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.