National could get smacked

Colin Craig targets anti-smacking law and puts National in a difficult position. The could end up getting politically smacked by Colin Craig’s campaign.

Prime Minister John Key, deputy Prime Minister Bill English and Justice Minister Judith Collins were unavailable for comment.

It wouldn’t surprise me if they are ducking for cover. But Craig looks determined to force National’s hand on this.

Craig has been obsessed with overturning Section 59 (smacking law) since the march he spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on in 2009.

He has spent millions setting up the Conservative Party and campaigning, seemingly with the primary aim of overturning Section 59.

National won’t be able to avoid being drawn into Craig’s smacking campaign. They will have to state their position on repealing or replacing the law, or leaving it as it is. They can’t keep ignoring it, Craig won’t let go of it. He seems as determined to keep pursuing this as he is to keep smacking his daughter.

In what is predicted to be a tight election Craig is pushing his own agenda on smacking as his main bargaining tool.

It’s possible that one man’s obsession with one law that has annoyed many but is inconsequential for most could have a major influence on the outcome of the election.

This poses major risks for National. There is nothing for them to gain from it, and much to lose.

John Key said he would announce National’s preferences and approach to potential support partners early this year.

If he signals support for Craig he will associate National closely with Craig and the smacking issue. That’s unlikely to gain support for National.

If the Conservative Party gets a few percent of the party vote that’s certain impact on National more than Labour or Greens.

If Craig gets a seat or the Conservatives make the threshold it looks like Craig is determined to push his hobby horse smacking repeal in any coalition negotiations. NZH reports:

Political hopeful Colin Craig has made repealing a controversial anti-smacking law a condition of his support for a National-led Government after the election this year.

Mr Craig told APNZ the referendum “overwhelmingly” pointed to changes being needed in the law.

“I can’t think of too many other laws that have … had such an overwhelming vote by the public to get rid of it.”

Craig seems overwhelmingly determined to get rid of it.

His single issue obsession will backfire if he gets rid of a National government. Will smacking supporters see this risk? How many will take this risk?

National could end up being the ones getting a smacking at the ballot box.

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  1. Obsession like Craig’s will be a decisive turnoff. There are more important issues. National will most likely to adopt a wait-see-who-wins position but remaining neutral on potential partners for coalition. You will hear a lot of “They have a right to their opinion…”.


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