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Helen Clark announces her survey contruction AND legal ignorance to the world.

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on March 27, 2007

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

Helen Clark announces her survey contruction AND legal ignorance to the world.
Tuesday, 27.03.2007, 05:26pm (GMT12)

Govt withdraws anti-smacking urgency

Mar 27, 2007

The government has withdrawn a request for the final stages of the anti-smacking bill to be considered under urgency, conceding they do not have the numbers.

The decision follows on the heels of a ONE News Colmar Brunton poll which found 83% of the New Zealand public surveyed believe it is OK to smack naughty children, with just 15% disagreeing.

If passed into law, the bill would repeal Section 59 of the Crimes Act which allows the use of “reasonable force” against a child.

The likelihood of the bill becoming law is now too tight for political commentators to call.

Political commentator Colin James says those who are wavering may now be encouraged to vote against the bill, when they might have voted for it a week ago.

James says many people see the bill as an example of social engineering or political correctness and that could pose a political problem, even if it passes.

The national director of Family First Bob McCoskrie, who is behind a petition against the bill, says it is clear how keen the government is to get the bill through as quickly as possible, despite the level of public opposition.

He says Monday night’s decision allows more time for MPs to make up their minds properly.

Meanwhile, Green Party MP Sue Bradford, who is championing the bill, says she is not surprised the government has backed down.

Bradford says many MPs are passionate about the debate surrounding the bill and want to have their say on it – and says she is not worried about how long the process takes.

She says whatever happens, MPs will have their say and the democratic process will unfold as it should.

Despite public opposition to the bill Prime Minister Helen Clark says it will not change her stance.

She says the poll poses a false question as it tells people the bill will outlaw smacking. However, Clark says smacking is illegal now, but is a technical assault which police do not follow up.

She says the point of the bill is to get successful prosecutions of people who severely beat their children.

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