Thursday, June 18, 2009

Family Fist turn referendum into referendumb ( I want to hit their kids as well)

Key dragged into smacking debate
Prime Minister John Key has been dragged into the centre of the resurgent smacking debate. As the controversy around the citizens-initiated referendum mounted, one of the organisations backing it last night called for a meeting with Mr Key and said it could produce evidence that parents were being needlessly prosecuted under the 2007 law change. It removed the defence of reasonable force from the Crimes Act, effectively banning smacking as a means of correction while giving police discretion over prosecutions. Arguments have raged ever since and opponents managed to get enough signatures on a petition to force the referendum to be held. It will ask the question: "Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?"

What the fundie Family Fist need to understand is that if they get the legal right to hit their kids, we will all want the legal right to hit their kids. Seriously though Family Fist need to get that their expensive, ill worded tantrum isn’t going to move popular support into a reversal of the repeal of section 59 and the reason is we are as a nation in a different headspace.

The media fuelled debate over the repeal of section 59 was inspired mostly by talkback hosts convincing NZers that the Labour Party nanny state dykeocracy was kicking in the door and telling you what water shower heads and lighbulbs you are allowed to have. The Nanny State myth (a myth that NOT PC has amusingly built an entire blog site out of catering to white men who feel so threatened by equality that they bitch like little girls about their restriction of ‘freedom’s – yawn, grow some balls and be men boys) was created by talkback hosts and played into this con that ‘Labour knew best’. NZers hate that so much that they can get blinded by nothings like ‘political correctness’ and forget the actual issues. Now we have the reality of the Daddy state, the myths of the Nanny state seem far away and silly, which is where all this hysteria about the repeal of section 59 has ended up.

David Farrar, the man who was running all the technical aspects of Don Brash’s office at the time the printed emails were leaked, was yesterday saying on Kiwiblogh that he supported Family Fist because the relationship between a child and parent was special and the Government shouldn’t regulate that relationship. This was the exact same argument used by Farrar’s religious mates in the 1970s when the Government ruled that rape in marriage was a crime. The religious buddies of Farrar’s cried out just as David does now that the relationship between a married man and woman was special and that the Government shouldn’t regulate that. Thank God we’ve moved on from such a petty view of the world.

The repeal of section 59 closed a loophole in the legislation that meant the Court ended up defending parents who had assaulted their children, that was a ridiculous position to be in. The Court is there to defend the weak, and a child in the care of their parent has very little power, to end up with a situation where the power of the court was being used against the child to protect a parent who assaulted that child was a legal philosophical position that simply wasn’t tenable in a progressive country. The nonsense that the Nanny State would jail parents who smacked was hysterical verbal diarrhea from a conservative Christian clique who believe that physical punishment is required to keep Satan, the dark lord of evil, away from their children, obviously that belief isn’t tenable in a secular country, so they polished their attack and made it all about the Nanny State.

Public referendum are important, too important to let Family Fist ruin it for everyone. There is no requirement on the Clerk of the House to inform Family Fist that their question made no sense, but there is room for the question to be modified with the help of the Clerk IF Family Fist initiates that discussion. Wasting $9million on a poorly worded tantrum mocks democracy and serves no point in determining the mood of the nation on important issues. In future the petitioner needs to seek out the advice of the Clerk of the House to make sure the question makes sense and is valid in clearly calling for a change in legislation.

Regardless of where you are in this debate, this abortion created by Family Fist serves no one well.

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