The smacking vote

August 23rd, 2008 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

As expected, the anti-anti-smacking petition got the required number of signatures, and a postal referendum will be held within 12 months – probably the first half of 2009.

It is a pity that signatures were not gained a bit earlier, so that it would have been even harder for Helen Clark to not hold the vote alongside the general election.

I suspect the referendum will have only around 20% voting in favour of criminalising a smack as part of good parental correction, and 80% against. The turnout will be interesting.

The challenge will be for the Government in office at the time. Refusing to make any change at all to the law could be politically risky. The sensible compromise would be what should have been the compromise all along – the Borrows amendment.

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35 Responses to “The smacking vote”

  1. dave (988 comments) says:

    If National agreed with you it would introduce the Borrows amendment immediately after the election – and announce now that it will do so – but its a shame that it wont, especially as someone has already been convicted under this law.

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  2. PhilBest (5,121 comments) says:

    This will be a beautiful opportunity for the new John Key government to show how to “listen to the people”, though, if we look on the bright side.

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  3. Vinick (216 comments) says:

    Problem is folks, NATIONAL VOTED TO BAN SMACKING with Labour and the Greens.

    In fact, from memory the only party in Parliament to oppose the Bill was ACT.

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  4. David Baigent (172 comments) says:

    I suggest that John Key make a unequivocal statement that National will retrospectivly reverse the “anti-smacking bill” and use the PARTY VOTE tick as a voters indication of approval or rejection, on that issue.

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  5. Fletch (6,395 comments) says:

    Vinick, yes, but that was only a last minute thing. National was against the bill at the beginning but aware that it didn’t have the numbers to stop the law change going through. Key at least came up with a small change that he thought would lessen it’s effects on good parents. Having said that, it appears from the Herald story that Key will only change the law if it appears not be working. Is it working? Has the number of children being abused dropped? Not according to what I read in the papers. The law is useless – it targets the wrong people. The people who hit their kids (take notice Sue Bradford, I didn’t say smack and there is a difference) aren’t going to stop because of this law.

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  6. goodgod (1,348 comments) says:

    John key has stated he will not be listening to the people on this matter. He says the new law works and it won’t be changed until it doesn’t work. An interesting strategic position that hopefully had some serious analysis behind it.

    1) Annoy 300,000 voters – a large number of those considered “safe” National voters. Bit arrogant and cynical.
    2) As consolation, pick up swinging voters – exact figures unknown.
    3) Risk giving Labour ammuniton of “National is anti-democratic” type in the lead-up to the election.
    4) Generally reduce your potential to rule alone to one where you must have a coalition: sending votes to ACT, sending votes to Family Party.

    So why? Is the swinging vote group really larger than 300,000? The 20% hardcore vote that has always existed would have voted left anyway and some of their vote will be totally eliminated with the disappearance of the greens. Does someone in the Blue Libs have the serious dirt on Key or the National Party? What kind of reasoning is needed to isolate 80% of the vote? Why did Key comment on it so explicitly?

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  7. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Problem is folks, NATIONAL VOTED TO BAN SMACKING with Labour and the Greens.”

    Damn right. Its why I keep saying the support for the Nats is more a desperate cry for escape from the predations of the Klark gang, and also why I say that that the Nats still just don’t get it.

    Here’s what I think NZers want. (and correct me if I’m wrong). They want parliament to provide law and order in this country, a service that is the government’s prime responsibility, and until they can do that, then they can stop pissing me to hell off by focusing on unenforceable unnecessary legislation dealing with fringe area ideological issues.

    Get crime and violence under control in this country by enforcing the laws that already exist and stop pissing about with this kind of seventies style Swedish socialist feel good claptrap.

    If this kind of parsimonious crap is what they want to focus on then there’s obviously too many of them with too little to do. Let’s include in the referendum a proposal to cut their numbers by 50%.

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  8. ghostwhowalks2 (118 comments) says:

    Good on you redbaiter for saying the emperor has no clothes ( or stolen from labour).
    But theres time for a flip flop to debase himself even further

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  9. reid (16,473 comments) says:

    When Key made that move to support it I really started wondering about his strategic nous.

    I mean where was the upside? There was and is little public support for it and those who do support it are almost exclusively lefties. All it did was piss off the base.

    If you think it’s going to make a blind bit of actual difference to the violence issue you truly are fucked in the head.

