Behaviour in the House

John Armstrong as usual makes a valuable contribution:

Something is rotten in the state of Parliament. But the rot is not confined to throwing dirt and raking muck.

… the progressive debasing of some of Parliament’s other mechanisms for scrutinising the Government and holding ministers to account is arguably more damaging.

The deterioration in standards is most evident during question-time – the Opposition’s daily opportunity to grill ministers … there has been an unmistakable trend towards more and more ministers giving perfunctory replies or, in the worst instances, ignoring questions.

This week Parliament was treated to the ludicrous, yet disturbing sight of a minister pretending not to be a minister in order to duck questions about his breaching collective Cabinet responsibility – a constitutional convention which has also become a moveable feast.

The slow suffocation of question-time does not make headlines, but it is as insidious and as destructive of the institution of Parliament as personal attacks.

I also find amusing as John writes on Labour threatening to release dirt on National. You see National didn’t really criticise David Parker at all, yet why the threats? Well it seems Labour wants National to pressure Rodney Hide to back off!!

This is hilarious. Apart from the idiocy behind the thought that National (or anyone) could pressure Rodney to lay off Labour, isn’t it rather creepy to have Labour threatening National so National in turn threatens ACT??

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