christians that being a believer means being stranded from the rest of the culture.

    Also, as a couple of people said to me (and Lyndsay, if you're reading this, I mean it in a good way), she looks like a Sopranos wife.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Yes, not least because she gives lie to the impression conveyed by certain other people who purport to represent Christians that being a believer means being stranded from the rest of the culture.

    Thanks for slipping purport in there, Russell. It's not bitchy nitpicking to point out that Papal infalibility doesn't extend to the designated spokeswoman for the New Zealand Catholic Bishops' Conference. Catholics in this country are not culturally, politically or socially some Borg Collective. Livia, I mean Lindsay, is not our Queen. And any media outlet that wants to fully or accurately cover the Catholic community in this country really needs to do a bit more leg work than punching Freer's contact details into the Blackberry.

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

  • Jeremy Eade,

    "Sorry if this upsets Jeremy Eade, but I think both National and Labour have both been on the receiving end of utterly ridiculous gotcha! non-stories.'

    Craig that's just poor, don't try and put word in my mouth.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Craig that's just poor, don't try and put word in my mouth.

    Jeremy, this is still in effect.

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

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Just listened to Nandor. All teary eyed now.Gave the press gallery a good bollocking, Jah Ras Tafari!

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    "Jeremy, this is still in effect."

    I don't care if you haven't got a decent reply just don't ever represent my opinion in such a dishonest way. Be the person of integrity you so obviously want to be.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    And everyone in the country (because police officers are entitled to use reasonable force to effect an arrest).

    Which in Tauranga apparently extends to torture.

    I am ashamed. And angry. And wondering what the police are going to do to prevent anything like this from happening ever again.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Just listened to Nandor. All teary eyed now.Gave the press gallery a good bollocking, Jah Ras Tafari!

    A very good speech, and it spoke some uncomfortable truths to a lot of people. he also said some stuff you wouldn't expect to hear from a dreadlocked rasta anarchist...

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

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