    The argument at the time I recall was that it was a demonstration of cooperation which, it was hoped, would translate into public belief that National under Key didn’t intend to be a lone ranger and could work in the MMP environment. Trouble is, in my reading, no-one ever thought that was a factor in the first place, except for the opposition and their hard-core supporters and who cares what they think, anytime.

    I still can’t see any upside and there was plenty of downside. Maybe I’m misreading the women voters and maybe they actually think it’s important and will make a difference. Maybe that’s why he did it.

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  10. ghostwhowalks2 (118 comments) says:

    Reid , and all the leemings followed their leader without hestitation on this one. Mass hysteria ?

    The wording of the referendum is a nonsense as the current law doesnt crimalise any parent in 95.0% of the time, anymore than criminalising anybody going 54 mph

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  11. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    yeah, on the motorway

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  12. Southern Raider (1,831 comments) says:

    National needs to spend the remaining 5 weeks of Parliment pushing Clark into adding this to the election form.
    This will stop Labour pushing through the Emissions bill and also remind the public who created this mess.

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  13. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Chostie, ” the current law doesn’t crimalise any parent in 95% of the time”, ok chost why have the law at all. You socialist control freaks give me the screaming shits. This law had nothing to do about the welfare of children, you bastards would sell your evil souls for that extra ounce of power, this just gives the state a bigger stick they can wave over people heads. How many children has your precious fucking law saved???, sweet piss all I would say.

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  14. Inventory2 (10,342 comments) says:

    It is complete and utter bullshit to say that this referendum cannot be held with the election. Party lists are still being finalised. Voting papers will not be printed until after nominations close. All the Chief Electoral Officer has to do is instruct all Returning Officers that the Parliamentary vote must be counted first. They even have time to arrange seperate ballot boxes for the referendum.

    http://keepingstock.blogspot.com/2008/08/referendum.html

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  15. Southern Raider (1,831 comments) says:

    From Stuff>

    Mr Key last night said he felt the law was working.

    “We think the compromise amendment has allowed the law to operate better than it would have otherwise.

    “Our position is that we’re not going to change the law unless we see evidence it’s not working.”

    As a National member I’m quickly losing patience with Key!

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  16. Mr Dennis (348 comments) says:

    Well said Red and others. I do hope National will listen to the voters on this one, but we cannot count on it. We need to force National into a coalition with people who will ensure they will honour this referendum.

    Act would do that, and I do hope they get more votes this time round, but not everyone who thinks smacking shouldn’t be illegal will vote for them, as they are “the liberal party” after all, and not all of us are liberals.

    The conservative voter really has a choice between National (who we can’t trust to listen to the voters), Peter Dunne (who voted for it so can’t be trusted either), and the Family Party – the only one of the three who can actually be trusted to stick to their guns on this. There is Kiwi too, but they really don’t have the slightest chance of gaining a seat, so are an unfortunate distraction that could take votes from National and Family.

    A National-Act-Family coalition could be trusted on this, and would have a good balance between liberal and conservative views on other issues thus representing the whole population well. A National-Act coalition could hopefully be trusted. But I wouldn’t trust National on their own.

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  17. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    Key will not admit to wanting to abolish this section of the law because, if he were to, every piece of shit hurled at ‘Family Fist’ or the ‘fundies’ or the ‘pro-bashing’ brigade by those who sought the amendment in the first place, will stick on him and National. He voted in favour of the amendment precisely because after the taint-by-association that possibly lost them the election from the EB link, the last thing he wants is for people to think that his policy is formed or swayed by extremists or wingnuts with an old-testament view of child-rearing.
    For Clark et al it would be a propaganda coup on a plate to be able to lump Key and National with the EB, and strange cults with their dodgy public personas when it comes to beating children and subjugating women.
    So don’t hold your breath waiting for the cavalry to arrive.
    Better to agitate without any reference to National, and hope that public opinion holds sway after the referendum.

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  18. grumpyoldhori (2,362 comments) says:

    Damn it Lee, we are just waiting for Key to join the family fist mob so that the Nats can be tied to strange cults who believe children need to be belted often.
    Now do not go and spoil our evil plans :-)
    But it is amusing in a grim sense how many types are so much in favor of hitting children.
    Of course none of them would say boo to an adult male.

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  19. Fletch (6,395 comments) says:

    grumpyoldhori, again, I have to say that no one is in favour of hitting children. Smacking is a completely different thing.

