Friday, 22 February 2008

Opposed to referenda

The Tomahawk Kid explains very well why I and many others are opposed to the Bradford-Key anti-smacking Bill that effectively nationalised New Zealand's children, but won't be signing Larry Baldock's petition for a referendum against the law.  The reason is simple.  First, because it makes no sense to support your own destroyer.

   I support Larry Baldock's action on the anti-smacking bill because ... it would return rights to those from whom they were stolen.
   Unfortunately, Larry would impose his will upon others on different topics - he gives with the right hand, and takes away with the left because he does not understand the very basic principles of property rights and the rights of the individual.

And second, while some individual referenda might promise the return of some of the rights we were born with, the idea of binding referenda itself is in the end destructive of individual rights.

   A referendum is the counting of heads - not the quality or the content of the thoughts in those heads!  It is 2 wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner!
   A referendum stands for "mob rule!" where the majority get to vote away the rights of a minority (the smallest minority of course being the individual.)

Until the most important things in our polity are put beyond the vote -- our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of property and happiness -- and only a written constitution and widespread support for these rights can do that effectively -- then binding referenda are not the harbinger of freedom, they are just another one of its desecrators.


  1. While we do not have a written constitution, binding referendums are a necessity.

    And what happens when the current goernment wants to ammend the constitution, is that put to referendum? "Oh, heck no..."

    They certainly have there place, especially regarding moral and social issues.

    Vote Labour! ;)

  2. Irrational godbags like Family Fist would criminalise women for having abortions in a New York minute if they could.

    Their squawking about rights is truly a joke, which is why the far right must never be allowed to get near the levers of power.

  3. Ya moan one way ya moan the other, meanwhile nothing changes.

  4. Thanks for confirming that Andy.

    When those in the pro-smacking and Family Fist movement start caring about a life *after* it's out of the womb, maybe then they'll have some credibility on this issue.

    But if past precedent still holds, the only time so many of those who favour forced birth squawk about life after the womb is in backing the death penalty, or supporting the 'right' to clout a child at whim.

  5. "supporting the 'right' to clout a child at whim."

    Get your facts right.

    And, who is it who came out with the 5 point plan to deal with child abuse? Family First.

  6. This post is a view quake for me. I hadn't thought of referenda as being mob rule and fundamentally in oppositino to the rightso f the individual. But of course, they are. Of course they are.

  7. so it's not 100% ideologically pure, so what is in the real world?

    while we'd all love to snobbishly deploy an IQ test and ideological purity screening before allowing "the mob" to participate in society, politics occurs in reality not an obsessively scrupulous polsci lecture.

    Could someone expand objectivism's position on out form of "mob rule", i.e. democracy?

  8. I'm no expert Other Anon- but I think Objectivists oppose "The Tyranny of The Majority".

    Throughout history the majority has not been right - it has been consistently wrong.

  9. Referenda are not mob rule in this country as they are not binding.Rule only comes into it when politicaians decide to do something about such referenda.

    In terns of the rights of the individual, it is an individuals right to initiate a referendum, and other citizens rights whether to sign it or not.

    If a referendum is the counting of heads - not the quality or the content of the thoughts in those heads - how is that different from a general election where instead of siognatures being counted it is votes in these heads....


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