Phil Jackson: Parents, not governments, are responsible for children

NZ Herald Aug 04, 2009

Parliament tends to attract those that are unable to ferret out the principles of important issues. The Electoral Finance Bill and the Microchipping Bill are two good examples of bits of subjective legislation that should have stayed submerged. Members of Parliament know that they can get away with many things because they have denied the public the means to direct them on issues important to them. The Privy Council as the last means of appeal was abolished by a government that wanted its legislation to be interpreted in a particular way and despite the overwhelming number of submissions against this, decided that is what it wanted anyway.

The referendum on smacking has come about because ordinary New Zealanders and many decent mums and dads have felt that the law change was wrong. Support for the original law has hovered around 80 per cent and it comes as no surprise to the cynical amongst us that Prime Minister John Key is not interested in changing the new law. A disrespect for democracy is a hallmark of many politicians. Although they depend on it to get power, once it has been gained they flaunt it with impunity.

It is an extreme rarity for a politician to articulate a deep understanding of any issue and this debate shows that this is still the case.