    If Sue Bradford doesn’t see that there is a difference between hitting and smacking then there is actually something wrong with her, and probably something she needs to get professional help for. It’s yet another example of politicians with personal problems who think they can change things around then via the law when it’s themselves they need to get help for.

    Don’t project your own world-view onto us Sue; most of the general public know the difference between a hit and a smack

    That’s the problem with MMP: Unstable fringe types (cough*sue*cough) with personal hangups and agendas to push get into parliament who weren’t elected there.

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  20. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    The question is, Where is John Key on this issue? I would say that John Key is demonstrably on the side that says that the beating of children is wrong, but that mild physical discipline in the context of good parenting is not. This was the purpose of the last minute compromise and is pretty much the question to be posed in the referendum.

    Those who say that Key voted for the bill now cannot say that Key is for the beating of children. Those who opposed the repeal of section 59 can say that Key’s ideals are closer to their own. The support or otherwise of the Nats would not have prevented the passage of this bill and the late amendment sought only to mitigate it’s worst possible effects. While I in no way agree with the state telling all parents how it feels children should be raised, I can understand the political expediency that led to this compromise.

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  21. Tauhei Notts (1,715 comments) says:

    Twenty four years ago an inebriated prime minister called an election, to be held just thirty days later. And the clerical staff organised it.
    In 2008, with the incredible advances in communications technology, such as widespread facsimile machines and the internet, Hulun says that we cannot have the anti smacking referendum with the next election.
    It defies words.

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  22. Chuck Bird (4,891 comments) says:

    Where is John Key on this issue?

    The so called compromise shows that Key does not have a clue why so many parents are strongly opposed to the bill. The Nazis got children to report on their parents. A small number of parents will be convicted for smacking their children. However, more with be investigated by the police and CYPS and warned as well as having a black mark against their names.
    Many more good parents will be threatened by their children that they will report them to authorities. Teachers are informing child of their rights all ready.

    Key has made it clear he know better how to raise children than over 80% of New Zealand parents.

    Although Key has children and is almost definitely heterosexual unlike Clark he is just about as liberal and holds people whose views are different to his in contempt.

    I quote from his interview in GayNZ

    Brash is gone from the leadership, and his close cabal of advisers has all but evaporated. Expediency politics may have led National down a dead end but in right wing politics its hard to believe that homosexuality wont become a public issue again, with calls for moral judgement to forestall moral and social rot. “I don’t think I am a terribly judgmental person,” says Key. “I don’t care what people’s sexual preferences are, It’s for them to determine that. We have friends who are gay and lesbian, just as we have dozens of friends who are heterosexual. I judge my friends on the basis of the friendship that we have and the support we give each other, not on their sexual preferences which, as far as I am concerned, is their business and their business alone.”

    Sexual ‘preferences?’ There’s that scary word beloved of fundamentalist preachers. Does Key believe that we glbt people exercise a choice over our sexuality? “No. I believe it is innate. I am not an expert in these areas but I have had all these religious groups in my electoral office trying to argue that this is learned behaviour, personally I believe that is crap. The only way I can express that is that I am not gay and that is not a conscious decision I made, it’s just the way I feel. I assume that gay people have other feelings.

    The anti smacking legislation is not an isolated issue. Young girls are having abortions arranged with out parent’s knowledge. Is it really necessary for 14 year old to be taught the art of rimming hygienically?

    I am an ex National Party member and was a strong supporter of Don Brash. Brash like Key was very knowledgeable on economic matters but was not so arrogant to think he knew better that over 80% of parents on the best way to raise their children. I would rather vote for a party that had little chance of getting in to Parliament than for National with their current policy on parenting and referenda.

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  23. getstaffed (9,186 comments) says:

    I predict that a 2009 referendum after a National victory will see the >80% of current supporters (as polled today) drop off. At lease some of the current supporters of the referendum will simply be protesting against Clark’s social/family interference agenda (yes – the secret one…). With her gone the perceived threat will have been minimised.

    For the record, I do not think that a light smack as part of good parental discipline should be a criminal offence. Not now, not after the election, not ever.

    Those that pretend not to understand that there is a different between a light smack and outright physical abuse are ideologically blinded and could do with trying to apply their crooked measuring stick to physical sports, kids playing in playgrounds, police restraining violent offenders and concert mosh pits.

