Leaders won’t vote in smacking poll

Dominion Post 16 June 2009

Neither Prime Minister John Key nor Labour leader Phil Goff will vote in the smacking referendum, they said today. Mr Key said he was ‘unlikely’ to vote because it was an opportunity for the public to speak to politicians. ‘On the basis that I’m one of the politicians they’re speaking to I never really thought it made a lot of sense to vote.’ Other people should participate in the referendum, he said.

Labour leader Phil Goff said he would not vote in the referendum because the question was badly worded. It was ‘absolutely’ the wrong question, he said today. ‘The question implies that if you vote ‘yes’ that you’re in favour of criminal sanctions being taken against reasonable parents – actually nobody believes that.’ The so-called anti-smacking law was working at it was intended to, he told reporters.