A fast end to a lame duck has ended up as a lame end with a fast duck. The burning question: why did Key and Clark compromise? The answer is a little simpler than the amazing revelations that have arisen this week. If section 59 had been repealed, which is what H1 WANTED, pursuant to her agreement with the United Nations, and which National was so much against, although they said they wouldn’t reinstate it, then there was huge mileage for minor political parties at the next election. This is nothing more than the two big parties covering their butts by palming their obligations and responsibilities off to the Police. That’s not compromise, that’s vested interest from the two major political parties who fear accountability to the people of NZ, and they both may come to regret that in 2008.
I was talking to a green party member (And candidate) who tells me that the part is pleased at the compromise, their polling showed it had the potential to decimate their support to the level of costing them their place in parliament
It seems extraordinary to me that the Greens should support the repeal of Section 59, when they so aggressively opposed genetically engineered crops on the basis that “not all risks had, or could be, identified”.
Not extraordinary because they are inconsistent, but extraordinary because they can be so inconsistent and no-one holds them to it.
As the saying goes, you get what you put up with.
Great that you have raised this issue.
Mrs Clark is, unfortunately, hamstrung by Field’s defection that has left her exposed to leverage by the Green Party.
It seems that, under considerable duress, she has been forced to see this bill into law. Look at the efforts: removed the conscience option from the Labour MPs, attempted to have urgency applied to the bill, attempted to have it adopted as a government bill…all of this points to duress.
The person applying the pressure? Sue-the-slapper Bradford as the representative of the Green Party.
The biggest issue here is not that an amendment has been accepted by Lational and Nabour, but that the amendment simply RESTATES THE CURRENT LAW.
The NZ Police already are required to investigate every complaint about smacking. They already have the ability to choose to not prosecute if it is not in the best interests of the public to do so.
This is another example of Mrs Clark’s endeavouring to avoid the obvious political suicide associated with this bill.
Check out Sue-the-slapper’s response when asked on the TV News if “light smacking” would now be acceptable with the proposed amendment…the answer was not “yes”.
Someone else said it best on MENZ: “bring on the great darkness”.
The bill would have passed without Nationals support. This could have been seen as a defeat for National. Ms Clarke approached Mr Keyes with an offer. This is significant. I beleve Mr Keyes commented during a press conference later that he would reinstate Section 59 if parents were arrested for smacking and he was elected PM. If any parents are arrested for smacking i suspect Mr Keyes WILL become PM – bloody quickly.