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  24. Chuck Bird (4,891 comments) says:

    At lease some of the current supporters of the referendum will simply be protesting against Clark’s social/family interference agenda (yes – the secret one…). With her gone the perceived threat will have been minimised.

    Probably more supporters of the referendum will be unaware of Key’s social/family interference agenda (yes – the secret one…). I was somewhat shocked when someone sent me his interview on GayNZ. The vast majority of voters will vote on either bribes or tax cuts. However, there will be a significant number who will vote on moral issues and politician’s willingness to listen to the vast majority of parents.

    If Key is prepared to insult people because of their moral and/or religious belief he will not be getting my vote.

    I will be interested in what Key has to say at the Family First Forum next month when the leaders of all political parties except Labour answer questions. Labour was invited but declined.

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  25. grumpyoldhori (2,362 comments) says:

    Chuck Bird, moral issues, now that is a laugh, we had Brash going on about moral issues while he was having an affair.
    To be blunt Key and co would be well advised to stay well away from cultist types such as family fist.
    Of course as a Labour supporter it would give us great delight to be able to tie the Nats to the four chin and headscarf brigade.
    Funny how so many of these so called Christian types ape the Muslims in
    their women’s dress code is it not

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  26. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    It is a timely reminder for all politicians that they work for US not the other way round.

    If they continue to attempt to force things on us we WILL stop them. One way or another.

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  27. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    It is a pity the people who drafted this petition have chosen an emotional question that you can scarcely contemplate saying no to: “should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?” rather than one that addresses the actual function of Section 59! (If anyone is interested, here is all about the Police Practice guide note on how they deal with situations where S.59 is relevant:
    http://www.police.govt.nz/news/release/3149.html )

    While it’s good to see democracy in action with the petition, I am disappointed that one of the few times that this has type of action has ever been achieved, the fuel for it is the histrionics of people who believe 100% when they’re told by some (clever??) operators that “Childless Auntie Helen Is Trying To Make Criminals Out Of Good Parents Like Yourselves!!”

    I have about as much time for these people as I do for all those upwardly-mobile middle-aged businessmen who claim indignation that the speed limits on the roads are what they are.

    Yes, panic, good parents, the time to protect your freedom from tyranny is now! Good grief. This whole thing reads like the acting out of one of those extended freedom-fighter fantasies we read on here all the time from the One who Baits Reds…

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  28. Chuck Bird (4,891 comments) says:

    OPEN LETTER TO JOHN KEY

    JOHN KEY’S SECRET AGENDA

    At the end of the article is an interview by John Key in GayNZ. This article shows Key‎’s very liberal attitude and his lack of respect for those with more conservative views particularly if they are Christian.

    Here is a man who is willing to support homosexuals adopting children yet is prepared to undermine parental authority. The undermining of parental authority is the main issue not the small number of parents who will get convicted for appropriately disciplining their children. Their small fine would be nothing compared to having their parental authority undermined.

    School teachers and police officers giving school talks ask children to inform on their parents if they are smacked. This is not surprising from a left wing Feminazi government. However, as an ex-National party member I am very disappointed that a National government supports this anti-parent legislation.

    The reason for me resigning from National in a word is Key. Shortly after Key replaced Brash someone sent me the article below. Then he whipped his whole party to change their stance on Bradford’s anti smacking bill.

    There was some excuse for moral issues to be decided by a conscience vote under FPP. Members of Parliament were meant to represent their electorate. Under MMP who does Key think he should represent – the majority of good parents or a small vocal group of mainly left wing homosexuals who want the right to adopt children? I am all for human rights but adopting children is not a right.

    To be honest I would like to vote National. Key is a very talented man. I admire his skill and drive. A man who could command the wage he did obviously has financial skills. If Key wants my vote he should devote his talents to improving New Zealand economically and allow New Zealand parents to devote their skills to raising their children to be good New Zealanders.

    I will be emailing this to Mr Key and copying it to my local MP, Judith Collins who is a very good MP. Unfortunately, Key would not allow her to represent her electorate on this very important issue.

    I urge others if you have voted National in the past or are consider doing so at this election to post and email Mr Key and politely tell him National will not be getting your vote if he continues to ignore the wishes of the vast majority of New Zealand parents.

