Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Big Norms

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  • Ian MacKay,

    The subject of referendums was discussed at length yesterday but it was interesting to hear this morning that after the 1999 ref. Parliament decided that in future refs should be postal and not part of a Parliamentary Ballot.
    This was supported by National at the time.

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    The referendum is not a vote on the law passed by Parliament removing the Section 59 defence for striking a child.

    It is, in fact, another work of weasel words apparently aimed more at sentiment than a useful conclusion.

    I disagree. It may not be exactly how I'd have worded it, but the wording is far short of the confusing law and order referendum. At present "a smack as part of good parental correction" is a criminal offence. Some people think it should not be. The broad phrasing allows for people to oppose the status quo, without necessarily supporting the status quo ante.

    Do you want to return to the defence of reasonable force contained in section 59 before the 2007 amendment?

    would result in a "no" from a lot of people who didn't like the then law but still didn't want to completely ban all physical discipline (perhaps supporting Chester Borrows' or John Key's wording).

    Do you support section 59 in its present form?

    could be answered "no" even by Ms Bradford herself, who I suspect still wants the whole section repealed.

    An answer to this wording gives a very real sense of what people want the law to look like. If there's a majority then politicians will know whether most people want a total ban on all physical discipline.

    Were a majority of voters to vote to the question "Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?" the next government could quite easily declare that the law serves such concerns quite well as it is.

    If the majority voted "yes" you'd be right. But I suspect the majority will vote "no". The next government could quite easily declare that the law serves such concerns quite well , but they'd be lying through their teeth. A smack, even as part of good parental correction, is now a crime. And it was not before.

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

  • James Francis,

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

    St John's, Newfoundland • Since Nov 2006 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I disagree. It may not be exactly how I'd have worded it, but the wording is far short of the confusing law and order referendum.

    I'll grant you that -- the 1999 referendum question was so so meaningless I decided the only rational response to it was to spoil my ballot in protest -- but it's still unsatisfactory in my view. And even English said it wasn't a referendum on the law itself.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    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.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    So amid all the talk of wasted money, might I ask that the likes of Larry Baldock stop wasting everyone's time and money with bullshit referendum questions?

    So, who's up for repealing the Citizen Initiated Referenda Act -- and then Parliament stops wasting everyone's time with outrageous bullshit like the Electoral Finance, Criminal Procedure and Oh Shit We've Got To Avoid A By-Election At Any Cost (Harry Dynhoven Arse-protections) Bills? At the very least, hire a better class of monkey to pass and draft the damn things.

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    The subject of referendums was discussed at length yesterday but it was interesting to hear this morning that after the 1999 ref. Parliament decided that in future refs should be postal and not part of a Parliamentary Ballot.

    This was supported by National at the time.

    I had no idea that electoral law became entrenched around 1999, and has not been altered since. National supported all kinds of legislation in the 90's that the incumbent Government had no compunctions about substantively amending or repealing all together. (Anyone remember the Employment Contracts Act?)

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

    No, when it comes to utter fatuity Garner is an equal-opportunity fuckwit. He can take anything and turn it into a witless gotcha! that falls flatter than a bad trannie's falsies.

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

  • Lyndon Hood,

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    No, when it comes to utter fatuity Garner is an equal-opportunity fuckwit. He can take anything and turn it into a witless gotcha! that falls flatter than a bad trannie's falsies.

    You're on fire this morning.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • James Francis,

    Nice analogy, Craig. Fatuous and predictable. He comes on and I have this powerful urge to throw things at the television. (It's not illegal to throw things at the television is it? Yet?)

    St John's, Newfoundland • Since Nov 2006 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    (It's not illegal to throw things at the television is it? Yet?)

    Is it your television? Or is it any TV you see him on?

    Cos that could be a problem.

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    You're on fire this morning.

    Why thank you sir, I think. :) But, really, it would be nice if Garner's 'tude had a little more substance behind it. 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, and what's really frustrating is that there actually is a hard news story there as often as not. But, IMNSHO opinion, Garner and Co. are so obsessed with trying to trip politicians up, chasing the next 'gone by lunchtime' sin-sational soundbite, they're just not doing the hard yards.

    As I said before, when I've feeling sorry for Brian Connell being baited into telling a hack to 'piss off' -- and it being treated like Watergate by One News -- there's something very, very wrong.

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

  • James Francis,

    Is it your television? Or is it any TV you see him on?
    Cos that could be a problem.

    'Tis my television. With other people's I just grump and mumble.

    St John's, Newfoundland • Since Nov 2006 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    IMNSHO opinion, Garner and Co. are so obsessed with trying to trip politicians up, chasing the next 'gone by lunchtime' sin-sational soundbite, they're just not doing the hard yards.

