Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: What to Do?

315 Responses

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  • Graeme Edgeler,

    I deliberately spoiled my ballot on that one, it was so absurd. From memory, I wrote "refuse to answer -- question doesn't make sense" on the form.

    Made sense to me - I didn't support hard labour, so I voted no.

    If it can be confirmed that the number of spoilt ballots is counted and released, I would do that instead.

    The numbers were in 1999.

    In answer to the question "Should the size of the House of Representatives be reduced from 120 members to 99 members?" there were 17,699 informal votes.

    In answer to the question "Should there be a reform of our justice system placing greater emphasis on the needs of victims, providing restitution and compensation for them and imposing minimum sentences and hard labour for all serious violent offences?" there were 22,849 informal votes.

    the poor bastard (or bitch, to be non-sexist about it) is going to need serious danger money and counselling on tap. :)

    I don't believe it's gender-specific.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Public Servant on a tea-break.,

    I certainly understand where you're coming from too Craig.

    "...make James Joyce look like Hemmingway"

    Great line.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2008 • 67 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Lyth,

    Couldn't CIR be kicked to the Law Society?

    The Law Society often makes submissions on bills, focusing not on policy but on whether the bill as written would make workable law. They are quite picky as you'd expect. I don't know if CIR proposals are on their radar, I would hope so.

    There are no CIR proposals for open for submissions on wording. There is one (only) CIR petition with wording approved and open for signature - the Unite petition on the minimum wage

    I must make a point of keeping an eye out for any new proposals.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2009 • 458 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    I know the question "Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?" doesn’t make sense because at the moment as it isn’t illegal to smack as a part of good parental correction - so why ask the question?

    I'm not going to explain how this works again, but at present it is illegal to smack as part of good parental correction. There's a whole other post for that, if you'd like to know why and how.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Ethan Tucker,

    At the risk of providing needless gender-related detail, the current Clerk, Mary Harris, took over from the long-standing former Clerk, David McGee, after he left the office in November 2007 to become an Ombudsman. Both have/had plenty of good counsel.

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/ParlSupport/Agencies/OOC/Who/4/d/8/00CLOOCAdminAgenciesOOCAboutWho1-Who-we-are.htm

    Wellington • Since Apr 2008 • 119 posts Report Reply

  • Sam M,

    I'm also in the 'Yes' camp. My own view is that the wording is intentionally dicky as it discourages voting from those of us who are happy with the law as it stands but are not as engaged in the debate as those opposed.

    A non-vote (in my view) plays into the hands of those who framed the question. I also fear they will easily achieve their goal of a large majority (though, hopefully, not an actual majority of electors).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 72 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Bart:

    But actually it will mean if I see someone being a bad parent I can give them a good smack. Well that sounds fun.

    Just be sure to have the right tools for the job. (may be NSFW)

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5445 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    A non-vote (in my view) plays into the hands of those who framed the question. I also fear they will easily achieve their goal of a large majority (though, hopefully, not an actual majority of electors).

    I'd be slightly more worried if we were in California and this was a ballot initiative. Those buggers are binding, and they tend to be spectacularly dumb.

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

  • Jake Pollock,

    Pass. If they think the law is working why not vote in favour of the status quo?

    So, even though they have both expressed support for the current law, and have both said they won't vote but have criticised not only the question as asked but called into question the CIR legislation as it stands, effectively giving an up yours to every single person who signed the petition, and even though you're personally advocating defacing the ballot and essentially taking the same position as Key and Goff, you're still going with the 'pox on both their houses' thing? Fascinating.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Love,

    That reminds me of the warning on Sky Tv
    "We advise the use of the parental lock out function"

    Or "War on Drugs"...whoa, dude that missile is astral!

    Since Jun 2009 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    "Paint me ignorant, but what is the point of defacing the ballot?
    It doesn't get counted and just adds to the cost of the operation, so why?"

    I have to agree with this....

    Because, as Denis Welch has so eloquently put it, the question 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…”

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • JLM,

    I agree with Sam and others. Like Russell, I spoiled my ballot on the lawnorder referendum with a very similar comment, but a friend pointed out later that consigned my opinion to oblivion. All people remember is the percentage of valid votes on either side.

