The Herald editorial:
No fewer than 14 National MPs are retiring at the coming election, plus a couple from other parties. While the turnover is refreshing for public life, it carries a cost if every departee gives a valedictory address.
That cost became apparent this week when the Prime Minister remarked that the loss of John Banks’ vote would not make much difference to the Government’s remaining legislation because valedictories would take up much of the time left in this term of Parliament. Really?
They’re a factor, but a minor one. Valedictories are generally 15 minutes so 14 valedictories is a total of three and a half hours.
But if so many are leaving that their valedictories may take up sittings over several days, it is time to ask whether all deserve one. Few voters could name many of those retiring this year. Many are leaving because they have not been able to make much impact and accept that they should give others a chance. More credit to them, but valedictory time should be reserved for those who have made their mark and will be missed.
A pretty appalling snobbery.
No not all retiring MPs are high profile Ministers. But MPs who work to improve laws on select committees, who help develop policy, who represents the interest of their electorates are an invaluable part of Parliament, and the suggestion that some of them shouldn’t be allowed a 15 minute valedictory is nasty, mean-spirited and s form of snobbery