Bradford’s Truth: Referendum 09

My regular New Zealand Truth column this week is about the child discipline referendum and the inadequacy of the legislative provisions regarding the wording of citizens initiated referenda questions:

As I am sure everyone is excruciatingly well aware, we are right now in the middle of the postal referendum on the physical discipline of children.

Voting started on 31 July and finishes on 21 August.

At a cost of $9 million to the taxpayer, the referendum asks:

Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?

I reckon this question is both misleading and ambiguous.

A lot of people tell me they have no intention of voting, or are going to spoil their ballot paper, because they are angry about money being wasted on such a confused proposition.

Other people are keen to vote ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ because they have strong views on the issue and want to vote regardless.

This includes me of course. I will be voting ‘Yes’ and encouraging others to do the same, as I see that voting ‘Yes’ is a vote for keeping the law as it is.

Parents are not being prosecuted in their droves for giving their children a ‘smack’.

There is actually no offence called ‘smacking’ in New Zealand law.

There is, however, an offence of ‘assault’ which has always been there.

What the law change in 2007 achieved was simply the removal of the defence of ‘reasonable force for the purpose of correction’ which in the past allowed some parents to get away with quite badly beating their children.

The ‘reasonable force’ defence also meant parents felt they had a state-sanctioned right to use physical force as a way of disciplining their children.

New Zealand made a huge step forward two years ago when Parliament voted by a huge majority to take away this defence and give our children the same legal protection from violence as we adults enjoy.

I hope that despite the anger people justifiably feel at the way in which money is being wasted on this confused referendum question, some of you at least will consider voting ‘yes’ as an expression of support for the law change.

People often ask me, ‘If you think this question is so ambiguous, what should the question have been?”

Of course it could have been any number of things, but I believe a much fairer question would have been something like ‘Should the defence of reasonable force for the purpose of correction be available to New Zealand parents?’

At least people would then have been a lot clearer on what they were voting for or against.

I have put a member’s bill forward seeking to ensure that in future when someone comes up with a proposal for a citizens’ initiated referendum, the Clerk of the House – who approves these questions – has more legal guidance on what should go forward.

I am suggesting that questions that are ambiguous complex, leading or misleading should not be accepted, and that the proposer keeps working on the question with the Clerk until it is clear and simple.

I am in discussions with the Minister of Justice about this at the moment, and hope the Government may change the law in this area as a result.

Meanwhile, the debate on whether our kids deserve a childhood free from violence continues, and will for a while yet, whatever the result on 21 August.

168 thoughts on “Bradford’s Truth: Referendum 09

  1. Can a parent smack a child for the purposes of correction?

    Yes or no.

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  2. You know the answer as its in the post above, and that therefore a mere yes or no is too simplistic.

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  3. But that’s why so many people oppose the bill.

    Even when asked, no one will give them a straight answer. If the law over such a simple matter is that complicated, then the law is bad law. It should be removed on that basis alone.

    There was nothing wrong with the previous law. A jury decides if you used reasonable force.

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  4. Nothing wrong with it? If that’s what you believe then no one with any sense would take advice from you on lawmaking.

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  5. “Can a parent smack a child for the purposes of correction?

    Yes or no.”

    Well it depends BP, on who Bradford is talking to at the time and whether or not there are television cameras running or not.

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  6. “Meanwhile, the debate on whether our kids deserve a childhood free from violence continues, ”

    No it doesn’t and that is the disgrace of your poorly worded law.
    If you care about violence towards children so much why don’t you do something about our sky rocketing abortion rate?
    Oh that’s right, the ideology tends to get in the way doesn’t it.

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  7. >>then no one with any sense would take advice from you on lawmaking.

    The law was working. Remind us how many people successfully used the defense?

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  8. “The law was working. Remind us how many people successfully used the defense?”

    Exactly, I wonder what the real motivation was?

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  9. The law was working?

    98% of our elected politicians, from across the parties, didn’t agree with you Shunda, nor you Peter.

    Odd.

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  10. “98% of our elected politicians, from across the parties, didn’t agree with you Shunda, nor you Peter”

    are you implying that what politicians do is what people who elected them want?

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  11. How do we define child and how do we define “bad” parental correction?

    Is a smack of the child one on the hand or the covered buttock – moderately and occasionally.

    Or is it across the face, or regularly and repeatedly across the bare buttocks of a step daughter still living at home …

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  12. The law was working. Remind us how many people successfully used the defense?

    More than there are parents who’ve been wrongly prosecuted under the new law.

    Exactly, I wonder what the real motivation was?

    Careful to close your closet tonight Shunda, there are monsters in there too.

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  13. >>More than there are parents who’ve been wrongly prosecuted under the new law.

    How many have been unnecessarily hassled by the Police? How many parents are now using this “tool” in divorce cases?

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  14. “More than there are parents who’ve been wrongly prosecuted under the new law.”

    A close friend of mine was just put through absolute hell because of this rubbish, he wasn’t prosecuted so there is no record. He and many others (including myself) are going through this humiliation because of this poor legislation, I am sure Sue is grinning from ear to ear knowing that parents all around the country are going through all this.

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  15. Uh, we did scrap the law BP. The one that let the guilty get away with assault. I thought your lot supported toughening up on crims?

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  16. “Uh, we did scrap the law BP. The one that let the guilty get away with assault. ”

    Yeah, and managed to just quietly implement a large doloping of social engineering in the process.
    You guys are so keen on reducing the stress of convicts and actual murderers, but don’t have the slightest conscience with the crap and stress you are putting on parents who are doing a reasonable job raising the next generation.

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  17. jh asked:
    are you implying that what politicians do is what people who elected them want?

    No. My point was that almost all of our politicians agreed to change the law. I’m believe that it shows that the law that existed needed to be changed.

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  18. Shunda said:

    I am sure Sue is grinning from ear

    You’re sure? Or are you imagining things?

    You say you are going through hell and humiliation over this Shunda. No one would wish that upon you. Perhaps your experience is distorting your view on the issue and not in a good way. You argue vehemently, but haven’t described your case in any way that would have others understanding the reason for your passion.

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  19. >>The one that let the guilty get away with assault. I thought your lot supported toughening up on crims?

    Smacking isn’t assault, Frog – any more so than voting Green makes you a moron.

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  20. “. You argue vehemently, but haven’t described your case in any way that would have others understanding the reason for your passion.”

    I have actually on a previous thread some time ago.
    To cut a long story short, I contacted the school about my son being bullied while under their care, and ended up with a social worker in my home, grilling my wife and I over smacking.

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  21. Nice.

    But then that’s *exactly* what was intended, huh. If you smack, then you’re a child abuser.

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  22. >>If you smack, then you’re a child abuser.

    Finally, took you a while.

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  23. Sue, another baby your law was going to protect is in hospital. Another one for Bradfords Wall of Shame.

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  24. Actually it means that if it is a case of abuse then the parents of that baby wont be able to get away with it like they used to -or do you think we should change it back so they can get away with it?

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  25. People under the old S59 were accused by Bradford of violence, charged with assault, acquitted for abuse. Three different words Sue Bradford uses to avoid saying ” smack”. If Sue wants to frame the question as one of a charge of ” smacking” , which is unnecessary because the charge is actually assault, then she should vote NO because she does not believe that “smack” should be a criminal offence. Sue wrote

    Parents are not being prosecuted in their droves for giving their children a ‘smack’.

    Parents may not be charged of “smacking”but they are ARE being prosecuted for giving children a smack. Just like some are being prosecuted for punching, which is also not a charge.

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  26. “or do you think we should change it back so they can get away with it?”

    No you should change it so that people like myself don’t have to suffer the indignation of having some bolchy flippin social worker attacking my parenting, IN MY LOUNGE, after I complain about my kid being abused under the states care at school!!

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  27. How many have been unnecessarily hassled by the Police? How many parents are now using this “tool” in divorce cases?

    Give us the numbers.

    Smacking isn’t assault, Frog

    But hitting kids with a length of wood or hose is. Get a grip. A plenty good case has been made in other threads that a better law could have been crafted and I accept that may be the case. To go from that to saying the old law was just fine is just stupid.

    But then that’s *exactly* what was intended, huh. If you smack, then you’re a child abuser.

    Sue’s bill was changed hugely at select committee. To claim that the intent of the 113 MPs who voted for it was dishonest is also stupid.

    Sue, another baby your law was going to protect is in hospital. Another one for Bradfords Wall of Shame.

    Yet another stupid thing to say.

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  28. # frog Says:
    August 12th, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Uh, we did scrap the law BP. The one that let the guilty get away with assault. I thought your lot supported toughening up on crims?
    ……….
    don’t you ever grow up Frog. Those cases where they “got off” were all decided by juries who heard the evidence. The jury thought the reactions of the parent were justified by the actions of the youth. S59’s removal meant that such a parent was automatically guilty but it was over to the police whether to prosecute or not (Ie the state decides not the people).

