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.