    Yeah, I agree. I think they get a couple of wins, get a taste for it and keep going back for the buzz. It doesn't serve the news consumer well.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And while I think the post-mortem canonisation of Tim Russert got a bit thick, one thing that came through is that if you're going to do 'gotcha!' interviews (and I do think that approach does have its limits), you've to do your homework and be running on more than pure attitude.

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

  • dave crampton,

    The referendum is not a vote on the law passed by Parliament removing the Section 59 defence for striking a child.
    It is, in fact, another work of weasel words apparently aimed more at sentiment than a useful conclusion.

    It's neither. Its one person exercising her democratic right backed up by many others.And apparently you don't like that kind of exercise of democratic rights because your view of democracy appears to be based on the subject matter - and that's a pretty warped view to have IMNSHO.

    welli • Since Jan 2007 • 144 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Oh Craig, I don't think you really understand the wonder that is Fox

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2608 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    It's neither. Its one person exercising her democratic right backed up by many others.And apparently you don't like that kind of exercise of democratic rights because your view of democracy appears to be based on the subject matter - and that's a pretty warped view to have IMNSHO.

    Personally I find CIRs to pretty much be country-wide opinion polls. Which is fine if we want to do that, but I think we should stop calling them 'referendum', which should have meaning and lead to something.

    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.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

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

    When he grows up, perhaps.

    I've been out of the country for 6 years, but I'm totally surprised that that's long enough for Duncan to grow up...

    ... or perhaps your talking about Campbell?

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Nick D'Angelo,

    to be perfectly frank, her overstuffed, sore-looking augmented breasts aren't even very attractive.

    Why are they sore? From her $2000-a-night 'other job' , or is Oliver being a Very Naughty Boy in the Green Room?

    You're on fire this morning.

    Maybe, but 7.43am is waaay too early to be posting Madonna clips.

    Were a majority of voters to vote to the question "Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?" the next government could quite easily declare that the law serves such concerns quite well as it is.

    Heh heh ~ thanks for pointing that out. Some PAS readers seem to think the CIR will place us under the Christian Fundamentalist equivalent of Sharia Law.

    So amid all the talk of wasted money, might I ask that the likes of Larry Baldock stop wasting everyone's time and money with bullshit referendum questions?

    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 ....

    Nevermind that Key would just wear the T-shirt under another shirt.

    Simon Laan • Since May 2008 • 162 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    It's neither. Its one person exercising her democratic right backed up by many others.And apparently you don't like that kind of exercise of democratic rights because your view of democracy appears to be based on the subject matter - and that's a pretty warped view to have IMNSHO.

    Warped? Please. I just don't like poor referendum questions.

    "Warped" is beating your disturbed son with a riding crop.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • dave crampton,

    .. 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?

    welli • Since Jan 2007 • 144 posts Report Reply

  • Julie Fairey,

    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!

    Thanks for the plug for Drinking Liberally Russell :-)

    On the issue of the timing of the referendum Labour is on a hiding (boom boom) to nothing here. 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!

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

  • dc_red,

    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 ....

    Nevermind that Key would just wear the T-shirt under another shirt.

    Something similar happened in Canada, when the far-right fundie Stockwell Day took over the official opposition, and promised lots of "direct democracy". There was a widely publicizied 'campaign' for a binding referendum to change his first name to "Doris".

    Personally, I would make Key wear a "More hollow than the last guy" t shirt.

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

  • slarty,

    It may not be exactly how I'd have worded it, but the wording is far short of the confusing law and order referendum. At present "a smack as part of good parental correction" is a criminal offence.

    Now you see Graeme, this is where some people struggle with lawyers... while you are, of course, technically correct, the reality is we have a justice (not legal) system that involve lots of discretion. 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.

    Mostly this is dealt with through the discretion of public servants such as the police, who exercise the power of a stern talking to.

    Failing that it goes through some sort of evaluation by another load of public servants to decide whether to prosecute.

    Then it enters a legal process, and faces constant hurdles before reaching the point where, in some cases, 12 of our peers may yet decide to find you not guilty.

    I like our system, I reckon on the whole it serves us well. But there is not a direct binary connection between something technically being an offence and you suffering as a result, and arguing the point it that way perpetuates the wingnut view that we're all going to jail for clipping our offspring round the ear.

    The repeal of the exemption in the Crimes Act was just that - it removed an anomoly that said "I can't use violence against anyone in society except my children". Will it have a material effect in terms of prosecutions? Probably not. Does it send a clear message that violence is not a useful part of parenting? Of course it does - the process of passing the ammendment generated more anti-violence publicity than a squillion dollars worth of Satchi.

    Managing compliance is about messaging so that the 99.999% of will demonstrate behaviours that are beneficial and acceptable to our society, not about nailing the 0.001% who have probably decided not to comply anyway. And that certainly doesn't mean trying to deliver some Benthamesque codified book of exactly what we should do in any given circumstance.

    Now look how many words you made me write. Poo.

    Since Nov 2006 • 290 posts Report Reply

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