Thursday, May 17, 2007

Once More Into the Ghetto

I'm sure Mr Copeland has his reasons for resigning from United Future...but none of them have to do with integrity in this voter's opinion. When you're elected as a list MP, you're elected on a party platform beyond your personal profile/appeal. You make a commitment to that party and you honour it. Mr Copeland should resign as an MP immediately, establish his party and seek re election in 2008. THAT is the proper course for a Christian who feels in good conscience he cannot continue with a particular political party.

I do not personally share Mr Copeland's sense of outrage at the anti-smacking legislation - it wouldn't be my choice to reisgn over such an issue. But I respect his right to have his own conscience. What I do not respect is his decision to remain in Parliament. He had the right along with every other MP to exercise a conscience vote on the smacking bill - that was the proper outlet for his views.

"He said he would vote case by case on legislation outside Labour's existing confidence and supply agreement with United Future."

Reported comments as above smack of a misplaced mandate to bring his personal picking and choosing to Parliament's decision-making process - suddenly he is a somebody who should have remained a nobody.

It's a decision made harder to respect when you read comments from Peter Dunne to the effect that Copeland just a week ago denied he was thinking of shifting allegience.

"Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'"

5 comments:

Rhett said...

Do you think that it is democratic for United Future to suuport a bill which the majority of the population is opposed to?

Brett... you need to come over to the Green side.

At least with them there are bigger issues to worry about then running roughshod over the democratic process.

Ken DePeal said...

"Smacking"?

Enlighten those of us on the other side of the world...

BJ said...

Rhett - I wonder what the polls are saying since the amendment to the Bill? But no its not undemocratic. Nor is Copeland's move under our current system - its just immoral.

Ken - its a long story! This link is actually surprisingly informative - http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/411365/1124716

Its created quite a stir here - the Kiwi sense of outrage is a bit like telling Americans they no longer have the right to bear arms... ;)

Ken DePeal said...

So basically NZ's have been told they aren't allowed to physically discipline their children? Am I reading that right, no "smacking" (spanking) their kids anymore?

Wow, if I've got that right, it's very significant. I no longer spank my children due to their age and need for other forms of discipline, but I'm a huge proponent of physical punishment, so long as it's handled very carefully by a patient, unangered parent.

-Ken

BJ said...

No smacking kids for correction although police are given discretion - so the implication is that appropriate smacking for correction will be tolerated. Reasonable force is still permitted in certain circumstances which I'm too tired to try to remember. But the whole thing remains quite vague - my belief is that Parliament should have defined reasonable force in the legislation to address the real problem which was not appropriate physical correction by parents, but abusive parents escaping conviction because of an over tolerant interpretation of reasonable force by the Courts. We'll end up with the Courts being turned into a circus on the legislation as it has been enacted with people trying to bring "corrective" smacking under the remaining heads in order to get off a charge that would never even have been brought under the old legislation.