Archive for the ‘Anti-smacking Bill’ category

Cindy Kiro

April 8, 2008

If anyone doesn’t know who she is, she is the Labour Government Childrens commisioner, who appears more interested in helping her extremist ideology than children.

She is most remembered for her strong support for the Anti-smacking Bill. In fact her support for this Bill is so strong, that she made a big fuss about the “horsewhip” case (presumably not mentioning the fact that the child tried to hit his father on the head with a baseball bat before the horsewhip was used) but completely silent on the case of Ngatikura Ngati, who was beaten for days with an oar and basball bat, causing serious injuries. So much for helping stop child abuse.

She spends alot of time out of the country, so much so that she failed to deliver two major reports last year. Unlike David Farrar, I think this is actually a good thing, as when she is in the country she seems determined to damge it, and the reports probably aren’t worth reading anyway, except for comedy. Sadly, one of the things she still had time for was to defend the rights of taggers to graffiti on other peoples property.

On the topic of flights, Cindy Kiro supports a ban on men sitting next to unaccompanied children on flights to stop child abuse. Presumably, she thinks all men are violent pedophiles. However, statistics show women are more likely to be child abusers than men.

So what does she believe to be the big three issues facing children today? child abuse? No. How about education? Not that either. Maybe health? No, its poverty (not a bad choice), and then climate change and religous fundamentalism.

I actually agree religous fundamentalism is a threat facing children. Her religous fundamentalism.

 

The Greens

April 7, 2008

After disscussing their list, lets take a look at the challenges facing the Greens this election. The Standard already has a good post on this, which is well worth a read.

Pierson writes “This should be the Greens time in the sun”. I couldn’t agree more, and they have lots of things going for them:
1) As Pierson points out, they have been vindicated by science in their views on climate change, and peak oil. Global warming is no longer a view held by a few loonies on the far left, but a scientific consensus, and agknowledged, even if grudginly, by all political parties including National. The Green message has got out to the public, and most people express concern.
2) The above has made them look more sane, and the retirement of Nandor Tanczos, who was sterotyped unfairly as a dope-smoking weirdo, should help here. The good work has been partly undone by championing the Anti-smacking Bill which makes them (or atleast Bradford) look like ideological zealots, the same problem they had in 2002 with GE.
3) Labour has shafted them twice, first in 2002 for United Future, then in 2005 for NZ First (of all parties). The Greens can use this record to tell left leaning voters, that if you want a real left wing Government, and not a Labour Government held hostage to NZ First and other centrist Parties, which will deliver progressive policy, vote Green. Sadly (for them), they haven’t communicated this message to voters.

So why are they polling so low. I thought, 2 years ago or so, they would probably get 10% or so this election. But in most polls they barely get 5%, and in a few below that. Why?

Perhaps, as Pierson sugests, they have become victims of their own success. Both Labour and National have awrmed to climate change in recent years. But the Greens can still point out their previous positions, and will always be stronger than the other two parties.

I once had a great respect for the Greens, as a party of principle, even though I strongly disagreed with what they stood for, had no doubt they were genuinely concerned about the planet and NZ, and had the best interests of the NZ people and the enviroment at heart. Sadly, this is no longer the case.

The issue that changed this perception of the Greens for me was the Anti-smacking Bill. True, the Greens were longtime supporters of repealing section 59, and unlike Helen Clark, they did not lie about their views on this issue before the election. However, as soon as the election was over, and Donald was dead, they threw their honesty and integrety aside, and instead of presenting the Bill honestly as a ban on smacking, engaged in lies and spin to present it as only removing a defence, and about ending child abuse, not smacking. Bradford before the elction was honest enough to say that her Bill was a Anti-smacking Bill, but denied it latter in order to mislead the NZ people about it, to help it pass. They also shortchanged their long-standing opposition to passing bills under urgency when not needed, in order to get the Anti-smacking Bill passed and stop the debate (which was hurting them and Labour). From the day they chose to join Labour in misleading and being untruthful to the NZ public about their smacking ban, they lost their well earned reputation as a independent voice of integrety in parliament, and became an extension of Labour.

Which brings me to the other reason for the Greens demise. The lack of differentiation between them and Labour. In previous elections, particularly 2002, in which the Greens had their best ever result, there was clear differences between them and Labour. But now they have become almost the Green wing of the Labour Party. MMP is a little cruel to minor party’s, as the big Party often gets all the credit for its policy wins (many of the Progressive Party policy wins, like Kiwibank, 4 weeks anual leave are usually mistakenly given to Labour), and they end up loosing their distinct brand to the host party. This happened to the Alliance before it broke up in 2002, United Future in 2005, and now the Greens are suffering as well.

So what is the soultion? Sadly for the Greens, and minor parties, there are no easy answers. They need to cuddle up to the big party’s, if they want any of their policy’s implemented, but if they do so will suffer next election. The Greens need to differentiate themselves from Labour, and give left-leaning voters some reason to give them, and not Labour their Party votes. But at the same time, don’t want to move too far left, so as to alienate Labour and confine themselves to the fringes of the political spectrum. They need some mainstream support. They need to seek a balance between being a Green wing of Labour, and seperate enviromentalist left wing Party, but I’m unsure what balance would be best. One can only think, given their current poor preformance, it is a little further from labour than it is now.

