Via No Right Turn, a man has been sentenced to 12 months in prison for beating his daughter over the head with a lump of concrete. This was apparently in the aid of good parental correction when she refused to go to his church, or something.
And this is why I will vote yes, and this is why I will forever be fucking pissed off at people who complain that “there’s a difference between a light smack and child abuse” and “I never hit my kids, I just smacked them“.
I mean, first of all because they’re wrong, but that’s a whole ‘nother flamewar.
Because here’s the thing, pro-smackers.
Sure, you see the magical line between smacking and hitting.
You’re the kind of parents who don’t abuse their kids but just sometimes give them taps on the bottom as part of loving discipline.
So it seems totally kosher to you that parents should be legally allowed to defend their actions as being reasonable force.
But when you stand up and say “parents know what’s best for their children, and sometimes physical discipline is the only recourse”? And when you say “the nanny state shouldn’t interfere with the parent-child relationship” and when you say “look, this guy is a good parent, he was just at the end of his tether“?
Thinks you support what he did.
Lyndon Hood’s spreadsheet guide to voting in the forthcoming [insert ideological slant] referendum is amazing, and offers a great reason not to write rude things on your ballot – it’s not the little orange person’s fault the question’s stupid, is it?
Great list of suggestions for alternative questions in our upcoming “child discipline” referendum over at The Dim Post. I’m a particular fan of:
Should a smack as part of good parental driving out of devils be considered a criminal offense in New Zealand?
And the commenter who extensively cited Lewis Carroll gets ALL the e-cookies.
So far the leaders of our two major political parties have variously indicated that they agree the question is stupid (but seem to have determinedly avoided pointing out that this is due to our CIR procedures being rubbish in this regard) and probably won’t vote.
Well, I’m going to vote. Because the people who put forward questions like this are not overly swayed by facts. If only 80,000 people actually fill in their ballots correctly and 75% are no-votes, which of those numbers are we going to hear about? The pathetic turnout or the “75% of people think section 59 should be put back into effect!” spin?
Voting yes, for me, isn’t just about supporting a law that is working or making a stand against all violence in New Zealand families. And it’s not just a way of saying “fuck off” to Bob McCoskrie and his ilk (though that’s a bonus). It’s a way of showing them hey, you do NOT speak for the majority of New Zealanders, you do NOT speak for “normal” or “mainstream” or “middle” New Zealand, your ideas are BAD and you should FEEL bad.