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Tony Abbott has done an open letter to the Independents in all the major newspapers.

I’m of the view that if your method of communication with the three men who will decide Government is through newspaper open letters, rather than face to face, then it is probably all over.

The possibly final issue being negotiated is over parliamentary reform, according to AAP:

The Coalition wanted the Speaker to be “automatically” drawn from the Opposition.

The document Labor has backed allows for the Speaker to come from either party or to be non-aligned.

If the Speaker does comes from a particular party the Deputy Speaker will come from the other side of politics. Pairing arrangements will be in place for both – meaning their vote will be cancelled out rather than lost.

“That will take away the need in the view of a tied vote for whoever’s in the chair to cast a vote,” Albanese said.

Further, both the Speaker and the Deputy will not attend their respective party room meetings.

I’m pretty sure the NZ Speaker does not attend caucus meetings, but the Deputy Speaker and Assistant Speakers do.

If they really need a neutral speaker, maybe we should lend them Lockie for six months, to show them what a good speaker does!

Questions during Question Time will be limited to 30 seconds and answers will be restricted to three minutes. They will have to be “directly relevant”.

I’m amazed there is no time limit on answers at the moment, and the limt they are going for is a whopping three minutes. In NZ the Speaker will cut you off if you go much over a minute I estimate.

A parliamentary budget office will also be established within the parliamentary library.

“It will be able to look at issues including costings, particularly from the Opposition but also individual members,” Labor’s house leadersaid.

Not a bad idea necessarily. However the current system where an opposition parliamentary party can have  Treasury staffer seconded to them works pretty well.

I suspect we will get a decision today, or tomorrow at the latest.

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