    Do any green (sheep) disagree (apart from bj who is a worhty honest individual)? Everyone agreeing is a sign of cult behaviour.

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  29. “But hitting kids with a length of wood or hose is. Get a grip. A plenty good case has been made in other threads that a better law could have been crafted and I accept that may be the case. To go from that to saying the old law was just fine is just stupid.”

    why wasn’t it left to the law society on the basis with the law rather than those of the left who saw it as an issue of society emanating from mainstream society (a culture of violence) and infecting the weak/poor/downtrodden.

    I hope Family First get their commision thing to look at what causes child abuse etc .
    :wink:

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  30. Of course they don’t disagree, jh. Smacking is wrong because it just is. Public education is good because it just is. Trains are good because they just are. Cycle lanes are good because they just are. Trees are good because they just are. Roads are bad because they just are.

    It’s really very simple once you get the hang of it…..

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  31. “It’s really very simple once you get the hang of it…..”

    That’s the incredibly frustrating thing about this issue, you can’t have a debate on the opposing ideologies because they refuse to acknowledge there are any!!

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  32. So what? A jury would likely decide that’s child abuse.

    All Sue has to say is that smacking a child is not a criminal activity. The fact that she can’t give a straight answer to this question is telling. The law needs to be clear on this point, not ambiguous, because many parents choose to smack.

    You’re not fooling anyone, Greens. The people aren’t as stupid as you think they are.

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  33. Get a hold of yourselves people. Look at what you are doing to yourselves.

    This WAS a civilized blog and a unified party.

    If you examine the law as it is NOW and the law as it was THEN the “hitting kids with a length of wood or hose” is able to be defended in EXACTLY the same way as it was before except that now the intent of the person doing it cannot be “to correct” the child. “Reasonable force” remains in the law.

    The ambiguity in the current law substitutes for a slightly more ambiguous law that was only “better” or “worse” in the sense that it did not ask the court to read the mind of the parent administering a smack.

    The problem is that this thread exists AT ALL. It didn’t have to. The party could have PROSPERED rather than labouring under the stress.

    Sue is correct, that there should be less ambiguity and her posting here is quite accurate, she is often correct about things, but the error in not making the law specific caused us significant damage.

    She is correct to say that “the law is working” as it has provided people with a greater focus on the problem and while it relies on the overworked police to do the job of defining and identifying abuse, they at least are trying to do so.

    It accomplishes her goal.

    At a price.

    More specific versions of this law have appeared here, cobbled together in minutes by members of this community of bloggers. They would have been passed by acclamation in the parliament and redounded to the credit of the party and its efforts.

    Instead this will be an albatross around our necks for at least a full generation. Our resulting loss of influence relating to the Climate and the Government will cost future generations of children far more than this profits them. We squandered political credit where we could have earned it. We lost potential members and strength… and I seriously reconsidered my own membership.

    It works. Yes it does.

    Proof of the meme “Just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean you SHOULD do it”.

    BJ

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  34. bjchip said:

    Get a hold of yourselves people. Look at what you are doing to yourselves.

    This WAS a civilized blog and a unified party.

    Bj – who are the people you advise to ‘get a hold of themselves’ ?
    Those whipping up dispute here are hardly party supporters. Their wails hardly represent disunity in the party.

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  35. “The problem is that this thread exists AT ALL. It didn’t have to. The party could have PROSPERED rather than labouring under the stress.”

    So what happened?
    Sue is not stupid, all one can conclude is that there were at least dual motivations on her and the parties part.
    And what would they be?
    Tired old feminist agendas of men owning families, adultism, ageism, and all the stuff any self respecting child of the 60’s that gained political power would pursue.

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  36. BJ is an ideal sort of Green: top brain, articulate, intellectually honest, open minded.

    The red greens have one thing in their favour: a cult like adherence to their particular ideological bent but “green” is a part-time job (the bit that helps the red along (the red part on it’s own would get 1% vote)).
    IMHO

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  37. Indeed. Given that BJ is a recent arrival, he hasn’t seen the faces of the far left movement in New Zealand politics through the 70’s and 80’s….

    Only where they have ended up……

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  38. Greens beating up their guests Greenfly. The guests retaliating in kind. Greens making ME feel uncomfortable as a Green, watching the abuse.

    All completely unnecessary and counterproductive.

    Shunda, mistakes happen to the best of us. I don’t put it down to anything more complicated.

    It is best forgotten from the party perspective. It is irrelevant now. Cannot be undone and needs to be put behind us. That Shunda and BP and JH and others outside the party will remember it and lumber us with it at every opportunity needs to be ignored. We have to live with it and try to outgrow it.

    IRRELEVANT now. We are wasting time and effort.

    BJ

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  39. bj said:
    We are wasting time and effort.

    Agreed.

    Now all we have to do is get all parties concerned to agree to leave sleeping dogs lie. Should be easy, eh!

    Can’t imagine any of us wanting to stir up thge debate again! :-)

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  40. “Now all we have to do is get all parties concerned to agree to leave sleeping dogs lie. Should be easy, eh!”

    If this was just a simple difference of opinion on how to raise children, that would be fine. But it isn’t.
    You guys can just walk away, while I as a parent have to deal with the result of this law every time I come into contact with the state.
    Do you know how humiliating it is to have to submit to some social worker who you can tell has no real experience? to run the gamble of the individual social workers political and personal convictions on how to raise kids?
    I find it deeply offensive and I will continue to object as often as I can.

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  41. Ass usually the case with left leaning parties, the Bradford approach to resolving a social problem was legislation. What was needed was not a change to the law, but an appropriate guideline to the judiciary that explained to them that today’s world is not the same one they were FAGs in boarding school in, and that anything more than a single slap with an open hand on a rear part of the body below the waist is reasonable force, and anything else isn’t!

    The judiciary, Gaia Bless Them, are often out of touch with real world mores because they are insulated from that world to ensure their survival. However, guidelines are issued to them for many things, and there is no reason why this couldn’t have been one of them.

    Go back to the law the way it was, and use common sense to solve the issue, not The Big Hand Of The Law IS WHAT I ADVOCATE. Simply because passing laws that cannot be policed is a waste of taxpayers’ money.

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  42. How curious that someone who spent a “career” raging against authority is only too happy to use state violence against citizens to get her way….

    Gotta love socialists, eh….

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  43. Yes indeed BP.
    You know the world has gone nuts when to “rage against the machine” involves resisting the political control of ex hippies and Vietnam war protesters!!

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  44. Really Shunda ! and if you are a competent functional parent with a healthy relationship with your partner why are you subject to this law at all? Why are you in the humiliating situation of being in contact with social workers? You write as if your experience is commonplace whereas it sounds as if you have whole heap of prejudices against a generation who tried to make real social progress and achieve a working system of equality /power sharing that enshrines the rights of both adults and children to live in a safe and healthy environment. Your belief system appears to me to be more than a little anachronistic . Your prejudices dreary and somewhat trite. You are clearly a torchbearer for the backlash against feminism. Well I’ve got news for you pal! you’re in the wrong country for that kind of medieval social programming.

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  45. I reckon this question is both misleading and ambiguous.

    Here we go again, Ms Bradford. If you can’t figure out how to vote on the basis of this question then you should be in another job. Even if the question, in very strict grammatical terms, is not clear, the purpose of the referendum is perfectly clear.

    If you don’t believe that a smack can be part of good parental correction, then you have to decide whether your belief should be enshrined in the law of the land. If you do believe that a smack can be part of good parental correction, then the answer to the question is clearly “no”.

    Sheesh, this constant harping on about the wording is just a ploy for the political game players to avoid coming down clearly one way or the other. There is no need for yet more legislation just because you don’t like a referendum question. Hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders signed the petition, so just accept that. Please!

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  46. “a generation who tried to make real social progress and achieve a working system of equality /power sharing that enshrines the rights of both adults and children.

    A generation that was naive and deluded and when they actually gain power engage in the most authoritarian government since Muldoon!!
    Yeah, real freedom fighters.

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  47. Just the same bunch of middle-class arts graduates. Nothing changes.

    For all their theatrics, what they really want is old-school, boys-network, unbridled power.

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  48. Sofistek

    Actually I think that a law change that requires them to be unambiguous and get the assistance they need to word things so that they ARE unambiguous would be a very good thing.

    It would be good if it were applied to laws as well as to the wording of petitions.

    That could prevent this from happening again. In the long run, cheaper too.

    However, laws are written in English. “Unambiguous” is how you get Contracts. You know, those 30 page documents that cover every possible eventuality except of course, the one that eventuates and refer to the party of the first part often enough to make you want to crash the damned thing.

    So any change has to itself provide some guidance as to what is expected.

    I don’t have any high expectations… I still think our best bet is to send someone with a xerox to Sweden and just use their laws, outsource the whole parliament. :-). Way more efficient.

