This year I have been doing a post on house sitting days detailing what is likely to occur in Parliament that day, with links to the bills, and some analysis of the questions and bills.
The main reason I started doing it, is I was a bit frustrated that there is nowhere else you can get this. Don’t get me wrong – the Parliamentary website has all the information on it, but the order paper is a pdf, and the questions are on a separate page etc. The idea is a one stop shop, making it easier for people to see what the “action” is on a sitting day – and get an idea of whether the debates will be on laws that parties disagree on, or on ones that are controversial.
I’ve been too busy to do this on a regular basis, as I am not always able to get online between 1130 and 1400 on sitting days.
So what I thought I would advertise for is if there are one or more people out there (probably political science students, but can be anyone) who would like to become a Kiwiblog parliamentary analyst. The position is unpaid, but could be good on the CV, and bound to help you pick up guys or girls in bars and clubs.
At this stage, just looking for a comittment to do the sitting day posts. If I get two or three volunteers, could assign a day each. If people are keen, could expand over time to other stuff such as covering debates on controversial bills, scoring question time etc.
For the sitting day posts, what is required is:
- Copy and paste oral questions over at or after 1130 when made public
- Summarise number of questions for each party, and what topics party are asking on
- Award “pasty of the day” to the most sycophantic question from a Government backbencher
- List the first five orders or bills on the order paper, and link them to their parliamentary page
- Estimate which bills will be dealt with that day. Don’t worry if you get it wrong – I often do.
- Provide a summary of each bill, which includes date of introduction, its “owner”, its purpose (take from the very useful library digest), and which parties voted for or against it at previous readings or stages.
It normally takes me half an hour or so, so isn’t a huge time commitment – but the challenge is being able to do it between 1130 and 1400, when Parliament generally starts for the day.
If you are interested in becoming a parliamentary analyst for Kiwiblog, just e-mail me. No pay, not even at minimum wage, but the occasional beer or wine – and the chance to show your skills off to the world.