Friday, June 26, 2009

Practice what you preach

This referendum isn't, wasn't and never will be about "hitting" children.

It's about smacking - which all will agree is a much more specific thing. Smacking generally is regarded as force applied to a hand or to the bottom in response to an offense by the child. The old law allowed this and other force, with the proviso it be reasonable in the circumstances.

But by using the wider and much more generic term "hit", the Yes vote site fails to even participate in the debate. Hitting means, and is intended to invoke images of, force applied in any way, to any part of the body, safe, reasonable or not (and usually not). By doing so, they are able to lump together discipline (which is designed to decrease over time as it achieves it's long term goal) and abuse (which is always random according to the whim of the abuser).

New Zealand has a massive problem with the latter, and the S59 amendment bill outlawed the former.

But it's not like the "yes vote" site endorses misleading statements for both sides - in fact, they're selectively quite opposed to them...
It is clear from the referendum debate over the last two weeks that the question is misleading...
The question is, why is a site that advertises it's presence with misleading statements complaining about what it considers to be misleading statements made by others?

Oh, and it's even worse than that. While the "yes vote" lobby obviously don't allow people like me to comment and correct their site, the referendum question was put to public submission.

The original question we submitted to the Clerk of the House of Representatives back in early 2007 was “should a smack in the context of positive parental correction be a criminal offence in NZ?”

As required by the CIR Act 1993, the Clerk published the question in the Gazette and advertised the question in all major papers with an invitation for anyone to submit their opinion on the wording of the question over a 28 day period.

Only two submissions were received. One from a couple who stated their opinion that a smack should never be a criminal offence, and the other from the Ministry of Justice.

Seems like Barnardos, Save teh Children, Unicef, Jigsaw, Ririki, Women's Refuge, Epoch and Parents Center might have more credibility now had they said something then.

Practice what you preach FAIL.

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