    BJ

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  49. Around when the referendum started, TVOne ran a poll [link] which chucked up some interesting results.

    A couple of percent of parents were were (cant quite remember the wording, but something like) “being prepared to smack under any circumstances”.

    Those are the target of the legislation. Folks like Michael Jackson’s dad, that Michael complained “beat” him. Joe stated “I whipped him with a switch and a belt. … I never beat him. You beat someone with a stick.”

    Given that there was a sucessful defense under Section 59 of someone who used a horse crop to “not beat” a kid, it is almost inconceivable that Section 59 could be considered acceptable.

    Ok, so maybe this law is only appopriate for 2% of the population, but we have lots of laws that target much lower percentages.

    The lack of S59 defense may be forcing some people to confronted and have to explain their actions, but thats better than S59 to be needed because just a small fraction of parents go way too far and need to get away with unacceptable behaviour.

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  50. Suggestion for those who think it’s a bad question:

    – do your best to tick “yes” or “no”
    — people I know are asking for “yes”, but that’s up to you

    – on the border between the grey and white, draw in “Bad Question” with a tick box, and tick it

    It will get counted and I think adding a third tick-box is the right way to discourage bad questions in the future.

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  51. jc2 said: - do your best to tick “yes” or “no”
    — people I know are asking for “yes”, but that’s up to you

    – on the border between the grey and white, draw in “Bad Question” with a tick box, and tick it

    It will get counted and I think adding a third tick-box is the right way to discourage bad questions in the future.

    Hmmm, jc2! Seems from the way you relate it, it’s like what Alice had to deal with on the wrong side of the looking glass.

    Speak roughly to your little boy, and beat him when he sneezes…

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  52. I’m with BJ on this one. but then again jc2 speaks sense with the create another question ploy. We should have had a Referendum about what question to ask – far more satisfactory!

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  53. Good grief! After reading this blog today I’ve realised what an extraordinarily powerful and malevolent woman Sue Bradford is! I see now how she has been responsible for dividing the whole nation. Not only has she duped almost all members of the House of Representatives, but she has somehow managed to get thousands of New Zealanders to rally behind her, including most of the child advocate groups in the country. The latest is the College of Paediatricians, God help us! They are a pretty rabid group, of course. Where will this woman’s power end? She is clearly a megalomaniac. If she ever became Prime Minister there would be no stopping her. Larry Baldock in his wisdom called her “stupid”. She’s clearly not that.
    She’s certainly had me fooled. I’ve had a few conversations with her and she appeared to be one of least egoic people I’ve ever met. And I thought I was a reasonably sensitive and aware person. Oh,well! that simply proves how clever she is, I suppose. I wonder how I can get another voting form. She’s got to be stopped somehow.

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  54. We should have a referendum about referendum questions.

    Should referendum questions, as part of good governance, be subject to political manipulation by people who don’t want to hear what the voters want?

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  55. There is actually no offence called ‘smacking’ in New Zealand law.

    Wonder when Sue will say “there is no mention of smacking in the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child, either”.

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  56. philip Says:
    The *latest* is the College of Paediatricians,

    You’ll be able to tell us their response to the Dunedin Study, the one that Sue Bradford was “looking forward to” but hasn’t responded to:

    “Numerous overseas studies have shown that children who are physically punished are more likely to be aggressive and antisocial, have poor parent-child relationships and develop mental illnesses.

    But the lead author of the physical punishment part of the Dunedin study, psychologist Jane Millichamp, said the project appeared to be the first long-term study in the world to separate out those who had merely been smacked with an open hand.

    Preliminary analysis showed that those who were merely smacked had “similar or even slightly better outcomes” than those who were not smacked in terms of aggression, substance abuse, adult convictions and school achievement.

    “Study members in the ‘smacking only’ category of punishment appeared to be particularly high-functioning and achieving members of society,” she said.

    “I have looked at just about every study I can lay my hands on, and there are thousands, and I have not found any evidence that an occasional mild smack with an open hand on the clothed behind or the leg or hand is harmful or instils violence in kids,” she said.

    “I know that is not a popular thing to say, but it is certainly the case.

    “The more honest researchers have said, let’s be honest, we all wish we could say it’s all very clear and that no parent should ever lift a finger on a child – although I think that is totally unrealistic as a single parent myself – but the big problem is that a lot of the studies have lumped a whole lot of forms of physical punishment together.”

    Dr Millichamp said the Dunedin study so far found no evidence of the “slippery slope” theory – that parents who started off smacking often progressed to abusive punishments.

    “We couldn’t find any,” she said.

    The findings undermine Green MP Sue Bradford’s bill to repeal section 59 of the Crimes Act, which allows parents to use “reasonable force” to discipline children.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10404809

    Otago Study Still World Leader 30 Years On

    For the past three decades, every aspect of their health and development has been tracked — their physical growth, their psychological growth, how they negotiated the hurdles life throws up, why they sometimes failed to negotiate them, and what health problems they had. And those are just some of the measurements made.
    http://dunedinstudy.otago.ac.nz/news/childhd.html

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  57. Which referendum question did the greens prefer or are the red Greens trying to protect their Queen?

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  58. One of the levels of opposition to S59 repeal is that it is a reaction to interference by people on the far left. people on the left want to change society. People on the right think the grubby people are outside/ people on the left think the grubby people are inside (us) so they must change anything and everything. It is that propensity that lead to the extreme actions of people like Pol Pot. On the other extreme you have Adolf Hitler.
    People are sick of the left but what has grated is being told how to suck eggs with regard parenting. In effect the timely Dunedin Study has confirmed what the unwashed suspected all along.
    Studies of identical twins separated at birth have shown that many people are born with varying left/ right tendencies.
    Someone once described the green party as the “Red Army advancing under brush” :lol: :wink:

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  59. >>For all their theatrics, what they really want is old-school, boys-network, unbridled power.

    >>Someone once described the green party as the “Red Army advancing under brush”

    BP & JH, Havent you found the ‘frothing-at-the-mouth’ smiley yet -it would save you alot of pointless typing.

    Why bother quoting the Dunedin study -we already knew you could control your childs behavior by smashing them but it doesnt address the fact it violates a childs right to be safe from violence

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  60. jh

    So no smacking or a moderate smack of the bottom result in the same outcomes.

    Thus parents can, if they choose, end smacking and have no fears for their child.

    This is why the issue is, why smack if there is no benefit from it for the child (the answer appears to be because the parent finds the resort to the smack more convenient as a means of controlling the child’s behaviour because this makes the parents life easier).

    All those in authority have ways of exercising it, if they do not have a lawful capacity to use force they resort to another method, as would parents.

    There is some allowance for use of protective force but a questioning of the continued use of force for corrective purposes – that questioning is legitimate. So parents can continue to smack for protective reasons but any continuance in the matter of correcting the child could be called into question.

    Some would specify what level of parental correction would be lawful – the open palm smack on the back of the hand or buttocks (and for what age range of children).

    But research shows equally good outcomes for those not smacked and those smacked – so how is this correction necessary to protect the child?

    The law thus does not authorise a practice which is not required for child protection. However equally it is not the practice of the law to actually prosecute people for the open palm smack on the hand or buttocks.

    The reason being is that the law is about the diminishment of the practice of smacking, not criminalising parents for simply smacking.

    The principle of the law change is about trying to end the resort to authoritarian violence and working through other answers (which speaks to more than family but also society and international relations). Answers which involve evolving a more “co-habitable” world society.

    The allowance for use of protective force but a questioning of the use of force for the correction of others is probably in keeping with principled use of military force.

    It is in the wider aspect of positive and progressive social change in domestic politics and in the wider world – thinking globally and acting locally.

    It is entirely consistent with the central programme of environment sustainablility and an equivalent social progress.

    Cowardice in the face of the fear of the enemy of the Green Party and its purpose is cowardice on each and every battlefield, including on Section 59.

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  61. Shundra barunda

    Do you note that the political right (which has supporters advocating the use of the coercive authority of the state against groups of society – including beneficiary families) is not promising to change the law?

    Why would they, it was only with National’s support the law change occured. National simply notes that moderate smacking is not being prosecuted under the new law and thus they have no problem with it.

    Your line is that “good” parents could be trifled with by “mere” social workers. Well good political citizens get “profiled” as dissidents by the security establishment for questioning free trade and the means by which authority is exercised in this nation, in our security relationships and in the wider world. Apparently only the parents who committ violence against children will be prosecuted and only actual threats to security will be prosecuted (others are just vetted by social workers and the anonymous faceless spooks of our land).

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  62. bioneer – ‘frothing at the mouth’ smiley. :-)

    (Peewee at the mirror, brushing his teeth – Grrrrrrr! Mad dog! )

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  63. “The principle of the law change is about trying to end the resort to authoritarian violence”

    No, only your poor definition of it.
    SPC you are a minority left wing ideologue, nothing more.
    You preach your message eloquently but unfortunately it is still crap no matter how you spin it.

