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Green Party response to petition shortfall - time

29 April 2008

Green Party response to petition shortfall - time to move on

Green Party MP Sue Bradford says she is not surprised the petition aiming to force a referendum on physical punishment of children has failed to collect enough signatures.

"There has been massive public debate on the issue of whether it should be legal to hit children in the name of discipline.

"During the course of that debate many people have come to realise that in fact there are better ways of bringing up our children that don't involve violence," Ms Bradford says.

"I don't believe there is an appetite among political parties or the public for making the physical punishment of children lawful again.

"Other countries are joining us in giving children the same legal protections as adults. Since we changed our law five more countries have followed our example - Portugal, Uruguay, Venezuela, Chile and Spain.

"No other country has turned the clock back in the way the petitioners seek to do.

"While the Green Party totally supports the democratic right of Larry Baldock and his colleagues to continue with their petition, I would suggest there are many other more fruitful ways they could be using their time and money in the interests of children.

"I welcome ongoing debate on this issue, but believe our priorities now should be to look at what further measures we as a society can take to reduce the culture of violence, abuse and neglect that sadly still impacts on far too many of our babies, children and young people rather than re-litigating a law which had the support of a vast majority of MPs and an ever increasing number of the public."


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