Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bin it

I can understand why Sue Bradford wants people to get out
and vote yes to the upcoming referendum, and why she’s
disappointed that neither John Key nor Phil Goff intends to
vote at all. She even says that it’s a copout by Goff, who
should, like Key, be giving a lead. Naturally she fears that
an overwhelming ‘no’ vote, even if the Government doesn’t
act on it, will be seen by the pro-smacking lobby as national
endorsement of their cause and used to further promote it.
I can’t agree with her, however. The referendum question
‘Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a
criminal offence in New Zealand?’ is 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. The
best thing is to ignore it and not vote. The more of us who
abstain, the less meaningful the referendum becomes—if it
could be said to have any meaning in the first place. Total
abstention by everyone who wants an end to smacking or
any other form of ‘reasonable force’ will make a mockery of
the result. The real copout would be to join the charade.

And if you still think that nonetheless it would be the
responsible thing to vote, just try applying your mental
faculties to the question and actually trying to answer it
with intelligence and integrity. It can’t be done. The Thumb
says: bin the ballot paper.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree, with the possible exc eption of deliberately spoiling the ballot and then returning it.

Southernrata said...

I disagree, not responding entrenches the political charade even further, by inflating the support for the "no' vote, because that is going to be the side motivated by Yeats' "passionate intensity" who votes.

Pascal's bookie said...

I agree with Southernrata here. The point of the question is that it is stupid.

The point of the question is symbolic. What the writers want is a large majority 'NO' vote to waive around nd cry about how the super majority is being oppressed.

Binning the ballot only helps them, because they will never in a million years not use the result just because it only got a twenty percent turnout.

When they use the result in press releases and interviews in the future, how often do you think a journalist will point out that the 90% vote was only from a 20% turnout? Half the time? Less?

More likely they will just get 'balance' from another interviewee who may not even know that the stat is being used in the story, even if they do remember to rebut it.

Don't be precious about the question, just vote 'yes'.

Stephen Parkes said...

Dennis,
But binning the ballot just contributes to a low turnout, which is seen as a show of apathy, more than protest. If you want to protest the validity, is it not better to cast an invalid vote? An unusually high rate of invalid votes might be a better angle to go for in trying to make a mockery of the result.

SeaJay said...

I wonder (aloud) what WikiP has to say about the idea and definition of a parental correction smack/whack.
How loud can the whack be?
How long will can the raised welt or red patch last ( different times for different skin colours?).
How long between corrective smacks/whacks?
And to follow on from that can multiple smacks/whacks - over a protracted period of time - be applied, as long as the welt and or red mark goes down within the proscribed period of time? - as laid out in legislation.