    “But research shows equally good outcomes for those not smacked and those smacked – so how is this correction necessary to protect the child?”

    Are you really this dull?
    Most people smacked their kids when this study was undertaken, I and many others completely accept that smacking is not necessary for all children, all you have pointed out is that this proves to be true.
    I guess all that authoritarian violence has no harm what so ever, so your deep concern for all humanity can be laid to rest.
    Smacking kids that need it, it turns out, only helps those children that would otherwise underachieve.
    Your “authoritarian violence” doesn’t wash.
    Why don’t you go and through some bottles at the police to make yourself feel better.

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  64. “Cowardice in the face of the fear of the enemy of the Green Party and its purpose is cowardice on each and every battlefield, including on Section 59.”

    Wow, this is why I will NEVER be a part of this party.

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  65. Get your motor running
    Head out on the highway
    looking for adventure
    in whatever comes your way…

    AND YOU MUST HAVE YOUR HEADLIGHT TURNED ON
    OR WE WILL PUNISH YOU!

    National.

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  66. At least we can still drink that bottle of coke and eat the pies from the school tuck shop while driving….. Freedom! :)

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  67. Cell phones – personally, I cannot drive a car and use a cellphone. Flippin’ dangerous, just like changing the tunes on the player.

    I wouldn’t ban them. What I would do is take the focus off speed in the advertising and promote courtesy. Then scrap ACC (dangerous motorists pay more), increase obnoxious driving penalties, privatise roads, and place a big, sharp spike in the middle of every steering wheel.

    No one drives recklessly if there is a big spike sticking out of their steering wheel :)

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  68. “Cowardice in the face of the fear of the enemy of the Green Party and its purpose is cowardice on each and every battlefield, including on Section 59.”

    Sue Bradford said:
    a lot of people don’t realise we’re ALSO a social justice party.

    This suggests a dog leg in policy rather than smooth connection between green and red. Catherine delahunty confirmed as much at the marxist conference (the one where she’s got the red arm band on).
    :wink:

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  69. “a lot of people don’t realise we’re ALSO a social justice party.”

    It seems at least some of the membership would ALSO like to be the Manson family party.

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  70. Shunda – let’s clarify shall we? Are you talking about Charles Manson and his cult of murderers? Are you saying that there are Green Party members who would like to do as Manson and his murderous followers did?

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  71. i’ve told you fly..this barunda persona is a mindless troll..

    do you believe me now..?

    it is just here to disrupt..

    ..and just makes this shit up..as it goes..

    ..is this one the troll too far..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  72. phil asks:

    is this one the troll too far..?

    Shunda will clarify what he meant, Phil and if it transpires that I read him right, it’s waaay too far for me.

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  73. bjchip,

    Hundreds of thousands of voters signed a petition on the basis of that question so it’s clear enough to lots of people. What has Sue Bradford and others running around wondering how to vote just because they don’t agree with the apparent assumption of the opening phrase, is really a desire to make a mockery of the referendum and to muddy the waters to get people to abstain or to vote in a way that will keep the status quo. Sure, in hindsight, I’d have preferred a different question but I don’t think we need waste time on a law change.

    If enough people sign up, then the wording must be good enough, in my opinion. If the wording is really bad (this referendum’s question is not really bad) then I doubt it will get the backing to force a referendum, anyway. So the law change is simply not needed. There are certainly more important things to worry about.

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  74. If she ever became Prime Minister there would be no stopping her.

    I don’t think there is much chance of that, Philip. She switched electorates at the last election but her share of the vote went down, despite her fairly high profile in the previous term. In fact, her share of the vote, in her electorate, was lower than the Greens got overall. I don’t think that is a wringing endorsement for the policies she espouses. Consequently, I doubt whatever party she led would get very far.

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  75. I think Sue Bradford will be remembered for longer than most politicians for her courage over this. Her support for kids and youth in general shouldn’t be in question.

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  76. But research shows equally good outcomes for those not smacked and those smacked – so how is this correction necessary to protect the child?

    As I understand it, the study actually showed slightly better outcomes for children who were lightly smacked but that is not really the point, is it, SPC? If smacking does not ruin a child’s life, any more than not smacking, then why remove that option from all parents? Remember that all children are different and all parents have different abilities. Sue Bradford, and some others here, appear to believe that the opposite is true and the law should be applied to make everyone the same. This is, of course, nonsense.

    Also remember that children have to be raised; they are not just small adults from birth. To remove an option from parents when that option has not been shown to do harm (and the reverse may even be true) is dictatorial and may, itself, be the thin edge of a wedge.

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  77. Shundra Barunda

    Apart from simply throwing labels “minority left wing ideologue, nothing more”, and your form of abuse “You preach your message eloquently but unfortunately it is still crap no matter how you spin it”.

    you offer little challenge to my argument.

    As for are you “are really this dull”, that may well refer to yourself.

    I said

    – But research shows equally good outcomes for those not smacked and those smacked – so how is this correction necessary to protect the child?

    To which you replied

    “Most people smacked their kids when this study was undertaken, I and many others completely accept that smacking is not necessary for all children, all you have pointed out is that this proves to be true.”

    and

    “Smacking kids that need it, it turns out, only helps those children that would otherwise underachieve.”

    Did the study actually identify that as the case? Is there really evidence that no parent in a well to do family home should have any need to smack.

    Are you really saying that only parents from families where a low achievement might be expected are the ones where parents need to smack their children.

    Are middle class parents making an issue out of nothing because there is no purpiose to them smacking their children?

    You seem to be arguing for the need for physical discipline on the children of underclass families.

    Which would explain this “Why don’t you go and through some bottles at the police to make yourself feel better.”

    Which indicates you see a link between police and parental use of force against the children of the underclass.

    Which frankly is sick.

    Basically like too many other Christians you are simply an apologist for the exercise of power by those in authority. Which explains the religious belief in end time judgement of those without the Christian God “party card” and their consignment to hell.

    – Cowardice in the face of the fear of the enemy of the Green Party and its purpose is cowardice on each and every battlefield, including on Section 59 –

    “Wow, this is why I will NEVER be a part of this party.”

    It was not addressed to you.

    Besides Shundra, is there any Green Party policy you do support?

    My point is simply that there is opposition to Green Party policy from farmers and business also – if the party backed down before opposition it would have to fold up its environment programme, its economic programme and its social programme its bi-cultural policy … .

    Many groups fear progressive change, yet it eventually occurs and becomes accepted.

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  78. Sir Easydoesiteasydoesitson

    over on The Standard said:

    Sir John Key, Minister of Tourism & War.

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  79. sofistek

    I don’t disagree with what you said, but I did try and cover the rationale in my earlier post

    Some would specify what level of parental correction would be lawful – the open palm smack on the back of the hand or buttocks (and for what age range of children). However the intent of the law change is not to declare this, but remove the right to use physical correction. Even though effectively the level of force allowable in child correction before prosecution occurs is such minimal use of force/open palm smacking.

    The reason being is that the law is about directing the diminishment of the practice of smacking, not criminalising parents for simply smacking.

    You could call the legislative law a social policy, and in practice the criminal law operates at another level. In anthropological history one would have declared the social policy a direction within the cultural religion code, rather than a law.

    One can see a connection of this social policy to wider Green policy platforms.

    The principle of the law change is about trying to end the resort to authoritarian violence and working through other answers (which speaks to more than family but also society and international relations). Answers which involve evolving a more “co-habitable” world society.

    The allowance for use of protective force, but a questioning of the use of force for the correction of others is probably in keeping with principled use of military force.

    It is in the wider aspect of positive and progressive social change in domestic politics and in the wider world – thinking globally and acting locally.

    It is entirely consistent with the central programme of environment sustainablility and an equivalent social progress.

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  80. “Many groups fear progressive change, yet it eventually occurs and becomes accepted.”

    Published: 6:16AM Monday August 03, 2009

    Source: ONE News

    Over 80% of New Zealanders believe a smack should not be a criminal offence and just 13% think it should.

    That’s according to a ONE News Colmar Brunton poll.

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  81. jh

    Many of those who do not think a smack should be a criminal offence have no problem with the law staying in place.

    I am one of that 80% too. So could be Sue Bradford.

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  82. Poll reveals backlash over smacking law
    [Mood of the Nation: Northland, Auckland and Tauranga]

    “More importantly, voters see the anti-smacking law as just part of a broader breakdown of discipline at home, at school and in the community which leaves youngsters vulnerable to the violent “gangsta” culture.

    Auckland taxi driver Haresh Karelia, who runs a laundrette in Mangere and a dairy in Otara with his wife and two teenage children, says teachers “have no control of the students”.

    “The students do as they like at age 14 or 15,” he said. “They start smoking. No one can do anything.”

    Many people also see the youth justice system as ineffective in dealing with children who break the law.