    Chuck Bird

    John Key, supporter of equality for gays and lesbians
    03DEC06 – Jay Bennie

    Last year’s Civil Unions Bill, conferring formal legal status on same sex relationships, was a litmus test for the moral conscience of members of Parliament. One of those who voted against Civil Unions, John Key, MP for Helensville, has emerged as the new leader of the National Party.

    While Key voted for the Property (Relationships) Amendment Bill, ushering in a tidy up of laws which discriminated against same sex couples in a myriad of ways, Civil Unions – a conscience vote – appeared to be a step too far.

    “I voted for the Property (Relationships) part of the bill because I really felt that the situation there was totally discriminatory. I guess the view I have taken is that marriage is an institution of the church, I don’t think it is necessary to have that label put on every relationship many people don’t in fact want that. But marriage wasn’t being asked for in the Civil Unions Bill anyway, that was a demarkation that the Government made themselves.

    And voting against legalised Civil Unions for same sex and de facto couples was not discriminatory? Keys followed the same path trodden by his neighbouring National MP, Lockwood Smith of Kaipara. “Because I see myself as the elected representative of the people of Helensville. I try to reflect that in my voting on conscience issues, as opposed to a personal vote from my own perspective. I had done some polling, I wouldn’t say it was extensive, but I did some polling in my electorate and on the basis of that polling I voted against civil unions.”

    ELECTORATE VS PERSONAL VIEWS – THE CONSCIENCE VOTE

    Putting the ‘will of the electorate’ aside, would John Key otherwise have voted for Civil Unions? “Personally I have no problems with Civil Unions… there was an argument put forward that civil unions would undermine marriage, and I never believed that line. I have been married for 22 years and the fact that a gay couple may choose to have a Civil Union would have absolutely no impact on my marriage to my wife.”

    Key says he doesn’t intend to pre-judge the construction of families. “We have friends who are a gay couple bringing up children, I would support any gay or lesbian couple bringing up children, I would hope for them what I want for any children and that is for them to give the best parental instruction and love and attention that they can for the children that are in their care.”

    The Brash leadership and its advisers appears to have fostered a relationship with a number of very anti-gay, conservative, religious groups, and the need for their votes and background support clearly influenced some National MPs, including Brash himself, to flip flop from supporting Civil Unions to voting against. But National’s new leader believes in a clear separation of church and state. “I think we largely live in a secular society, I think there are many religions operating in NZ and it is in the best interests of the state to make decisions that are on a secular basis so they don’t discriminate. I’m no supporter of these hard right religions. [For instance,] I was never offered, I would never have accepted any financial support from the Exclusive Brethren. I met them as a constituency MP, as I would meet anyone as a constituency MP on constituency issues as I believe it’s wrong to discriminate. But I intend having no contact with the Brethren going forward.”

    JUDGMENT AND PREFERENCE

    Brash is gone from the leadership, and his close cabal of advisers has all but evaporated. Expediency politics may have led National down a dead end but in right wing politics its hard to believe that homosexuality wont become a public issue again, with calls for moral judgement to forestall moral and social rot. “I don’t think I am a terribly judgmental person,” says Key. “I don’t care what people’s sexual preferences are, It’s for them to determine that. We have friends who are gay and lesbian, just as we have dozens of friends who are heterosexual. I judge my friends on the basis of the friendship that we have and the support we give each other, not on their sexual preferences which, as far as I am concerned, is their business and their business alone.”

    Sexual ‘preferences?’ There’s that scary word beloved of fundamentalist preachers. Does Key believe that we glbt people exercise a choice over our sexuality? “No. I believe it is innate. I am not an expert in these areas but I have had all these religious groups in my electoral office trying to argue that this is learned behavior, personally I believe that is crap. The only way I can express that is that I am not gay and that is not a conscious decision I made, it’s just the way I feel. I assume that gay people have other feelings.”

    ENDS

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  29. Chuck Bird (4,891 comments) says:

    OPEN LETTER TO JOHN KEY

    JOHN KEY’S SECRET AGENDA

    At the end of the article is an interview by John Key in GayNZ. This article shows Key‎’s very liberal attitude and his lack of respect for those with more conservative views particularly if they are Christian.

    Here is a man who is willing to support homosexuals adopting children yet is prepared to undermine parental authority. The undermining of parental authority is the main issue not the small number of parents who will get convicted for appropriately disciplining their children. Their small fine would be nothing compared to having their parental authority undermined.

