Monday, March 26, 2007

Anti-smacking bill comes under attack from the public...

Anti-smacking bill comes under under attack from the public!

The New Zealand Government has apparently backed down a little by not forcing Parliament into urgency to debate the anti-smacking bill as a public backlash mounts againts the proposed legislation.Leaders of the minor parties were contacted by the leader of the House of Representatives that the Government was withdrawing its request for urgency, which would have forced Parliament to sit until the legislation was passed.The decision was made because of opposition to the bill and research which shows that an overwhelming number of New Zealanders oppose the Greens bill outlawing physical punishment, which opponents say would open the floodgates to prosecutions for smacking children.The bid for urgency was causing too much angst among the various minor parties which the Government was having discussions with.There are calls to make it a real conscience vote, not forcing MPs to vote on party lines, on both sides of the political divide.Opinion polls claim that about 80% oppose the bill which could be unforceable. It is also claimed the proposed legislation was not necessary - as police cannot get successful prosecutions under existing laws because case precedents have been developed so parents who assault their children with things such as riding crops can get off scot free, there are suggestions to amend existing laws.The bill returns to Parliament tomorrow for further debate. The result of the bill does not appear cut and dried as it did just days ago.

The National Party opposition is not really gaining much traction because the bill is under immense public pressure at present.

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