Why referendums are absolutely meaningless. by underground

In a well written and intelligent editorial, the Herald on Sunday outlined why referendums are not worth the ballot paper the poorly written questions are written on. Entitled “Ask an obvious question and you get a meaningless answer“, today’s editorial outlines how the questions used in referendums are loaded as to ensure tht only one result can possibly be found. In next years citizen initiated referendum on the repealing of section 59 of the Crimes Act, the question will be “should a smack as a part of good parental correction be a criminal offence?” When many experts in child psychology and childcare have said that smacking is not actually a part of good parental correction, the question ceases to make any sense. So do you vote if you disagree with the premise of the question? Vote yes and oppose “good parental correction” (which does not include smacking), or abstain in protest?

Considering the twisting of truth from the opponents of the bill, it is no surprise the question is so pathetic. Just as crime hardliners point to the 91 per cent affirmative response to the equally poorly questioned referendum of 1999 to justify irrational draconian measures, the “pro-smackers” are bound to do the same.

So brace yourselves people, the result of next years referendum will no doubt give fuel to the high and mighty Christian liars who have distorted this debate in order to put their infallible bible before arguments of reason and the welfare of children. If they believed they had a leg to stand on, they would not have skewed the debate. They would not have said that good parents were going to lose their children, that police were going to waste time locking up loving parents, and they would not have falsely dubbed Sue Bradford’s Bill the “Anti-smacking Bill”. And they certainly would not have initiated this disgustingly worded refendum which undermines democracy, not reinforces it.


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