Wednesday, March 07, 2007

the loopy lobby group

The Every Child Counts lobby has put out a MP's briefing sheet that says the amendment on the smacking bill suggested by National MP Chester Borrows is seriously flawed. Borrow's amendment allows for physical discipline that is "transitory and trifling". This lobby group says that though this phrase is "a legal standard which may well be understood by lawyers, police and the courts, it is a novel concept for parent educators"

In other words, they don't have a clue what it means. Perhaps one reason is because they think that parents will cause harm that is more than transitory and trifling, in the context of parental frustration, exasperation or anger.

They are scaremongering on purpose. Firstly, any discipline that is done in the context of parental frustration, exasperation or anger is not corrective discipline - it is abuse, which is assault that is excluded from the provisions of Sue Bradford's bill.

They are also lying when they say that Borrows amendment is not congruent with several acts of Parliament, especially the Domestic Violence Act, which Parliament explicitly intended that physical discipline of children not be included.

My MP is going to vote for this bill with the full intention that it is to be broken without criminal sanctions. And he is entitled to, its a conscience vote, and that conscience is his own, not reflective of the majority of the people who voted for him. But try and get a meeting with him after at least three attempts - its impossible.

Democracy doesn't come into conscience voting. My MP is treating the members of his electorate the same way as Helen Clark treats her caucus: He has a position, and the voters in his electorate who don't share that position don't have a say in the matter.

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