By Simeon, with notes by Andy [A]
The Timaru Herald published an editorial today slamming the petition calling for a referendum on the "anti-smacking" law as a "a sideshow". The editorial then goes on to say that Sue Bradford's comment telling opponents of the law to "move on" is actually popular opinion.
But this article is wrong in the assumptions that it is making. Firstly it says that "National's last-minute intervention that the police would not pursue inconsequential smacking took away much of the objection and the bill was easily passed." No this took away NO objection to this legislation, if you look at recent polling then you will see that public opinion is very much the same.
In fact, just over a week ago, a small group of volunteers collected 5,800 signatures at the V8 Racing event in Hamilton. Ahem, sorry, what did you say? public opinion has changed? Don't make me laugh. [A]
Next it says "But while the petition attracted 324,511 signatures, only 267,000 have been deemed valid, well short of the 285,000 to force the poll". 267,000 is not far off 285,000 and is one of the largest petitions handed in in recent history.
"one of the largest petitions handed in in recent history." - how much is this editor being paid? He's just filling up paper with worthless points. It is a normal number of signatures to be submitted, and the audit is not bad news at all! Norm Wither's "law and order" petition lost 60,000 signatures in it's audit. [A]
Thirdly it says "But consider what has happened since the bill was passed. The worst fears have not been realised. We have not seen a procession of parents through the courts charged with assault in the name of child discipline -- there have been just five cases. Nor have we seen the law preventing the most extreme cases, with children still dying or being badly injured at the hands of their parents." That is five cases which did not need to happen. Five families have had unneeded police interference.
Of course "the worst fears have not been realised". I have been saying this from the beginning. The Labour/Greens government knows it would be suicide to allow the police force to administer this draconian law to it's fullest extent. No indeed, they will wait until (they hope) they get elected into Government again next year, and then will begin the regime of Government initiated home-invasion on thousands of good, caring family-homes. [A]
Fourthly it says "So what has happened? Until the research is done it is only guesswork to assume the legislation is producing behavioural change. Anecdotally, there appears to be greater awareness by parents of alternatives to physical discipline, which is a good thing." We will reap what we sow.
Perhaps it is a good thing, but it doesn't even begin to justify the introduction of such a anti-freedom law, against the will of the majority of the population (83%). [A]
Lastly it says "Politicians will welcome the prospect of no anti-smacking referendum at this year's election. It would be a sideshow to the far more serious main event, and yet could also be a rogue element in terms of colouring voters' intentions. It is time to move." Yes that is true, Helen Clark and Sue Bradford will welcome no referendum at this election because if we have one everyone will be reminded at the ballot box about what Labour and the Greens have done. But no it is not time to move on because politicians are our servants not our masters.
Why are you lot so paranoid, so beside yourselves with concern at the prospect of a referendum being held? [A]