    Teenagers aged 14 to 16 can be sent to youth residences for up to six months, but don’t normally go to adult jails. Children under 14 are the subject of family group conferences, which decide who should look after them.

    “All these family conferences don’t work. Everybody sits around and agrees on things. Nothing changes,” said Mangere Bridge teacher Margaret, 57.

    Her partner James, 59, said: “Kids know they can get away with far too much before anything happens to them … ” I know kids with $45,000 worth of vehicle fines. They laugh at them.”

    Critics of the law have attacked the Government for rejecting a referendum with the November general election in favour of a postal ballot in the middle of next year.

    But ministers said electoral officials had told them that the last time a referendum was held it had confused voters and slowed the vote count.”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/mood-of-the-nation/news/headlines.cfm?c_id=1502760

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  83. EDITORIAL: Bradford insulting all parents

    12.10.2006
    LOUIS PIERARD

    The Green Party’s Commissar for the Department of Child Rearing, Sue Bradford, never fails to astound for her breathtaking presumptuousness in defence of her anti-smacking private member’s bill.

    In a speech in Auckland last week entitled “The children are our future”, she took the opportunity of painting those who oppose her planned repeal of Section 59 of the Crimes Act not only as irredeemable promoters of violence but also possibly sexual perverts.

    The typical example of those who oppose her bill that would outlaw smacking is the zealot who uses the Biblical imperative for delivering salutary floggings even though, of those parents who do smack their children, such people must be a very tiny minority.

    However, that must be of little concern to Ms Bradford because she is happy to use a tiny minority of ignorant thugs – who lack self-control and who use violence as the primary means of communication – to exemplify all parents who deliver a smack.

    If one opposes her ambitions to ban smacking, then it must follow that one has to be an ardent advocate, or practitioner, of child-beating.

    And now the smacking of children has been linked to the need by the smackers (whether they realise it or not) for sexual gratification.

    “Personally,” Ms Bradford said, “I have no problem with sadomasochism carried out between consenting adults using safe sex practices – what I do have a problem with is a legacy of hidden sexual violence practised on children and young people under a mantle of so-called discipline. Section 59 of the Crimes Act has been protecting the perpetrators of a vicious mix of sexual and physical abuse for generations.”

    As if such an offensive smear were not sufficient she adds, condescendingly, that many parents who chose smacking as a form of discipline opposed the change of law because they felt guilty or were afraid of being made to feel guilty. To refuse to admit the fact is seen as evidence of how deeply ingrained those feelings must be. Guilt, Ms Bradford said, makes people resistant to change. Perhaps it’s because she is dazzled by the righteousness of her cause – to cure child abuse by ending smacking – that Ms Bradford fails to notice that most who oppose her repeal plans do so not because they have no wish to deny themselves the sexual frisson that comes from thrashing infants; not because they are pathologically violent child abusers who fight any impediment to allow them to bash their offspring; not because they are fundamentalists who for “moral” or “religious” reasons (words that along with “Christian” are themselves used as terms of abuse) believe in the purgative benefits of a regular beating.

    They are people, unconnected to any lobbying or political organisation, who simply refuse to make the facile connection between the wooden spoon and the Kahui twins tragedy.

    They are people who are sick of the constant intrusion into their personal lives by people like Ms Bradford (who would, in turn, no doubt regard such resentment as proof positive of a dark secret).

    There is a paradoxical obsession by political ideologues who on the one hand promote privacy (to the extent that freedom of information is under constant threat) and on the other are determined to meddle unceasingly in people’s private lives, imagining that a legislative remedy exists for every human ailment.
    http://www.hbtoday.co.nz/localnews/storydisplay.cfm?storyid=3705066&thesection=localn

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  84. Let’s guess, Louis Pierard once supported laws criminalising the consensual behaviour of adults and now opposes a law limiting the grounds for use of physical violence (without consent) for “correction” of minors.

    The only intrusion here, is in the cause, and in response to concern, of preventing violence against children – and there is no evidence the law is being enforced against mere smacking.

    Lovely old article from the Herald, sort of soft selling, via channelling a few quotes from “the people”, the idea that if every household smacked their child “society” would be a better place.

    You may have heard of the quote from the 3000-2000BCE period (like a long time ago) from Assyria, to the effect that young people today are so bad … and so society is doomed. Unfortunately … conscription led to its own problems … .

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  85. “Many groups fear progressive change, yet it eventually occurs and becomes accepted.”

    Your proposition is not progressive, it is tired old ideology in a fresh green wrapper.
    Your summation of the “christian agenda” is true of some but not me, I don’t adhere to the ‘us and them’ theology you refer to.
    Your comment:
    “Cowardice in the face of the fear of the enemy of the Green Party and its purpose is cowardice on each and every battlefield, including on Section 59.”
    Sounds at least equal to that of any war mongering American general, uncompromising unenlightened and just totally wrong.
    You are wrong about smacking being harmful, and you are wrong about basic human nature.

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  86. “A little girl saw her mum smacking her sister. She was only nine. She called 111. She felt like she needed some adult help.

    Her parents don’t recall that event. But they were dragged onto nationwide television by that daughter to state that to the nation. Now this daughter has dragged her own daughter into the issue. She is on the posters at Barnardos.

    This woman wouldn’t be the Barnardos staff member who authorised a letter to staff to say they must vote ‘Yes’ and are not allowed to vote ‘No’ in the current referendum on smacking? Surely not.

    The woman is Deborah Morris-Travers, of The Yes Vote and has an agenda.

    Who would have ever thought?”
    http://big-news.blogspot.com/

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  87. this’id be a hoot!

    Debate to discuss parents’ right to smack

    Published 7 August 2009

    The referendum on smacking is sparking controversy nationwide, and as a result New Zealand’s premier debating society is hosting a showdown between prominent speakers as votes are cast around the country.

    The debate; open to the public, with entry by koha, is being organised by the Victoria University Debating Society and is sponsored by the University.

    Side affirmative will be represented by champion student debater Udayan Mukherjee, commentator and former journalist Dave Crampton (who blogs at http://big-news.blogspot.com) and former Young Nationals President Michael Mabbett. Green Party MP Sue Bradford will speak for the negative side, as will founder of Lobby Group EPOCH and former UNICEF NZ Advocacy Manager and Beth Wood. They will be joined by Victoria University Debating Society President Polly Higbee.
    http://www.victoria.ac.nz/home/about/newspubs/news/ViewNews.aspx?id=2988&newslabel=hn

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  88. irredeemable promoters of violence but also possibly sexual perverts.

    Wonder what part of the psyche such a vile notion springs from?

    They are people, unconnected to any lobbying or political organisation, who simply refuse to make the facile connection between the wooden spoon and the Kahui twins tragedy

    Exactly.

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  89. bj – this thread could be dedicated to those who wish to thrash out the issue.
    Those who despair of the waste could discuss more useful and engaging topics on other threads.

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  90. WE are not wasting time BJ
    It’s the paid Flunkeys
    Else Solipsism is a barrel-like u-shaped tool methinkin

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  91. Yer – I been studying it lately – and it’s precarious at best, and self destructive eventually – my advice is to flick the page when the mendacious appear here – they are not Greens in any sense – are here because of the illness mentioned – this is their Gestalt
    F’ em I say.

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  92. BluePeter Says:
    Should referendum questions, as part of good governance, be subject to political manipulation by people who don’t want to hear what the voters want?

    jh Says:
    Which referendum question did the greens prefer or are the red Greens trying to protect their Queen?

    *everything* politicians are involved in is subject to political manipulation. It’s called democracy and a free press, and I think all of the alternatives are worse.

    I *don’t* want to change the question, and in particular, I don’t want to increase the role of bureaucrats and politicians in changing the question because, well, see above; I want to change the space of possible answers, so that the us who aren’t politicians can change the set of feasible questions in the future.

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  93. >>is to flick the page when the mendacious appear here

    Off you go then, Marky.

    BTW Looks like John Key is coming around to the idea of listening to what the people want….

    Democracy and the will of the people may yet triumph over Bradford.

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  94. TrollPeter said:

    Looks like John Key is coming around to the idea of listening to what the people want….

    You mean he didn’t listen to the people before..?

    How would this blog be, I’ve been wondering, without the incessant troll comments from TrollPeter and his skeptic crew? How much creativity is lost here, due to the air-time being grabbed by trolls and their inflamatory claims? It seems to me that most of the female commenters have quietly resigned from commenting and I suspect this has a lot to do with it. A forum where ideas can be safely floated seems desirable, but my guess is that Frogblog doesn’t qualify as such a space, given the kinds of ‘put-down’ methods that are employed here (I’m claiming no innocence).
    Might is Right, right? Those who wield the ‘hitting sticks’ soon drive away those who don’t accept that philosophy.

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  95. No, he didn’t.

    He used it as an opportunity to appear statesman like.
    But he needs to listen to the people, else he’ll end up like the last dictator who forgot the reason why she was there.

