Far from winning a great victory, National leader John Key has betrayed every parent of young kids in this country.
By forcing National MPs to vote for Sue Bradford's miniscually amended anti-smacking bill, he has killed virtually any chance of abolishing the bill after the next election.
I have always been loathe to criticise John Key. It is not smart to aggravate those you wish to govern with.
However as the parent of two pre-schoolers I feel truly let down by someone I expected better of.
John Key could have taken the Thatcher/Reagan road. He could have told Clark and Bradford to pass their corrupt bill. He could have stuck to his guns and promised the nation he would repeal the bill immediately after winning the '08 election.
He could have but he didn't.
Rodney Hide is not happy either.
From the ACT website
ACT Leader Rodney Hide has written to Helen Clark and John Key urging them to allow their MPs a free vote on Sue Bradford's Anti-Smacking Bill.
"It's all very well for John Key and Helen Clark to decide that they want to criminalise parents who smack their children – but it's wrong that they dictate that their MPs must vote for the Bill.
"I don't believe that the majority of Parliament is for this Bill. I believe, given the choice, the majority of Labour and National MPs would vote with ACT against this Bill. But there's only one way to find out: Have a free vote in Parliament. After all, if Helen and John think the Bill is so good, then they should have no problem allowing their MPs a free vote.
"Make no mistake this Bill criminalises parents who smack their children. The Bill states its purpose is to abolish the use of parental force for the purpose of correction. Clause 4 substitutes a new section 59(2) into the Crimes Act 1961 and declares:
"(2) Nothing in subsection (1) or in any rule of common law justifies the use of force for the purpose of correction."
"The amendment that John Key and Helen Clark have agreed to does nothing to alter the fact that parents who smack their children will be breaking the law. All it does is confirm that the police have discretion as to whether they will prosecute parents who smack their kids.
"Smacking parents may not be prosecuted but they will still be breaking the law and Sue Bradford's Bill makes good, loving parents criminals.
"It's an atrocious Bill. That's why we need a free vote" said Rodney Hide.
Trevor's right. John Key has betrayed ALL New Zealand families by supporting a new piece of law which is...
the threat of prosecution for carrying out their normal parental responsibilities.