Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Why whip the anti-smacking bill?

What changed that turned the anti-smacking bill from a conscience vote into a whipped party vote, with all the irony that implies?

Why will all party's MPs be whipped on Wednesday, which presumably means that some will be voting to nationalise NZ's children against their consciences (such as they are)? Rodney Hide writes to both Tweedledum and Tweedledumber to ask them "Why the whip?":
John, when you opposed the Bill, you asked the Prime Minister the following question:
"If the Prime Minister thinks Sue Bradford’s anti-smacking bill is such a good bill and that the 83 percent of New Zealanders who have consistently opposed it are so completely wrong, why will she not simply give her caucus a free vote?"
It’s a good question... you once thought it was a good idea for the Prime Minister to allow her caucus a free vote, why isn’t it a good idea for you now to do the same? It would be good for our democracy and for political accountability if you would do so.
And so it would.
Prime Minister, you told Parliament last Wednesday:
"But I do think that in the case of the Bill on Section 59, the overwhelming majority of our Parliament has come together, not only to send a very strong message about not wanting the violence that causes death and injury in our homes but also to send a strong message of support to good, decent parents, who should not be marched off to court for matters that are so inconsequential it would not be in the public interest to have them there..."
If it is truly the “overwhelming majority” of our Parliament that has come together then you should have no difficulty accepting a free vote. The problem is if you don’t, it looks like you and John Key are dictating how the majority of Parliament should vote and Parliament doesn’t accept this Bill just as the rest of the country doesn’t. The only way to resolve it is to allow a free vote.
He's right you know, just as he is in his conclusion:
The fact remains that a parent smacking their child will be committing a crime, whether or not they are prosecuted. Good parents will be criminalised should this bill pass into law. It’s simply not right to criminalise parents in this way.
No, it's not.


  1. It is a pity Rodney sees fit to criminalise parents who prefer a joint rather than alcohol!

  2. Aye. 'Tis a pity he's a whore. ;^)


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