Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Government smacking bill

The Government didn't get urgency on the smacking bill as NZ First didn't support it. Now it is in the process of making the smacking bill a Government bill, which effectively it already was, and NZ First don't support that move, either. The move was so the bill can be removed from business by passed by Easter. Wouldn't it be ironic if "panty slut boy" David Benson- Pope fronts it.

The decision means that should Chester Borrow's amendment go through, Sue Bradford will not be able to withdraw the bill as it won't be her bill. But the reason I suspect the Government wants to grab hold of this bill is so that people will hopefully forget about it come the next election. But they wont forget about it because there will be a referendum.Also, the relationship Labour wants to have with the Greens takes priority to the relationship Labour has with NZ First - or even its own voters.

Voters in this country have just one effective say: at an election. Every other say - referendum, select committee, protesting etc is effectively ignored by this self-serving government.

Another thing, this bill is effectively not a repeal of section 59, although it effectively bans smacking. This bill is a substitution of section 59, which means the initial section is repealed and substituted with another one that pretty much means the same thing except that you cant use force for correcting your kids. Just like at the last election the Government got repealed and then substituted with another one which wasn't much different in substance.

Not a lot of people seem to have realised that S59 is being repealed and substituted, and the supporters of the bill focus on the repeal, and ignore the substitution. Thats because they don't want you to know that smacking will be effectively illegal (through the courts) even though it is currently an assault. Removing something that is effectively legal from our law and replacing it with something that takes away that legal effect, changes the law and makes something illegal that is now effectively legal.

The reason people oppose this bill is that they care more about the effect of the law than the letter of the law and the words of Helen Clark.

So to sum up, the bill effectively bans smacking, for some time was effectively a government bill, and makes something that is effectively legal effectively illegal - so it effectively bans smacking. Because it is effectively as simple as that, Labour is effectively lying to the public.

What this bill will do, though, is lose Labour the election next year, even if it is not passed. That will be the true repeal and substitution test, won't it?

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