    >>It seems to me that most of the female commenters have quietly resigned

    How sexist. Females too delicate, Greenfly?

    So long as I’m forced to pay for the Green Party to exist, I’ll be commenting here.

    Democracy, eh.

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  96. “The case against making smacking a criminal offence is that, far from ushering in a non-violent society, it actually undermines parents’ abilities to shape their children into loving and productive citizens. Otago University law professor Rex Ahdar says the idea that banning smacking can somehow advance a more equal and co-operative society is a “socialist utopian view” that is divorced from reality. “Hierarchical and unequal cultures are a sociological fact of life,” he says. “Non-violence is another utopian chimera.”

    Tim Sisarich, NZ director of the Focus on the Family agency, believes parental discipline is fundamental in moulding good citizens.

    “The word ‘discipline’ comes from the word ‘disciple’,” he says. “The job of a parent is to raise good kids, to disciple them to become great adults.”

    That “discipling” is first and foremost about setting a good example – “living a life that is reflecting good morals, good attitudes to society”.

    But a good parent cannot flinch from guiding a child back on to the right path when they stray. “So it’s disciplining,” Sisarich says. “Sometimes disciplining is not comfortable.”

    US researcher Robert Larzelere has raised serious doubts about the effect of the 1979 ban in Sweden, noting that aggravated assaults on Swedish children almost quadrupled in the decade to 1994, although he agrees that actual deaths from child abuse were low both before and after the ban.

    Focus on the Family, founded by US pediatrician James Dobson, promotes a full range of disiciplinary techniques including time out, removing privileges, allowing “natural consequences” such as hunger for a child who won’t eat dinner, and “logical consequences” such as paying for the cost of damages.


    A 2006 report on the Dunedin study by psychologist Jane Millichamp found that children who were smacked lightly with an open hand on the hand, bottom or leg had “similar or even slightly better outcomes” than those who were not smacked in terms of school achievement, aggression, substance abuse and adult convictions.

    Christchurch study director David Fergusson wrote in 1998 that his study found “no evidence that those exposed to occasional physical punishment by their parents were at any greater or lesser risk of adjustment problems than those whose parents did not use physical punishment”. The same studies have found that real physical abuse of children stems from stresses such as relationship conflict, poverty and addictions.

    As Fergusson put it: “Young people reporting high exposure to physical punishment tended to come from socially disadvantaged family backgrounds that were characterised by multiple sources of adversity that spanned parental divorce or separation, high levels of parental conflict, parental illicit drug usage, alcohol problems, criminality, depressed living standards and high levels of exposure to [stress].”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/child-abuse/news/article.cfm?c_id=146&objectid=10586441&pnum=0

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  97. TrollPeter said:

    How sexist. Females too delicate, Greenfly?

    Too sensible, TrollPeter.

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  98. >>A forum where ideas can be safely floated seems desirable

    Isn’t that g.blog, or whatever it is called?

    Last time I looked,it was about as popular as PhilUs blog….

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  99. The blowfly is a marvelous little beast. I’m proud of all my diptera cousins.

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  100. Greens ignore World Renowned Dunedin Multi Disciplinary Health and development Study
    [as featured on the cover of Time Magazine and been going on over 30 years]

    “The Green Party is disappointed that the Sensible Sentencing Trust and Family First have sunk to the level of misrepresenting the perspective of a religious lobby group as balanced research, and refutes their conclusion that smacking is an effective form of discipline.
    “As was discovered during the two year Select Committee process there is a vast amount of research from New Zealand, the United States and around the world which thoroughly disputes that position,” Green Party Children’s Issues Spokesperson Sue Bradford says. ”

    http://www.greens.org.nz/node/15408

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  101. “ignore”…perhaps obfuscate or misrepresent would be better? :?:

    In fact when Dr Millichamp presented her findings to the “select” committee Sue Bradford questioned her motives. :roll:

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  102. So Shundra Barunda says the way of non violence (except for protection) is “not progressive, it is tired old ideology in a fresh green wrapper”

    jh says it is “utopian” and then labels it a “socialist utopianism” as if this discredits it – presumably because non violence (except for protection) is somehow as utopian as a Green sustainable economy and any form of economic policy called socialism and somehow the real world does not work that way.

    “You are wrong about smacking being harmful, and you are wrong about basic human nature.”

    Your view of human nature is obviously that mankind is somehow inherently bad and needs to be managed via force (parental discipline and exertion of establishment power within nations and amongst nations – for the correction of the people). This ideology is of the Christian faith and it is ultimately in service to the concept of the Creator of life “properly” exerting violence (flood of judgment etc, this story in the absence of any supporting evidence is a slander against God) to judge creation (following from which authoritarian human government does the same).

    Shundra Barunda I asked you whether you supported any Green Party policy – given you wrote how because of Section 59 you would not support the Greens.

    I wrote – Cowardice in the face of the fear of the enemy of the Green Party and its purpose is cowardice on each and every battlefield, including on Section 59 –

    ”Sounds at least equal to that of any war mongering American general, uncompromising unenlightened and just totally wrong.”

    Democracy is the form of political “battle” that occurs within nations. It is preferred to coups and counter-coups, rebellion and revolution as a means of government of the people. Today we battle issue by issue.

    Thus your use of the term “war-mongering” is either a stupid literalism or a deliberate black rain nonsense.

    You call committment to principle, uncompromising, on that we can agree.
    The issue in politics is not to sacrifice principle but to achieve results as best one can.

    This is why the law stands without anyone being prosecuted for smacking. While the law is about the principle of non violence it is not being enforced to criminalise parents who smack their children.

    Which is why the referendum is nonsense. Parents are not being criminalised under the current law. Only parents who go too far and apply “bad correction” will be.

    This fear of being criminalised is not based on what is happening in the real world its just plain unenlightened and just wrong.

    jh

    Yeah sure anyone using authoritarian violence to raise up people to obey them are trying to “disciple” them.

    “The case against making smacking a criminal offence is that, far from ushering in a non-violent society, it actually undermines parents’ abilities to shape their children into loving and productive citizens.”

    The issue is not smacking per se it is actually the concept of using force to correct others and a preference for using force for protection only. Smacking itself is not being criminalised.

    “Otago University law professor Rex Ahdar says the idea that banning smacking can somehow advance a more equal and co-operative society is a “socialist utopian view” that is divorced from reality. “Hierarchical and unequal cultures are a sociological fact of life,” he says. “Non-violence is another utopian chimera.”

    So those supporting the use of smacking for the discipling of the corrected person, see heirarchial and unequal cultures as a fact of life. An apology for authoritarian use of force as normalised reality.

    It is the connection between capitalist liberalism ideology and emergent right wing neo-authoritarianism.

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  103. Oh for crying out loud, SPC while I can respect the fact that you are alleast being honest about the real agenda:

    “The reason being is that the law is about directing the diminishment of the practice of smacking, not criminalising parents for simply smacking.”

    Your ideas are not new by any means.
    You don’t seem to credit people with the intelligence they deserve. This is NOT a Christian issue, do you really think that fundamentalist Christians even exist in the numbers that are currently opposed to this law?
    It is not the Green parties mandate to ‘wean’ people off a method of discipline you don’t like, my opposition to this law is for this reason.
    Your beliefs on the effects of violence on people is just a fantasy, the intelligence of the human species enables us to discern the context in which certain actions are taken.
    This is why verbal abuse is only second to sexual abuse in the damage it causes people, it is far more harmful to belittle your kids verbally than to smack them for bad behavior.
    The effect of further reducing parental authority, (which is a term I assume you would find abhorrent), will be to create a vacuum which will be filled by destructive behavior, things always go from order to disorder.
    This social ‘progression’ you speak of is nothing of the sort, it is regression and it has been going on for some time even now.

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  104. Hey Shunda – please deal with the issue Phil outlines. I’m concerned that you’ve gone too far and hope to be wrong.
    Cheers.

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  105. “Hey Shunda – please deal with the issue Phil outlines. I’m concerned that you’ve gone too far and hope to be wrong.”

    Greenfly the point I was trying to make is that the greens seem to be more favorable towards radicals than towards people that are interested in green issues but perhaps have more conservative social beliefs. I intended the comment to indicate a destination that this could lead to, not that there are greens like this in the party now.
    I realize it was not a very well written comment and I apologize for any offense it may have caused.

    Why is it that the Greens are more accepting of radicals on a number of fronts but not of moderates who still have strong green motivations?
    Why do people seem to have to submit to a very narrow and idealistic social agenda to have any real credibility among the membership?
    Philu seems to think I have no right to even suggest I am interested in green issues yet the only thing he attacks me for is my refusal to accept the social agenda.
    What gives?
    It is not hard to make a connection with the party and some very old and tired liberal agendas, and I am not even saying they are all wrong, but are they really a prerequisite to being “green”?