A referendum will be held

March 3, 2008

Today is a dark day for Labour, and even darker for the social engineers (many within Labour) who are trying to build a PC nanny state regulating our lives. The people of New Zealand (not just 121 of them) are going to have a say on the Anti-smacking bill. And it will be very interesting to hear what they have to say. I suspect that they will vote in large numbers to repeal the Anti-smacking Bill.

I am proud to have my name amongst those 337 893New Zealanders who have signed the petition by Sheryl Savill asking the question “Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?” and look forward to voting “No” to the question when it appears on the ballot paper at the 2008 election. It is the biggest petition in new Zealand for twenty years (probably since the controversial one against the Homosexual Law Reform Bill in 1986), giving some indication of public opinion. Although the question is loaded, which reduces its credibility, the loading is not excessive, and in voting down the amendment proposed by Chester Borrows, Labour and the Greens explicitly voted to make a smack a criminal offence.The deleting of the word “good” before parental correction will make the question reasonably fair. Any question about legalising hitting or abuse would be loaded because that is not what opponents of the anti-smacking Bill like me want, what we want is merely to have a definition of reasonable force to allow smacking to be legal.

Dave at big-news blogs on a accompanying petition by former United Future MP Larry Baldock asking “Should the Government give urgent priority to understanding and addressing the wider causes of family breakdown, family violence and child abuse in New Zealand?” may not get to referendum as it only has 265 000 signatures, 20 000 short of whats needed. I have mixed views of this question, as any right minded government would do so, there is no obvious need for the question and it appears written largely to make the petitioners look good, so am not upset that it might fail.

No doubt the referendum will hurt Labour politically, as it will draw more attention to the issue, and asuming Labour don’t opt for a referendum on a date other than election day (which would add controversy) there will be an explicit reminder of the Bill to voters on the ballot paper of why not to vote Labour.

 The big question is if a majority of New Zealanders vote “No” to the question come election 2008, whether National will repeal the law and implement the Borrows amendment. National did support a compromise, which was actually a sell out on section 59, at last minute. However there are some signs National may actually repeal the Labour/Green changes to section 59, and prior to the “compromise” all the National Party caucus except Katherine Rich (who is leaving) opposed the anti-smacking Bill. I hope it does, as it will loose little support in doing so.

A violent society ahead

August 23, 2007

Turning now to the most recent issue (August this year) of the Investigate magazing, it describes(Soapbox, by Dr Robert E. Larzelere) the effects of the Swedish Anti-Smacking Bill. They are:
1) Physical child abuse increasing by 600% in the following 15 years.
2) Crinimal assualts by minors against minors also increased 600% during the same period.
3) Childrens respect for parental authority fell so low that today only 31% of Swedish 10-12 year olds think their parents should vbe allowed to ground them as a punishment for bad behaviour.

I hope the Anti-smacking Bill doesn’t produce the same effects here. If so, we will face a more violent society.

Cane for sale

July 26, 2007

Today’s Dominion Post reports (“‘Smacking’ cane for sale, by Patrick Crewdson) that the cane in the infamous “horsewhip case” is being sold on trade me. Sue Bradford describes the case saying “it was that type of case that lay behind a lot of my motivation for the bill”. Yeah right.

If her bill was only designed to deal with those sort of cases, it could have defined reasonable force to allow for the use of physical force to discipline children so long as no weapon was used. It would have bipartisan support. When there was a possibility of such an amendment being passed, she threatened to withdraw her whole bill. Obviously, in her eyes it is better to have children beaten with horsewhips, than have a law which prohibits such actions, while allowing for light smacks. This speaks volumes about her true beliefs on child abuse. The real motivation for her bill was not to protect children, but impose an ideological agenda which says children are like adults (except where it comes tot he age of crinimal responsibility) and that even the lightest samck is abuse, no matter what the child did to deserve it.

MP breaks law he passed

July 3, 2007

If anyone needs any proof of how illogical the anti-smacking Bill is, guess whose the first to be caught breaking it? David Cunliffe, a Labour MP. He smacked his 2 year old son on the hand for hitting another child- nothing in my eyes wrong with that. His boss, who told him how to vote on the issue, has joined him in criticising Family First for bringing his family into the political debate. The hypocrisy is breathtaking, given that he was the first to bring his son into the debate and told Parliament that he no longer uses corporal punishment on his kids. This means he is potentially, not only a hypocrite, but lied to the House of Representatives. To be fair to Cunliffe, he comes up with a slightly different version of the event, involving him merely puling his son away from the other child.

From now on, good parents may face prosecution for a light smack.

June 21, 2007

Today, the Crimes (substitution of section 59) Ammendment Act takes effect. From now on it will be a crinimal offence to give your child a light smack for the purpose of correction. And incase you believe the spin that no parent who gives a light smack will be prosecuted think again. The Police have released new guidlines indicating how they interprete the law in which parents who even use “minor, trivial” and “inconsequential” force to discipline their children will have their names and details recorded by Police. If the smacking is “repetitive and frequent” the parent may face prosecution. The source of this post is the article “Regular smackers may face prosecution” from yesterdays Dominion Post.

This should come as no suprise. If the Bill really was about removing the reasonable force defence for parents who seriously beat their children, Why did Sue Bradford threaten to withdraw the whole Bill if an ammendment to define reasonable force to prohibit anything causing more than transitory and triffling pain passed. The answer is simple, the Bill was not motivated by reducing child abuse, but instead by ideology. There is one positive effect of this new law though. It will help get Labour out next year.