Dr Seuss referendum question clearly confused some people

August 23, 2009

John Key said in June that the referendum question could have been written by Dr Seuss.

Now, we’re used to hate mail here at The Yes Vote headquarters – we’ve received plenty over the last few months, and it’s not unexpected given the nature of the question that there are a at least a few hateful people in the in the ranks of the pro-smackers.

What was our surprise then, when we received the following item yesterday:

Name: Richard
Email: [address removed]

It is a very sad week when a little 3 year old dies in our country from abuse that may have started with ‘a little tap’ and at the same time we have people like your group supporting the notion the violence towards our most vulnerable is ok.  I don’t think you understand what good parenting is and as for one of your representatives saying to his little girl ‘daddy loves you’ as he abuses her – how sick is that.  Shame on you

Time: Sunday August 23, 2009 at 4:04 am
IP Address: 125.237.176.[deleted]

Sent by an unverified visitor to your site.

This poor fellow obviously got the wrong end of the stick.  Some people are very confused about what YES and what NO meant on the referendum question.

We tried to be kind to this well-intentioned individual, and responded as follows.


You got it the wrong way around my friend … The YES Vote are the people who are against smacking!

Please take out your wrath on the VOTE NO people …

Undeterred, he responded:

Your response confirms for me that your organisation has got no idea about what you actually stand for and why the referendum was a waste of time.  By voting, anyone would have supported your contention that smaking is a part of good parenting – how sad.  By doing your homework and visiting hospitals etc, you’d see that the level of child abuse is appaling in this country and people who voted yes have been sucked into turning a blind eye to this and in effect supporting it’s continuation.  I’m pleased to say that I’m not one of these people!  I know heaps of people who are doing a great job of raising their kids without resorting to violence.

Thankfully, less than an hour later, he sent us the following apology:

Please accept my sincere apologies – I was so fired up I thought that I was emailing that lot wishing to over turn the current law – Baldock etc!!

I am sorry for directing my frustration at the wrong group.  I just can’t believe how naive people can be believing that smacking kids is ok.

I will do what you say.  All the best with your work – I wish you luck and again sincere apologies!!

Phew!  It just goes to show how devious and confusing the referendum wording was, and that good triumphs over evil in the end.  But we’re left wondering how many people were as confused as Richard when they voted.

Plunket Barnardos Save the Children Unicef Jigsaw Ririki Parents CentrePaediatric Society Womens Refuge Epoch

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