Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The return of the smacking debate

It's just over a month to go until people start receiving ballot papers for the upcoming referendum on smacking, and so the debate is restarting. First out of the blocks is Children's Commissioner John Angus, who is unequivocal in his support for the law:

Dr Angus said he supported the new law because vulnerable children should get the same legal protection against assault as adults, and because smacking was not usually a consistent or effective form of discipline.

"It's linked to how tired and frustrated parents are rather than the nature of the behaviour that is trying to be changed," he said. "There is some evidence that what children remember is that someone who is supposed to love them inflicts pain on them, rather than making a link with a particular behaviour."

Evidence-based policy versus religious fanaticism and talkback redneckery: you'll get to decide at the end of next month.

Meanwhile, you may have noticed the shiny new Yes Vote banner at the top of the page. I don't normally carry advertising (hell, thanks to Adblock I don't normally even see advertising), but this is a worthy cause, and I'm happy to donate some space to it. If you'd like one yourself (or the skyscraper it replaced), you can get one here.