    If the percentages reported are of the total votes, not valid votes, I'll reconsider, but I don't think so, and anyway, having your opinion counted balances the iniquity/inequity.

    Judy Martin's southern sl… • Since Apr 2007 • 241 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    you're still going with the 'pox on both their houses' thing? Fascinating.

    Good on them for supporting the status quo, but when asked whether they were going to bother voting (a separate question) their responses were... well, weak. And personally, I found them somewhat unconvincing. Guess we can agree to disagree on that?

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And just to repeat myself, Jake: I totally understand the politics of not wanting to get pinned down answering that question either way. You're damned if you do, damned if you don't, and double damned no matter what. But a little candour would have been refreshing.

    Because, as Denis Welch has so eloquently put it, the question 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…”

    Though I've got to disgree with Welch that binning the paper altogether is the only rational response. Like you Tom, the thought of not voting touches me in a very bad place. But that doesn't mean I can't repay the discourtesy when I've been treated like a fool.

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

  • Joshua Arbury,

    The funny thing is that if the referndum question had been "should the s59 repeal be overturned" it may have still got a majority, and would have given the government much stronger direction on the feeling of the country.

    I wonder if Family First are going "bugger, we should have asked that question instead".

    Auckland • Since May 2009 • 237 posts Report Reply

  • Euan Mason,

    Good on us for having an Oxymoronic question in a CIR! The best response is to look at the intent and vote "yes". Just to prove to Russell that we were paying attention when the question was framed:

    http://euanmason.blogspot.com/2008/02/smacking-is-not-good-parental.html

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I agree with Sam and others. Like Russell, I spoiled my ballot on the lawnorder referendum with a very similar comment, but a friend pointed out later that consigned my opinion to oblivion. All people remember is the percentage of valid votes on either side.

    Exactly. The number of spoiled ballots might never get play. At best, if it's high, it'll get a comment on Campbell Live and then be forgotten. The percentages on either side will be used in political arguments for years from now. Their significance will be debated because of the question, but they will be an important part of this debate, and if you fall on one side of that debate, I think it's important to engage and vote despite the silly question.

    While the referendum isn't about something important, the wider debate is about something very important, and the referendum is unfortunately going to be part of that debate.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    With Graham Graham Edgeler, surely you've heard or used the phrase 'without fail' Russell, as in "I'll see you tomorrow Mr Veitch without fail".
    On dictionary.com it listed the noun as obsolete, so some kind of a revival.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    He is seldom my favourite journalist but Sean Plonker redeemed himself on Morning Report this morning by giving Larry Baldick a right bollocking.
    (Note: deliberate mis-spelling this time)

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2562 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    "I'll see you tomorrow Mr Veitch without fail".

    Doesn't look right in small case.

    I'll quote mark taslov, without FAIL!"

    the exclamation mark helps too.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    If 300,0000 vote NO
    150,000 vote YES
    700,000 spoil papers
    Then the NOES have it 66% to 33% YES
    Ha Ha they say. We were right the Smacking Brigade say.
    Perhaps a fairly worded question could be polled by Heylen or whoever.

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    I'll quote mark taslov, without FAIL!"

    why boyo?

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Luke Williamson,

    Even though it seems like the best option for me, voting Yes just "feels" like I'm agreeing with rswipes who put this stupid petition and question together. I'm going to feel dirty no matter which way I jump.

    Warkworth • Since Oct 2007 • 297 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Even though it seems like the best option for me, voting Yes just "feels" like I'm agreeing with rswipes who put this stupid petition and question together. I'm going to feel dirty no matter which way I jump.

    Well, I look at it this way: There's more than enough occasions I've got to put up with having my intelligence insulted. This is not one of them.

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

  • Phil Lyth,

    I see Sue Bradford has announced this morning that she has a members bill to go in the ballot tomorrow addressng the wording of CIR questions; she says

    The Bill requires the Clerk of the House to only allow referendum questions which are not ambiguous, complex, leading or misleading.

    On the matter, tomorrow will almost see the first ballot for Members Bills in over 18 months. Due to the esoteric operation of Parliament's rules, there were no ballots last year, only 2 bills drawn in 2007, and 2006 was the last year that was significant ballot action.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2009 • 458 posts Report Reply

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