Spare the rod, spoil the child?

The 'anti-smacking bill' introduced by Green MP Sue Bradford raises a number of issues (quite separate about the rights of parents to discipline their children and the rights of children to be safe from harm).

The parliament is split on the matter. It will be voted on in the house based on the conscience of each member.

The Maori Party are keeping their powder dry, refusing to commit and waiting to see what political advantage they can extract from either side. If the question is genuinely a question of moral conscience then, surely, the Maori party must already know their position.

Likewise Sue Bradford has said that she will withdraw the proposed legislation if there is any amendment to her bill that would specify what 'reasonable' force is. This is petty hubris. I beleive that, once legislation has passed its first reading in the house it should no longer be the prerogative of the bill's original author - instead it is subject to the democratic process.

Naughty parliamentarians - go to time out this minute.

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