Thursday, May 03, 2007

I support the smacking amendment

As most people who read this blog would know, I have been one of the most vocal bloggers against Bradford's Section 59 bill. I've lost count of how many posts I have done against the bill and associated issues - more than 30 I`d say.

I spoke with quite a few people yesterday about the latest amendment on the smacking bill and it is quite clear that many people have no understanding of the political trade-offs that go on when passing contentious bills. Unlike many opponents of Bradford's bill, I support the latest amendment. In fact I suggested the amendment on my blog just last month when I said:
There are two options: Either pass the Burrows amendment, or an equivalent, or to legislate for police to ignore the law with regard to light correction"
The Key and Borrows amendments were better, but not politically achievable. The Clark/Key "inconsequential" amendment was politically achievable and meant that in some cases police can ignore the law with regards to light correction. Legislaturally its a bit dodgy, but I can live with that.

Because of the stubbornness of certain MPs who have no respect for good lawmaking, this way was the only way forward in ensuring that this bill is both politically achievable and reflects the intent of Parliament ie: that not all parents will be liable for prosecution before the courts. And it is the intent of Parliament that is most important - even more important than the wording of legislation itself. That's why I can live with it.

It is also, as far as I know, a world first in politics: the first time that two leaders of the two main parties have got together to fix up a private members bill from a minor party - and then got someone else from another minor party to front the amendment.

All I can say is - thank God for MMP. You First Past the Posters don't really understand.

Now let's do something about child abuse. Just don't let the Greens do it.

Now, off to organise my 'inconsequential' party. Kids will be invited. Anyway, aren't Barnardos, Plunket and the Children's Commisioner quiet lately.


Nigel Kearney said...

You said: "It is the intent of Parliament that is most important - even more important than the wording of legislation itself."

This is a common misconception, even among law students. The intent of Parliament evidenced by Hansard etc. is looked at when an Act is ambiguous (it shouldn't be but that is a story for another day). This Act is not ambiguous. It's the police's choice.

MrTips said...

I hope your children and their friends don't get "inconsequentially" sick with the sweets! It took us a few years to get the levels right...

Anonymous said...

You have rocks in your head!

The intent of parliament should be shown in the legislation not in an add on note to a third party.

When you have the lives of very real ordinary people in your hands you don't leave it up to other people who might not have your good graces at heart.

Again do you honestly think the liberal anti beating lot are going to say "ooohh you are a poor ordinary mummy and daddy, it was just a little slap on the bottom"

Dave you are living in cloud cuckoo land or apllying for a job if you think that no one is going to have their lives up ended by the very politicaly and ideology driven CYPS people YOU yourself have blogged about.

wake up man.
political judegments!
this is real life families and kids here.

worse than that.
the very families that have the at risk kids are not affected as they will carry on.
If our political lightweights won't directly go after them because it's not a voter catcher or too PC what hope have those poor kids.

sorry mate we are not on the same page.

Swampy said...

Let there be no doubt what the intent of Parliament is. It is to ban smacking for the purposes of correction. The amendment is mere window dressing.