    School teachers and police officers giving school talks ask children to inform on their parents if they are smacked. This is not surprising from a left wing Feminazi government. However, as an ex-National party member I am very disappointed that a National government supports this anti-parent legislation.

    The reason for me resigning from National in a word is Key. Shortly after Key replaced Brash someone sent me the article below. Then he whipped his whole party to change their stance on Bradford’s anti smacking bill.

    There was some excuse for moral issues to be decided by a conscience vote under FPP. Members of Parliament were meant to represent their electorate. Under MMP who does Key think he should represent – the majority of good parents or a small vocal group of mainly left wing homosexuals who want the right to adopt children? I am all for human rights but adopting children is not a right.

    To be honest I would like to vote National. Key is a very talented man. I admire his skill and drive. A man who could command the wage he did obviously has financial skills. If Key wants my vote he should devote his talents to improving New Zealand economically and allow New Zealand parents to devote their skills to raising their children to be good New Zealanders.

    I will be emailing this to Mr Key and copying it to my local MP, Judith Collins who is a very good MP. Unfortunately, Key would not allow her to represent her electorate on this very important issue.

    I urge others if you have voted National in the past or are consider doing so at this election to post and email Mr Key and politely tell him National will not be getting your vote if he continues to ignore the wishes of the vast majority of New Zealand parents.

    Chuck Bird

    John Key, supporter of equality for gays and lesbians
    03DEC06 – Jay Bennie

    Last year’s Civil Unions Bill, conferring formal legal status on same sex relationships, was a litmus test for the moral conscience of members of Parliament. One of those who voted against Civil Unions, John Key, MP for Helensville, has emerged as the new leader of the National Party.

    While Key voted for the Property (Relationships) Amendment Bill, ushering in a tidy up of laws which discriminated against same sex couples in a myriad of ways, Civil Unions – a conscience vote – appeared to be a step too far.

    “I voted for the Property (Relationships) part of the bill because I really felt that the situation there was totally discriminatory. I guess the view I have taken is that marriage is an institution of the church, I don’t think it is necessary to have that label put on every relationship many people don’t in fact want that. But marriage wasn’t being asked for in the Civil Unions Bill anyway, that was a demarkation that the Government made themselves.

    And voting against legalised Civil Unions for same sex and de facto couples was not discriminatory? Keys followed the same path trodden by his neighbouring National MP, Lockwood Smith of Kaipara. “Because I see myself as the elected representative of the people of Helensville. I try to reflect that in my voting on conscience issues, as opposed to a personal vote from my own perspective. I had done some polling, I wouldn’t say it was extensive, but I did some polling in my electorate and on the basis of that polling I voted against civil unions.”

    ELECTORATE VS PERSONAL VIEWS – THE CONSCIENCE VOTE

    Putting the ‘will of the electorate’ aside, would John Key otherwise have voted for Civil Unions? “Personally I have no problems with Civil Unions… there was an argument put forward that civil unions would undermine marriage, and I never believed that line. I have been married for 22 years and the fact that a gay couple may choose to have a Civil Union would have absolutely no impact on my marriage to my wife.”

    Key says he doesn’t intend to pre-judge the construction of families. “We have friends who are a gay couple bringing up children, I would support any gay or lesbian couple bringing up children, I would hope for them what I want for any children and that is for them to give the best parental instruction and love and attention that they can for the children that are in their care.”

    The Brash leadership and its advisers appears to have fostered a relationship with a number of very anti-gay, conservative, religious groups, and the need for their votes and background support clearly influenced some National MPs, including Brash himself, to flip flop from supporting Civil Unions to voting against. But National’s new leader believes in a clear separation of church and state. “I think we largely live in a secular society, I think there are many religions operating in NZ and it is in the best interests of the state to make decisions that are on a secular basis so they don’t discriminate. I’m no supporter of these hard right religions. [For instance,] I was never offered, I would never have accepted any financial support from the Exclusive Brethren. I met them as a constituency MP, as I would meet anyone as a constituency MP on constituency issues as I believe it’s wrong to discriminate. But I intend having no contact with the Brethren going forward.”

