Probation Period to be extended to Parliament

April 1st, 2011 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

I’ve been leaked a copy of what may be National’s most popular policy – extending the new 90 day probation period (which starts today) to Parliament.

The policy, which will require a change to the Electoral Act, will allow voters to sack an MP if they feel the MP is not working out. There will be two ways this could happen.

If 10% of an electorate MP’s constituents sign a sacking petition within 90 days of an electorate MP’s election, then their seat falls vacant. It is thought unlikely to be used often, due to the cost of a by-election. This will discourage opposition parties from using the provision recklessly, but allows the voters to take action if an MP is clearly just not working out.

The provisions around List MPs are harsher. A petition to sack an MP from their list spot can be lodged at any time. However it must be signed by at least 500 members of the party that MP represents in Parliament. This will provide an incentive for List MPs to better represent their party’s interests.

The policy has been approved by Cabinet, but not yet gone to Caucus, where there may be some resistance. However the case will be put to MPs that this just puts them on a level playing field with parliamentary staff who are on a effective permament probation period. Staff who work in a parliamentary or MPs office can be dismissed without cause at any time, under a provision in their employment contract called “irreconcilable differences” which is a fancy term for “am sick of you”.

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15 Responses to “Probation Period to be extended to Parliament”

  1. Murray (8,838 comments) says:

    Twice in one day?

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  2. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    DPF,

    In order for April Fools jokes to work they have to be at least vaguely believable…

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  3. sthn.jeff (100 comments) says:

    So many in one day DPF!

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  4. JeffW (320 comments) says:

    Nice one DPF, what about Len Brown, could we recall him or is it April Fool’s every day for Aucklanders?

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  5. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Jeez, it just looked like a totally normal DPF post to me!

    Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, uh, uh, I know, double shame on me!

    (Thanks to Dubya)

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  6. ciaron (1,314 comments) says:

    (In best Father Dougal voice): I don’t believe it Ted.

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  7. Viking2 (11,128 comments) says:

    Youwish. Dreams are free.

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  8. big bruv (13,271 comments) says:

    What a pity we do not actually have the ability to recall our MP’s.

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  9. Pete George (22,804 comments) says:

    This post is less likely to be true than the first one, but with about the same odds as winning Powerball tomorrow why not go for broke and push for

    “a provision in their employment contract called “irreconcilable differences”

    (with their electorate) for MPs.

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  10. Murray (8,838 comments) says:

    We do bb, once every three years.

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  11. RRM (9,445 comments) says:

    Jumped the shark.

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  12. Grizz (500 comments) says:

    A bit OTT to be remotely believable.

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  13. K.Reed (18 comments) says:

    “…However it must be signed by at least 500 members of the party that MP represents in Parliament…”

    LOL this is the funniest part, though not in a laughing-with-you kind of way. The author couldn’t even take the piss without maintaining even a hypothetical advantage over employees. Too scary it seems. LOL

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  14. RightNow (6,655 comments) says:

    If only this wasn’t a joke. With more reasonable thresholds and mechanisms this could be great for NZ.

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  15. gravedodger (1,514 comments) says:

    The new provision would not have affected Dazza as he was past the 90 days and he had clearly been working out, until the bloody cops removed his ball. Jeez two in a week.

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