8/11/2009

A reasonable country: "New Zealanders Will Reject Anti-Smacking Bill"

Angus Reid has a discussion of the New Zealand survey here:

The vast majority of people in New Zealand will vote against a plan to criminalize the smacking of children by parents, according to a poll by Colmar Brunton released by One News. 83 per cent of respondents will cast a ballot against the proposal in a referendum.

On May 2007, then New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark of the Labour party announced the passing of a controversial bill by a wide majority in Parliament. The legislation proposed to criminalize the physical punishment of children by parents who rely on "inconsequential force."

John Key, then leader of the opposition National party and now the country’s prime minister, supported the bill.

Last year, a group of citizens garnered the necessary number of signatures to launch a referendum seeking to repeal the Anti-Smacking Bill. The postal ballot is scheduled to go ahead from Jul. 30 to Aug. 21, at a cost of $5.7 million U.S.

Citizen-driven initiatives are not binding in New Zealand. Prime minister Key has said the government will not necessarily change the law in accordance with the referendum’s outcome.

The referendum on this bill is currently under way. New Zealanders are receiving the ballots at home and can vote until Aug. 21. The question in the ballot reads: "Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in NZ?" . . .


The survey showed that 83 percent are planning on voting "no." Meanwhile, the National Party is well ahead in the polls in New Zealand.

Most people in New Zealand continue to support the governing conservatives, according to a poll by Colmar Brunton released by One News. 56 per cent of respondents would give their party vote to the ruling National party, down one point since April.

The opposition Labour party is behind with 31 per cent, followed by the Green party with seven per cent. Support is lower for the Maori Party, New Zealand First and ACT. . . . .

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