    JUDGMENT AND PREFERENCE

    Brash is gone from the leadership, and his close cabal of advisers has all but evaporated. Expediency politics may have led National down a dead end but in right wing politics its hard to believe that homosexuality wont become a public issue again, with calls for moral judgement to forestall moral and social rot. “I don’t think I am a terribly judgmental person,” says Key. “I don’t care what people’s sexual preferences are, It’s for them to determine that. We have friends who are gay and lesbian, just as we have dozens of friends who are heterosexual. I judge my friends on the basis of the friendship that we have and the support we give each other, not on their sexual preferences which, as far as I am concerned, is their business and their business alone.”

    Sexual ‘preferences?’ There’s that scary word beloved of fundamentalist preachers. Does Key believe that we glbt people exercise a choice over our sexuality? “No. I believe it is innate. I am not an expert in these areas but I have had all these religious groups in my electoral office trying to argue that this is learned behavior, personally I believe that is crap. The only way I can express that is that I am not gay and that is not a conscious decision I made, it’s just the way I feel. I assume that gay people have other feelings.”

    ENDS

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  30. Chuck Bird (4,891 comments) says:

    OPEN LETTER TOJOHN KEY

    JOHN KEY’S SECRET AGENDA

    At the end of the article is an interview by John Key in GayNZ. This article shows Key‎’s very liberal attitude and his lack of respect for those with more conservative views particularly if they are Christian.

    Here is a man who is willing to support homosexuals adopting children yet is prepared to undermine parental authority. The undermining of parental authority is the main issue not the small number of parents who will get convicted for appropriately disciplining their children. Their small fine would be nothing compared to having their parental authority undermined.

    School teachers and police officers giving school talks ask children to inform on their parents if they are smacked. This is not surprising from a left wing Feminazi government. However, as an ex-National party member I am very disappointed that a National government supports this anti-parent legislation.

    The reason for me resigning from National in a word is Key. Shortly after Key replaced Brash someone sent me the article below. Then he whipped his whole party to change their stance on Bradford’s anti smacking bill.

    There was some excuse for moral issues to be decided by a conscience vote under FPP. Members of Parliament were meant to represent their electorate. Under MMP who does Key think he should represent – the majority of good parents or a small vocal group of mainly left wing homosexuals who want the right to adopt children? I am all for human rights but adopting children is not a right.

    To be honest I would like to vote National. Key is a very talented man. I admire his skill and drive. A man who could command the wage he did obviously has financial skills. If Key wants my vote he should devote his talents to improving New Zealand economically and allow New Zealand parents to devote their skills to raising their children to be good New Zealanders.

    I will be emailing this to Mr Key and copying it to my local MP, Judith Collins who is a very good MP. Unfortunately, Key would not allow her to represent her electorate on this very important issue.

    I urge others if you have voted National in the past or are consider doing so at this election to post and email Mr Key and politely tell him National will not be getting your vote if he continues to ignore the wishes of the vast majority of New Zealand parents.

    Chuck Bird

    John Key, supporter of equality for gays and lesbians
    03DEC06 – Jay Bennie

    Last year’s Civil Unions Bill, conferring formal legal status on same sex relationships, was a litmus test for the moral conscience of members of Parliament. One of those who voted against Civil Unions, John Key, MP for Helensville, has emerged as the new leader of the National Party.

    While Key voted for the Property (Relationships) Amendment Bill, ushering in a tidy up of laws which discriminated against same sex couples in a myriad of ways, Civil Unions – a conscience vote – appeared to be a step too far.

    “I voted for the Property (Relationships) part of the bill because I really felt that the situation there was totally discriminatory. I guess the view I have taken is that marriage is an institution of the church, I don’t think it is necessary to have that label put on every relationship many people don’t in fact want that. But marriage wasn’t being asked for in the Civil Unions Bill anyway, that was a demarkation that the Government made themselves.

    And voting against legalised Civil Unions for same sex and de facto couples was not discriminatory? Keys followed the same path trodden by his neighbouring National MP, Lockwood Smith of Kaipara. “Because I see myself as the elected representative of the people of Helensville. I try to reflect that in my voting on conscience issues, as opposed to a personal vote from my own perspective. I had done some polling, I wouldn’t say it was extensive, but I did some polling in my electorate and on the basis of that polling I voted against civil unions.”

    ELECTORATE VS PERSONAL VIEWS – THE CONSCIENCE VOTE

    Putting the ‘will of the electorate’ aside, would John Key otherwise have voted for Civil Unions? “Personally I have no problems with Civil Unions… there was an argument put forward that civil unions would undermine marriage, and I never believed that line. I have been married for 22 years and the fact that a gay couple may choose to have a Civil Union would have absolutely no impact on my marriage to my wife.”

