Media: bad question on smacking referenda.

, posted: 15-Jun-2009 18:41

Almost a year ago I posted to this blog about the "Smacking Referendum" question, and particularly, just what a terrible question it was.

Finally, it seems that the media at large has picked up on this, with an item on 3 News tonight.

I don't have much more to say on this that I havn't already, but think it's just time to reiterate the concerns with this question and urge people to think very carefully before voting which ever way you decide to.

In short, to save you all some head scratching I think that the intent of the question is really what we need to focus on if you want to make your vote "heard" (for various definition of this, governments seldom take notice of non-binding referenda):

   1. If you AGREE with "anti smacking" and think that the law is BETTER now than it was before, you should vote YES.
   2. If you DO NOT AGREE with "anti smacking" and think that the law is WORSE now than it was before, you should vote NO.
   3. If you really object to the question, perhaps just invalidate the ballot.

To close, the "pro anti-smacking" side of the argument is well represented by this site:

Apparently the "anti anti-smacking" side would be presented by this site:
but nothing there yet.

While this site:
SEEMS to be a high google ranked "anti anti-smacking" site, which seems quite a shame, because looking at the latest item there, a youtube video purporting to be an "interview" (with the interviewer standing in for the interviewee!) is clearly little more than ad hominem attacks - to quote "isn't that socialism?".  It's one thing to present reasoned debate, what that site is doing is anything but.  I refuse to give them my google rank!

NB: I've disabled comments for this post, I'm not interested in posters having an argument, this post is to encourage people to educate themselves, as unfortunately some among us have chosen not to do rather taking the easy spoon fed (mis)information from both sides of the camp through the media.

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James Sleeman
New Zealand

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