Hands off our lives say voters

The Dominion Post 19 November 2007
Voters fear Government is exerting too much control over their lives – and they believe it has got worse in the past two years. The finding in the latest Fairfax Media-Nielsen poll suggests the backlash over the so-called anti-smacking bill has left its mark, but could also be a response to the campaign against Labour’s bid to overhaul electoral finance laws with a regime criticised as draconian and a limit on free speech. Two thousand people protested in Auckland at the weekend against the Electoral Finance Bill, due to be reported back to Parliament today after being watered down by a select committee.  In a poll of 1082 voters, people were asked whether the Government had more control over people’s daily lives than they would like and 57 per cent answered yes. A further 37 per cent of voters rejected the proposition and 6 per cent did not know. When asked whether the level of control had increased, decreased or stayed the same over the last two years, 61 per cent said it had increased, which points to the smacking debate as a major factor. Civil unions, Labour’s push to decriminalise prostitution and even sensitivity over the recent police raids may be other factors. Labour has come under concerted attack from National and conservative Christian groups for running a “nanny state” agenda.

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