Saturday, September 22, 2012

a referendum on children's rights?

I can't say if we need this latest referendum or not. I'm finding the hype around it all but impenetrable. 'The most needed thing in this country since ... ah ... that last referendum we had about whatever it was,' cry those in favour.' Doom, doom, all is doom,' cry those against. 

Sigh. Black or white, with no grey between. It makes life so simple.

Whoever is right, all I can say is that I am not sure that I believe this 'children's referendum' is one of those 'it does exactly what it says on the tin' jobs, as the old ad used to say. Maybe I grow cynical as I grow older. All the media reports around this are calling it 'the referendum on children's rights.' Why would we need something like that? I was under the impression that children were already citizens of this state with all the rights that implies. Is the referendum intended to create a separate class of citizens, who have extra inalienable rights that expire the moment they turn 18? No? Then what is it intended to do?

Because someone is going to acquire more rights and powers as a result of this amendment. That's what constitutional amendments do. And if not children, then who? The interest groups composed of adults who have been pushing for this change for years? If that is the case, perhaps it would be more honest to call this the 'referendum on additional rights for agents of the state and other bodies who know better than most, especially parents, what it is that children need.'

Far less catchy and certainly less emotive than the current title. But no where near as disingenuous.

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