Posts Tagged ‘S59’

S59 tyrants

August 23, 2009

Unbelievably, or perhaps predictably, the ‘Yes vote’ campaigners have immediately launched into a campaign against democracy. After all, as No Right Turn’s ad below shows, why should MPs listen to 87% of the people?
No Right Turn - yes vote ad against democracy
So perhaps the public should respond by spoofing the Yes Vote tyranny, perhaps like this:
S59 alt yes vote ad - Sue says screw democracy
or maybe this:
S59 alt yes vote ad - you ignore them

S59 & Citizen’s Initiated Referenda

April 29, 2008

Grrr – the S59 Citizen’s Initiated Referendum petition on Sue Bradford’s anti-smacking law (that tightened Section 59 of the Crimes Act to remove parental ability to use physical force to discipline children except in very limited circumstances) has fallen short on numbers.

This is not the cause of my Grrr – that stems from the appalling methodology of the beauracrats who ‘counted’ the petition. This issue has been commented on by bloggers from the left (No Right Turn) and right (David Farrar), the latter noting the ‘valid signatures’ count came from a “large random sample” of the signatures delivered.

This seems sound enough technique, so long as the estimated signature count is either well over or well under the required threshold of 10% of eligible voters (285,027 valid signatures).

When the claimed valid tally (269,500) is close to the margins of error of any such sampling though, closer inspection is required. This petition fell short by 15,527 or 5.4% of the requisite total. When you get this close to the error (typically around 3%), I would be more comfortable if such petitions had a fuller count.

Of course, the petition organisers may just collect another 15-20,000 signatures over the allowed next 2 months, but it may not be necessary if a closer check finds the original sampling was an underestimate. Point being, when the gap is that close, the officials need to check their methods more closely (which does not imply anything wrong with their methods, just that their ‘microscope’ can’t distinguish between actually tally and required threshold accurately enough).

Hence, the grrrr!