Speaker Lockwood Smith has suggested politicians get together and discuss the idea of having a “prime minister’s question time”. Labour MPs were up in arms yesterday after one of their questions to Prime Minister John Key was transferred to Education Minister Hekia Parata during question time.
Dr Smith said MPs could consider the British example, which is a half-hour question time for the prime minister once a week, at noon.
I think this is a good idea. The UK version is a great exercise in accountability. They key difference with normal question time, is the primary questions are not submitted in advance and the supplementary questions can be basically on anything.
While obviously it has benefits for the Opposition, I think it also benefits the PM. It is a great test of their ability to be over all the major issues and think on their feet. I actually think the current PM would handle such a question time very well.
If there is a change of Government after the next election, it would also be a formidable test for David Shearer!