Faced with the opposition filibustering two time-sensitive bills, the government moved urgency, then attempted to amend the instruction to the committee to prevent any debate on what was being voted on. The urgency isn’t problematic … but the motion to forbid debate was an affront to our democracy. While it was withdrawn this morning – saner heads having prevailed – the fact that it was moved at all is obscene.
Oppositions exist to oppose. This will be inconvenient to the government, and that’s the point. The way governments respond under this pressure illustrates their character. And Labour has exposed itself as authoritarian and intolerant of dissent (who’d have thunk it) – not values I want to see in a government. Chris Hipkins’ childish tantrum actively undermined our democracy and the stature of our Parliament. And someone who does that is not fit to be Leader of the House.
If a National Leader of the House had done what Hipkins tried to do, there would probably be an open letter from 20 public law academics decrying the totalitarian Government.