Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?
Almost everyone I talk to about the 2009 Citizens Initiated Referendum agrees that the question is completely stupid to the point of being dishonest . The main problem is with the word Good, by including a judgement call in the question the "correct" answer is presupposed. A lot of advertising uses similarly constructed language, but nobody expects ads to present a balanced opinion.
So what are we supposed to do when faced with such a question? Both John Key and Phil Goff have indicated they will probably abstain, somewhat cowardly in my view. Both National and Labour supported the (minor) revision to the existing law that started this whole mess, the least their leaders could do is support the new law in public. It is also odd to see the Prime Minister seeming to advocate not voting in a democratic process, I would hope that he would be encouraging more democracy not undermining it.
I am voting yes. I think the changes to the law were sensible and necessary, and it seems that the only ones who disagree have a very odd outlook on families. Certainly the examples that were publicised of how unfair the new law was evaporated very quickly when the true facts of the cases became known.
Even if I was indifferent to the law (and maybe I am, I have no children) I would still be voting yes. I bitterly resent the fact the public money has been spent on a referendum that even its supporters acknowledge is useless. The people who forced it though with such ridiculous wording deserve as much scorn as we can muster and my feeling is that the humiliation of losing their own referendum would be richly deserved.
Every YES vote is another tablespoon of poo frosting on the huge poo cake the instigators of the referendum will be eating if there is a large YES turnout. And that is reason enough for me.