    Key says he doesn’t intend to pre-judge the construction of families. “We have friends who are a gay couple bringing up children, I would support any gay or lesbian couple bringing up children, I would hope for them what I want for any children and that is for them to give the best parental instruction and love and attention that they can for the children that are in their care.”

    The Brash leadership and its advisers appears to have fostered a relationship with a number of very anti-gay, conservative, religious groups, and the need for their votes and background support clearly influenced some National MPs, including Brash himself, to flip flop from supporting Civil Unions to voting against. But National’s new leader believes in a clear separation of church and state. “I think we largely live in a secular society, I think there are many religions operating in NZ and it is in the best interests of the state to make decisions that are on a secular basis so they don’t discriminate. I’m no supporter of these hard right religions. [For instance,] I was never offered, I would never have accepted any financial support from the Exclusive Brethren. I met them as a constituency MP, as I would meet anyone as a constituency MP on constituency issues as I believe it’s wrong to discriminate. But I intend having no contact with the Brethren going forward.”

    JUDGMENT AND PREFERENCE

    Brash is gone from the leadership, and his close cabal of advisers has all but evaporated. Expediency politics may have led National down a dead end but in right wing politics its hard to believe that homosexuality wont become a public issue again, with calls for moral judgement to forestall moral and social rot. “I don’t think I am a terribly judgmental person,” says Key. “I don’t care what people’s sexual preferences are, It’s for them to determine that. We have friends who are gay and lesbian, just as we have dozens of friends who are heterosexual. I judge my friends on the basis of the friendship that we have and the support we give each other, not on their sexual preferences which, as far as I am concerned, is their business and their business alone.”

    Sexual ‘preferences?’ There’s that scary word beloved of fundamentalist preachers. Does Key believe that we glbt people exercise a choice over our sexuality? “No. I believe it is innate. I am not an expert in these areas but I have had all these religious groups in my electoral office trying to argue that this is learned behavior, personally I believe that is crap. The only way I can express that is that I am not gay and that is not a conscious decision I made, it’s just the way I feel. I assume that gay people have other feelings.”

    ENDS

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  31. Chuck Bird (4,891 comments) says:

    The following is a link to the Seection 59 Blog with my Open Letter to John Key regrding his stance on the anti smacking law.

    http://section59.blogspot.com/

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  32. Scott (1,801 comments) says:

    What compromise? The old law was fine. I say bring back ‘reasonable force’ and allow good parents to get on with bringing up their children without interference from the ‘nannystate’.

    While we are at it- lets look again at schools. Given the huge numbers of suspensions, expulsions and assaults on teachers perhaps its time to look again at our stance on corporal punishment in schools?

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  33. Chuck Bird (4,891 comments) says:

    Firstly, my apologies for the multiple posting. It was accidental.

    Scott, I agree the best option would be to bring back the old law. It was not perfect society’s views on what is reasonable force when physically disciplining children is changing. A jury ten years ago might have thought a clip in ear was quite acceptable. In the future they could likely come up with a different verdict. That is why the Borrow’s amendment would be would be a second best option.

    The Key so called compromise does not change the fact that parents physically disciplining their children are committing a criminal offence. It does not stop children telling their parents they will report them to the authorities or police if they are smacked. In some cases this has happened with varying outcomes. I have heard talkback callers say they have countered this threat with here is the phone but think carefully if you feel would be happier living in a foster home.

    This law is harmful to children. It was driven by an ideologue with criminal record for violence. The only reasons I can see why Key supports this law is because National Party private polling and not offending the Greens in case they could be a coalition partner.

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  34. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,752 comments) says:

    Don Brash already covered John Key’s motivations for giving the big tick to the anti-smacking legislation in the following article:
    Don Brash: ‘I’ve been hiding too long’
    John Key made the announcement unilaterally. He is hardly going to back down from his own initiative.

    Says it all really. Don Brash wanted to be bold on tax but couldn’t. John Key wanted to be bold on supporting Sue Bradford’s silly legislation, and that is what he spent his political capital on. Doesn’t say much for the future of New Zealand.

    ACT was the only party against the Anti-smacking legislation, so vote for them if you want to send a message.

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  35. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,752 comments) says:

    Give Labour and the Green’s a good smack this 8 November. ;-)

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