Smacking referendum not clear mandate - Bradford
Fri, 21 Aug 2009 12:00a.m.
The MP who drafted the law change that banned smacking says it will be difficult to draw conclusions from tonight's referendum result.
The postal ballot closes today and the result will be announced about 8.30pm.
The 2007 change to the Crimes Act made it illegal for parents to use force against children for correction but also allowed police the discretion not to prosecute inconsequential cases.
Opponents forced the referendum, which asked: "Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?"
They are anticipating an overwhelming "No" vote and have set up a press conference tonight to claim victory.
Green Party MP Sue Bradford said today she expected a high number of spoiled ballot papers had been sent in.
"Feedback I've received from the public over the last few weeks tells me a lot of people feel pretty angry at the confused nature of the referendum question and the waste of $9 million of taxpayers' money this represents," she said.
"For some, their response has been to write political - if not downright rude - remarks on their ballot papers."
Ms Bradford said the question was so flawed with its mixed and ambiguous message that she knew of strong supporters of the change who had voted "No".
"I would have a much greater respect for the referendum result if it was based on a clearer question," she said.
"The `Yes' vote is a vote for keeping the law as it is, providing children with the same legal protection from violence as adults.
"Even a large `No' vote tonight won't be a clear mandate to the Government to act in any particular way," she said.
The referendum result is not binding on the Government.
Prime Minister John Key has said the law is working in the way that it was intended to, and he would not change it unless it stopped working.
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24/08/2009 5:50:05 p.m.
i think the government has forgoten who pays their wages , You would think John key would listen to people who voted for him? maybe next time we vote no for John key he doesnt listen!
24/08/2009 3:55:57 p.m.
Nev Smith wrote:
i think the government has forgoten who pays their wages and who is actually the boss.But good workers they are not they consistantly break promices and make excusess for their shoddy workmanship and even try and get more money from the boss(us) by dodgy ways and now they refuse to even do the bosses instuctions.now if i had workers like that i would fire them on the spot.
21/08/2009 9:26:19 p.m.
A resounding NO and a hard smack on Sue Bradford! Anything above 80% should be binding. This law is probably the straw that broke Labor's hold on power. The law should be repealed without further tinkering. This law is useless as far as stopping child abuse and killing is concerned.
21/08/2009 7:17:16 p.m.
Thumbs up Scott.Politicians only listen to the people when it conforms with there goals and ignore it or say we dont know what we are saying when it doesn't.I find it amusing that the biggest protesters of the establishment of yesteryear have turned out to be the biggest control freaks when they get into power. "Don't do as I do, do as I say."
21/08/2009 2:13:57 p.m.
hmmm..now if 70-80% of people vote ( NO ) dont you think the goverment should listen and change he law back? They forget who voted for them! quoted below maybe! ...Prime Minister John Key should maybe listen...
21/08/2009 12:28:19 p.m.
I think Ms Bradford epitomises all that is good about democracy and all that is bad about democracy, all at the same time! Her attempt to devalue the referendum as a means of denying the result, approaches dishonesty in my opinion; or at the very least represents extreme condescension toward fellow Kiwi’s. If everyone ticks NO that means we don’t want your silly dumb ass law Ms Bradford! Take it on the chin , accept the will of the people, repeal the law and go back to whatever it is that the Green party do in their free time
21/08/2009 12:17:44 p.m.
Prime Minister John Key should maybe listen to the people who have voted !!!!no , as we have the power to vote him off!
21/08/2009 10:53:58 a.m.
So at what percent do we say that pople want a change in law or policy?Someone needs to get the act together on these referedums.They need to be worded correctly and they should be binding.If say over 80% vote in one way surely they should be listerned to.Ms Bradford is admitting defeat before she sees the result and hiding behind the way the question is written is just throwing smoke.Most kiwis are not infact thick and most Kiwis know what the question means rightly or wrongly.If the greater are not listerned to in these then bin them they are just a waste of tax payers money
21/08/2009 10:53:30 a.m.
I wish we had a few more folk like Scott Fraser in the bee-hive or if he is interested in being a Politican then I recon most people would like the way the countrys run
21/08/2009 10:11:06 a.m.
Scott Fraser wrote:
What a shame that our politicians are throwing there toys out of the cot before the ballots are counted. Why can't they wait to see what the country have to say?
The comments of Sue Bradford and John Keys strongly suggest that the referendum was never going to make a difference because they had already made up their minds that it wouldn't force a law change or that the ballet papers were spoiled (has she seen them all, smells like a lie to me, not to mention a stupid thing to say), who is wasting the tax payers money?
People vote based on a democratic system but how can it be when power mungers stand in the way of democracy?
I really feel like I voted wrong in the general election, I fell for the old lie that the government will listen. But now that we want them to listen their ears are closed.
Yes the referendum is a waste of tax payers money, but not because of the people, it's because of the all powerful leaders that revel in their position of power that can't possible be undermined by the common people!
No point in freedom of speech when those that need to hear it are deaf due their own agendas.
There's a saying that history never repeats, but it is! It happened when Norm Withers started a petition in 1997 that said "Should there be a reform of the justice system placing greater emphasis on the needs of victims, providing restitution and compensation for them and imposing minimum sentences and hard labour for all serious violent offences?"
Almost 92 percent of the voters in the 1999 election in this country voted in the affirmative for the proposition that restitution and more support be provided for victims of crime and that violent offenders be subject to longer prison sentences and hard labour.
That was ignored by the National Government as well.
And we are still suffering as victims.
See more on this here: http://www.laworderreferendum.org.nz/
I think you'll find they tried the same excuses they are trying now.
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