Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Family Integrity and the anti-smacking bill

The most disappointed people tonight must be the people at Family Integrity after the second reading of the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Crimes Amendment Bill which was passed by Parliament tonight 70-51. As a group, they are obsessed with opposing this bill. Spokesperson Craig Smith, particularly, supports the necessity of an implement in administering physical discipline of children, something which I certainly do not support. They are in between a rock and a hard place because they have to campaign on something they don't approve of to get the outcome they want.

They don't want the smacking bill to go through as is, nor do they support Chester Borrow's supplementary order paper as that would outlaw smacking with an implement, even if reasonable force is used, as was the case with the riding crop court case. Yet Family Integrity should essentially be campaigning for something they don't support, namely Borrow's amendment, because if the amendment is passed, Bradford said she will pull her bill, which is what Family Integrity want.

Yet if Borrow's amendment is not passed, that will mean that the bill, relatively unchanged, will be put to vote at the third reading, which is essentially the second reading all over again which means it will likely to be passed at the third reading.

However I suspect Family Integrity will probably want to oppose Borrow's amendment and oppose the bill at the third reading as well. They will be wise not to do so.

So, what will happen now, if Peter Dunne, two NZ First and two Maori Party MP's change their vote, this bill will be defeated. The only way this will happen is if they support Chester Borrows amendment on March 14.They will be hit hard by lobbyists. In a few weeks it could be all over.

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