Friday, April 17, 2009

The Yes Vote

In a little over three months, New Zealand will be voting in a referendum on child-beating. Rather than ask us directly whether the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 should be repealed and the law returned to the status quo ante, the child-beaters have come up with the usual motherhood question designed to both mask their goal and elicit agreement:

Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?
Which means that, paradoxically, if we want to defeat them, we have to vote "yes". Now, a group of child-protection and advocacy agencies - Plunket, Save the Children, Barnardos and Unicef NZ - have come together to argue for exactly that, with a website called The Yes Vote. Here's the short version:
A ‘yes’ vote is a vote to retain a law that is working well.
A ‘yes’ vote is a vote to protect children from assault.
A ‘yes’ vote is a vote for positive parenting.
And to that I'll add "a 'yes' vote is a vote against sadism". Which pretty much clinches it for me. While like others I am tempted to spoil my ballot in protest at such a stupid question, this issue is far too important for that. So I'll be voting 'yes' in August. I hope you will too.

[Hat-tip: The Hand Mirror]