Oh the irony.
There can be no doubt that the majority of New Zealanders want correctional smacking to be legal, and there was a referendum that said so by a massive 7:1 margin.
Now one can have the view that a party’s policy should triumph over a non binding referendum. I certainly hold that view.
But what is absolute hypocrisy is to be a party that ignored the results of this 2009 referendum, and then two years later to then demand that the Government should break its election policy on the basis of the asset sales referendum.
What many do not know is that a bill was selected for first reading in Parliament in 2010, just a couple of weeks after the referendum result. The bill would have implemented the referendum result by amending the law so that:
it is no longer a criminal offence for parents, and those in the place of parents, to use reasonable force for the purpose of correcting their children’s behaviour and there are clear statutory limits on what constitutes reasonable force
The law was basically identical to what the referendum called for. Now how did Labour and Greens vote on this bill, just three weeks after the referendum? The voted it down (along with every other party except ACT) at first reading.
Now I think National should have voted for the bill, but at least National is consistent that their party’s policy over-rides a referendum result. They have never ever said that referenda should trump elections.
National was not consistent on the anti-smacking law, as they fought tooth and nail against it until John Key made a deal. Many people would have assumed (I was one of them who was hopeful) that once National got into power, given it's record on opposing the law change, they would overturn it irrespective of their party policy, ie do the right thing.
However, that's not what this post is really about. I was astounded to read that Kiwiblog post trying to use the smacking referendum against Labour when National is not squeaky clean with regards to how they treated it. To try and make political mileage out of it when National could overturn that terrible law tomorrow, is far worse in my mind than whatever Labour is up to with their asset sales referendum.
Both parties are just a joke.
Related link: A tale of two petitions ~ Kiwiblog