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  106. Shunda – we Greens are likely to end up as murderous cultists ? Is that your suggestion?
    I suppose it was generous of you to say that we are not like this at present, but I’m struggling to accept that you believe we will become mass murderers. Am I hearing you right?
    You aren’t going to start on the hackneyed ‘Pol Pot’ line as well, are you?
    I have to say, I’m pretty disgusted.

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  107. greenfly it was a poor example I admit, the angle I was going for was that radicals often try to force a revolution, which is how the “manson family” justified their actions.
    I know that there are radicals that vote green that are pretty scary people, I have met them, they are not murderers but seem to have the same ideas to force revolution.
    I am suggesting that perhaps the greens would do well to begin to distance themselves from the more radical elements and embrace the much larger group of moderates that are scared off by them.
    Don’t you agree?

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  108. “Shunda – we Greens are likely to end up as murderous cultists ?”

    You seem offended yet your own Sue Bradford and many others have attempted to link people like me that use smacking, to perverted sexual predators?
    I have to say I am pretty disgusted.
    You are not playing fair.

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  109. “..I have to say I am pretty disgusted.
    You are not playing fair..”

    why don’t you go away and sulk..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  110. Poor phil doesn’t realize the best thing he could do for the green movement is smash his modem.

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  111. Shunda barunda I am waiting for you to say which policies of the Greens you do support.

    You cannot credibly suggest that “moderate” social conservative people like you would be more supportive “if only” they excluded those seen by you as liberal and leftie, if you cannot even express any support for the Greens on any policy issue.

    Also the idea of removing “liberals and lefties” from a party (and or a society) is not a programme of, by and for moderates.

    It sounds like McCarthyism in an anti-secular left liberal form. It also sounds like fear of the existence of a party seen as a threat to an establishment order. Liberals are feared by social conservatives (the remnant of the values of partriarchy), the left is fear by capitalist heirarchy (and those who profit from their place within this system) and those posing a coherent programme for human idealism (secular humanism) unrelated to religious dogma are feared by the religious establishment.

    It’s actually of a neo-authoritarianism, a need to cleanse society of sources and means of dissent to enable a re-assertion of an old order.

    There is a natural fear amongst those who pose to have the ultimate truth, in their religion or the authority of their church, that the progress of human civilisation may supercede their “god” world order. Also that human civilisation focus on this world (the interdependence of humanity and the need to maintain a sustainable habitat) without reference to God would involve some rejection of the past heirarchial order of society (and the use of authoritarian force in the exercise of power) and undermine the relevance of their faith and religious establishment on earth.

    Its not a new thing for those outside of a party to seek to remove certain groups from within it – the attempt to expel the left from the Labour Party and the secular society liberal from the US Democrat Party has been a work of the right wing establishment and Christianity for decades.

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  112. Why do you do it Phil? why do you have such a seething contempt for some one such as myself? I can tell you right now I don’t have the level of contempt for you that many of your Kiwiblog adversaries do, yet lately you use every opportunity to attack me?
    Why do you feel the need to ‘defend’ the green movement from people like myself? you know nothing of my real motivations or the degree that I am involved in green issues.
    What would you do if you met me face to face? could you even be civil?

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  113. SPC you have me all wrong I am afraid, all i can conclude is that you are atleast as dogmatic in your beliefs as fundamentalist nutter Christians are in theirs. Polar opposites it would seem, but at the end of the day both poles are cold.

    “Also the idea of removing “liberals and lefties” from a party (and or a society) is not a programme of, by and for moderates. ”

    Who says anything about removing the left? I am of the opinion that the most dangerous thing for any democracy is a left or right wing significantly weaker than the other.

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  114. The reason being is that the law is about directing the diminishment of the practice of smacking, not criminalising parents for simply smacking.

    “It is not the Green parties mandate to ‘wean’ people off a method of discipline you don’t like, my opposition to this law is for this reason.”

    We have ended physical punishment for correction in prisons, in the bedroom and home for wives and also in schools. The one exception was by parents against children. Now that too has gone.

    Many parents were more than smacked themselves, but they now no more than smack their child. All that is left for parents is smacking – and the number of parents smacking their child has been diminishing.

    Some parents have chosen to reduce their use of correction to mere smacking, others have chosen to wean themselves off smacking children altogether.

    All the law does, is state the change in society behaviour and express the new cultural norm.

    “This is why verbal abuse is only second to sexual abuse in the damage it causes people …

    Absolute rubbish

    … it is far more harmful to belittle your kids verbally than to smack them for bad behavior.”

    That may be true, but it in no way supports your earlier statement.

    “The effect of further reducing parental authority, (which is a term I assume you would find abhorrent), will be to create a vacuum which will be filled by destructive behavior, …

    How is reducing parents to the use of a smack reducing parental authority? The ability to beat people up and get away with it is not an authoritarian order that one should accept.

    … things always go from order to disorder.”

    Premised on the “Garden of Eden” myth. Your presumption that without order (exercised by some authority) there will be disorder is the classic argument against democracy itself. It formed the basis of divine right of kings – man inventing god and then establishing a patriarchal authority under god to rule society.

    “This social ‘progression’ you speak of is nothing of the sort, it is regression and it has been going on for some time even now.”

    Regression from what, the heydey of Western Society, the divine right of Kings and serfs of the land kept in their place by the fuedal order of the Kings knights?

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  115. “the attempt to expel the left from the Labour Party and the secular society liberal from the US Democrat Party has been a work of the right wing establishment and Christianity for decades.”

    So Christians have never been involved in social justice? never been involved in the Labour or Democrat parties?
    You really have that back to front, your statement could equally read:

    “”the attempt to expel the Christians from the Labour Party and the Christian social conservatives from the US Democrat Party has been a work of the secular society liberal establishment and left wing for decades.”

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  116. Shunda

    Thanks for acknowledging, in your own way, that the social conservative of faith wants as much influence on the left of politics as the right (where it is already established). This to effectively marginalise the secular society liberal.

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  117. “Regression from what, the heydey of Western Society, the divine right of Kings and serfs of the land kept in their place by the fuedal order of the Kings knights?”

    Why the hell do you think I would see this as a good thing? this is why this social policy is such a dangerous thing, you link smacking to this?
    It is absurd.
    You sound full of fear and completely incapable of taking the middle ground on anything.
    Do you think maybe a bit of both social justice and correct authority could be part of the answer? There is no evidence to suggest that smacking is bad or even all physical violence is bad towards people, ever heard of play fighting?
    It is your uncompromising attitude and the fact that most of the green leadership would appear to share this attitude that will ensure the greens will have limited ability to ever do anything for the environment.
    Just as well people like me will continue to plant trees regardless.

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  118. “..Shunda barunda Says:
    August 15th, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    Why do you do it Phil? why do you have such a seething contempt for some one such as myself?..”

    seeing as you asked..

    you talk absolute mindless drivel..

    you are double-faced..

    ..you display not one iota of intellectual rigor..

    ..and you seem to have been here forever..

    modus operandi:..?

    choose topic..

    talk troll-drivel..

    get shot down/answered..

    move onto next tack/subject..

    (repeat..endlessly..)

    you are like a less intelligent owen mcshane..

    (he has learnt some psuedo-science..so spouts that..)

    you are a total waste of space/time..

    ..yet somehow seem so smug/self-congratulatory..

    ..without absolutely anything of substance behind those pretences..

    (you did ask..eh..?..)

    and..you are on ignore-function again..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  119. “Thanks for acknowledging, in your own way, that the social conservative of faith wants as much influence on the left of politics as the right (where it is already established).”

    Have you ever thought that the only thing moderating both the extreme left and right may have been Christianity?
    Christian doctrine is full of warnings against the greedy and in helping the poor.
    Is the Salvation army a bad thing SPC?
    You seem to have seen only the worst of one side of the Christian faith, there is another side to the story.

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  120. Shunda

    Perhaps you could explain

    “the greens seem to be more favorable towards radicals than towards people that are interested in green issues but perhaps have more conservative social beliefs.”

    Why is it “radical” or “moderates with conservative social beliefs”?

    And how can the Greens show lack of favour to these radicals – by losing any left wing aspect to their policy (the line of some critics) or any liberal aspect (your own criticism)?

    Are you not suggesting a Green Party nuetral on liberal conservative divide, just as others suggest a Green Party neutral on the left right divide. This so they can appeal to “moderates” (who are social cosnervatives and or right wing on economic policy).

    Is that not a Green Party without a liberal social programme and a Green Party without a left wing economic programme?

    Would then the liberal and or left wing Greens consider other options, as social conservative and pro capitalist free market ones do now (without forming their own environment Party).

    A Green Party nuetral on the left right wing and liberal conservative political divide is an interesting idea. All it would take to achieve it would be people of this point of view who joined the party and became its main constituency. The party is quite democratic. So why has the party not been inundated with new members. Because the advocate for liberal and left free party have not had a mandate within the party for their point of view. The Green Party is representative of its members.

