Copied from Democracy Mums comments at Kiwiblog.
Because no one can really say it better.
An Open Letter the Prime Minister
Dear Mr Key
There are two things in my life that I value above all else. My children and our democracy. My children are a little older now and no longer need to be reminded with a gentle smack from time to time, (when all other options have failed) the difference between right and wrong. They are growing into fine young adults of whom my husband and I are immensely proud. Our democracy on the hand, still feels like it has some valuable lessons to learn.
Last night the people of New Zealand told your Government exactly what it thought of Sue Bradford’s legislation.
The result was a resounding NO. 87% people believe that good parents should not be criminalised for giving their children a light smack as part of parental discipline. The same type of smack that you now admit you also gave your children when they were little.
During the last general election 45% of voters turned out to support your Government which means the NO vote for this referendum has enjoyed unparalled support from people across all party affiliations. The people of New Zealand have spoken with one voice.
Sue Bradford would have us believe, that the referendum has no credibility because no one understood the question in the first place. But the New Zealand people are not stupid and figured out which way to vote and cast their ballots accordingly. Substantially more people turned out for this referendum than any of last year’s local body elections, and more than twice those who voted on the firefighter’s referendum.
So what will you do now?
I do not want to hear “comforting words from cabinet”I along with the rest of 87% of voters expect a law change.
Every day in my community I see harassed young mums, with pre-schoolers, in the supermarket, taking older children to school. Sometimes despite their best efforts, their little ones throw a tantrum, or will not get into their car seats. As a direct result of this legislation these mothers are now too frightened to given their children a light smack, for fear of being reported to CFS by some ‘well meaning’ bystander.
This is the unintentional impact of Sue Bradford’s law. It is being felt throughout the country in every electorate, your own included where over 90% voted against this legislation. The law is wrong and it needs to be changed.
Just as micro-chipping dogs, did nothing to reduce vicious dog attacks, this law in its current form will do absolutely nothing to reduce New Zealand’s appalling rates of child abuse. The people who are killing our children on what now seems a weekly basis are not the mums and dads who lightly smack their children.
Mr Prime Minister. You have proved yourself to be a fair and compassionate leader. You are well liked and work hard on behalf of our country.
Aristotle, (a man who knew a thing about democracy) once said“Even when laws have been written down, they ought not always to remain unaltered.
Please listen to what the people of New Zealand have said and give parents back their peace of mind and focus instead on the real causes of child abuse in our country.