A smack in the eye for Bradford

Gotta say the PM can’t easily wriggle out of doing something, in light of the strong vote against the Bradford law on parental correction. Nor – it seems – does he want to.

Almost 90 per cent of people who participated in the referendum asking New Zealanders whether smacking should be illegal have voted no, according to preliminary results reported in the Herald.

Family First – understandably – is urging the government to respect public opinion and act on the result.

The $9 million referendum asked: “Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?”
Voter turnout on the initial results was 54 per cent. There were just over 1.6 million votes cast.

The ‘NO’ camp recorded an impressive result of over 1.4 million, or 87.6 per cent, in the preliminary count, while the ‘YES’ camp was under 200,000 or 11.81 per cent.

The final result will be declared on Tuesday.

Alf was never comfortable with Green MP Sue Bradford’s member’s bill, passed in 2007, which amended the Crimes Act to make it illegal for parents to use force against children for correction, although it also allowed police the discretion not to prosecute inconsequential cases.

True,m the referendum result is not binding on the Government.

But it’s a bloody strong expression of disapproval of the 2007 legislation. It must not be ignored.

The blinkered Bradford, of course, is not convinced.

This morning Ms Bradford said not too much should be read into the result.

“I would have a much greater respect for the referendum result if it was based on a clearer question,” she said.

A clever question? What sort of cleverness does she demand?

But Key says he expects a resounding ‘No’ vote in the smacking referendum will lead to changes surrounding the law.

Clever question or not, Alf accordingly expects the referendum will get results – a smack in the eye for Bradford.

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