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  121. “Is that not a Green Party without a liberal social programme and a Green Party without a left wing economic programme? ”

    No, it would be a green party with a decent shot at changing attitudes to the environment and actually bringing some healing to the land.
    You guys claim the environment is the main objective, but the real passion lies more in liberal socialism, you can’t hide it to save yourselves. I will always be supportive of sound environmental direction, but like you have shown the social aspect is so entwined in the “green” belief system that you have to be converted in order to take part.
    The real question is could YOU work with someone like me on environmental issues?

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  122. Shunda

    You wrote that “The effect of further reducing parental authority, (which is a term I assume you would find abhorrent), will be to create a vacuum which will be filled by destructive behavior, things always go from order to disorder.”

    I raised one form of past order which you rejected with.

    “Why the hell do you think I would see this as a good thing? this is why this social policy is such a dangerous thing, you link smacking to this?”

    Then state from what order you mean when you say we are falling away from some order.

    “You sound full of fear and completely incapable of taking the middle ground on anything.”

    Yeah right.

    Your agenda is obvious, its just a sustained attack on the Green Party.

    You claim to be a moderate supportive of Green policies but you are clearly either personally or professionally unable to name any Green Party policy you support.

    “Do you think maybe a bit of both social justice and correct authority could be part of the answer?”

    Well injustice and incorerct authority is not part of the answer.

    Is violence except for the protection of others just and is it the correct use of authority?

    “there is no evidence to suggest that smacking is bad or even all physical violence is bad towards people, ever heard of play fighting?”

    So smacking is joined by play fighting as the poster child of the acceptable forms of physical violence – why not mention sport. We are discussing the issue of protecting children from being assaulted. Smacking itself is not the issue, it is the principle of using force for the correction of those under some authority.

    If you do not accept the premise you remove such force from prisons and from the homes of wives and children and the schools. Then you oppose the use of force by regimes against their own people and by terrorists. And you advocate for limiting the use of force in inter-national affaiors to the protection of people (collective security of the UN).

    But if you do accept the premise, you only apply it against children? What’s with that. Or do you allow all in authority to resort to it to maintain some sort of obedient order?

    Which side of the philosophical fence is your form of moderate Cristianity on Shunda?

    If you accept the premise anyone with authority can use it

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  123. Thanks for making it clear Shunda.

    1. You are here to label the Green Party liberal and socialist and say that this “focus” gets in the way of its environment policies
    2. to claim that conversion to this liberal and socialist focus is somehow required to be a member
    3. that those whose focus is the environment are left outside the party

    “The real question is could YOU work with someone like me on environmental issues?”

    There is nothing to stop blue greens and social conservative greens joining the party and becoming the majority of the membership. Or for them to form another party sans right wing economic or social conservative policies and asking “moderates” from the existing Green Party from joining them.

    But if pro environmentalists like yourself are unable to name one Green Party policy they support, there might be some difference on environment policy too which would maintain division.

    In the end people whose focus is the environment and who support the Green Party on environment policy join and those who do not don’t. The rest is nonsense.

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  124. Shunda – it wouldn’t kill you to name a Green policy that you support. You’ve been treated exceptionally well here over the years and, as my dear departed mum used to say,
    “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”.

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  125. SPC, you are in effect blaming all the worlds violence ills on smacking?
    For goodness sake! violence is only harmful if the intent is to harm!
    I am not trying to harm my kids when I smack them AND THEY KNOW IT!!
    Humans are intelligent creatures and can actually understand the context that something is done in. If I say to my kid, “if you do this again you will get a smack on the bottom” and they get the smack, they don’t receive it as an assault, they know the context!!
    The left have been developing the majority of social policy for some time now and what do we find? society becoming more violent, children getting into difficulty at a younger and younger age, basic law and order becoming harder to maintain.
    Your approach is not working, what is your answer to this?
    Is it still the Christians fault? El Nino? what?

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  126. “Shunda – it wouldn’t kill you to name a Green policy that you support.”

    I agree with banning unsustainable hardwoods, home insulation, fisheries, enviroschools, and most of the other issues that involve a common sense approach to the environment.

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  127. “But if pro environmentalists like yourself are unable to name one Green Party policy they support”

    Why the test? we are not debating other policy we are debating the underlying ideology behind social policy, I don’t have to prove my “greenness” to disagree on non environmental policy.

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  128. Oh Shunda you agree with “commonsense” approach to environment issues. So does Peter Dunne and hates the Greens.

    “I agree with banning unsustainable hardwoods, home insulation, fisheries, enviroschools, and most of the other issues that involve a common sense approach to the environment.”

    So does the National Party and the BR.

    This reminds me of the Herald defending their editorial policy by saying it was even handed because half the time it was favourable to the Labour government (so was the National party – they did not disagree on everything).

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  129. Shunda

    “SPC, you are in effect blaming all the worlds violence ills on smacking?”

    Only in your strawman arguement creating imagination.

    “If I say to my kid, “if you do this again you will get a smack on the bottom” and they get the smack, they don’t receive it as an assault, they know the context!!

    And the same was said about discipline to correct wives and schoolchildren who were beaten for disobedience. Now it is no longer done.

    Parents in the past did much more than smack with the open palm – just as teachers did. It was normal then. Now half do not smack and those who do use physical discipline to correct/order about children are being required to limit it to the smack.

    Why do you confuse being limited to the smack being criminalised for smacking?

    It’s nonsense.

    “The left have been developing the majority of social policy for some time now and what do we find? society becoming more violent, children getting into difficulty at a younger and younger age, basic law and order becoming harder to maintain. Your approach is not working, what is your answer to this?”

    The BSU of the FBI did some research back in the 1980’s – where is this problem the least, where the society is monocultural and egalitarian. Where there was a society based around wealth disparity and or where this wealth disparity was centred around separated out ethnic groups there would be the society stresses that result in crime and violence.

    You can add to that a more intensive global media society (including earlier social awareness maturation) focus as making us more aware of the issue and the victims awarenwess of their relative plight (a stress multiplyer for them).

    Frankly liberalism, or social conservatism has little to do with it. Children from all sorts of families and socio-economic groups live in the society impacted by this.

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  130. “And the same was said about discipline to correct wives and schoolchildren who were beaten for disobedience. Now it is no longer done.”

    Because it was abusive, there is no link to smacking.
    Should we ban axes because sometimes people use them to kill?
    The problem with the extreme lefts approach is that they seem to see no requirement for a “right”.
    The left have championed a number of worthy causes, the problem is some people don’t know when to stop. Action was needed in order to correct some societal ills, now we are headed for over correction.
    Smacking does not lead to a more violent society it is not harmful and studies show that clearly, to remove it is an over correction and almost certainly harmful to society.
    You seem to think I am doing this to get at the greens, I am not.
    I am doing it because your parties laws and direction are having a negative effect on my families life, and I have a right to object.

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  131. The Greens argument all comes down to this:

    Smacking is bad, because it is.

    The scientific proof (the Dunedin study) disproves this notion. They can show no science that shows a causal link between smacking and the Kahuis.

    The Geeens position is not based on science or reason. It is based on religion.

    And they have the arrogance to call themselves “the smart party”.

    Comical, really.

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  132. BTW: I notice a gentle smack gets a lot of airtime with the Greens. Such “violence” is a huge concern.

    Meanwhile, whanau torture a family member for three days, then kill her, then try to do the same to a 14 year old, and then get off with home detention and a few night classes, and not a word is said?

    Don’t want to offend the REAL bashers, eh.

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  133. last time i looked at this thread it was getting very minced up (he said, she said, no i didn’t she said yes u did) but one thing stands out is that “non violence”* is held up as a social panacea of some sort.

    If we are non violent everyone else will be (except that there are many subcultures within our own society).

    In the Green argument there is only one “violence” so anyone advocating “violence” is a religious nutter or “child beater” (in this case).

    One of the risks for those defending the “achievement” of Sue Bradford etc is that if the community gives it the thumbs down then maybe they will look at “welfarism”…. from memory there is some merit to the argument that /people who have babies having factored in their own sweat are more likey not to abuse them/ or is it the other way round: children born to teenage mothers are more likely to end up abused?

    *As Dave says: “define violence. Go on!”

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  134. “*As Dave says: “define violence. Go on!”

    And that is the key to this debate, is violence always harmful to people? If not, in what context can it be acceptable?
    The left have done a typical generalization and confused criminal violence with all forms of physical force. It’s like saying we must ban fire for all uses because fire can inflict nasty injuries on people.
    The only thing one can conclude is that the incredible energy devoted to anti smacking is based more on a religious like devotion to an ideology, than anything to do with reality.

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  135. As at 5.00pm Thursday 13 August, 1,330,900 votes in the referendum had been received by the Chief Electoral Office’s vote processing centre.
    [Scoop]

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