Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Why Question Time Is Being Usurped By Urgency

Question time is usually the first item of business of the Parliamentary day.

But under urgency a sitting day can extend over several calendar days, thus if there is to be questions asked of Minister's, unamimous agreement to squeeze in question time is required by all parties.

This coming week Parliament will once again go into urgency. And it looks very likely that the cut and thrust of question time will again prove to be a casualty of the Government's desire to advance its legislative program.

As well as being possibly the most entertaining aspect of the day in Parliament, question time is also important for providing accountability and providing timely debate on issues of the day.

Question time normally takes between 60 and 90 minutes of the House's time, give or take the odd point of order.

It is not only the current Government's more obvious foes National and Act who miss out when question time is cancelled. The Greens, NZ First and United Future will also not be able to put in their two cents worth on topical issues.

Also affected is the Government's chance to espouse its own political triumph's by utilising the time-honoured patsy question (when a Minister is asked to explain what wonderful things they have been up to lately).

There will also be no chance for Government members to dredge up questions relating to New Zealand's nuclear free policy and have a crack at Don Brash.

There is no compunction for the Government of the day to make room for question time when advancing its legislative program.

However in the current Government's first term it was a common occurrence for there to be both urgency and question time. According to the Greens Co-Leader, Rod Donald, this was partly because of the supply and confidence agreement that existed at the time with the Green Party.

"When we supported urgency on confidence and supply (regular urgency rather than real) we negotiated for question time to be held."

Mr Donald now blames the United Future Party, who are currently providing the Government with a confidence and supply agreement, for the current state of affairs. Mr Donald also considers that the ACT Party haven't, "played the game", and have been too intransigent when negotiating around the topic of urgency.

When contacted regarding this alleged intransigence ACT's Ken Shirley was scathing of the process of pushing legislation through under urgency, pointing out that some legislation put through under urgency was not even referred to a Select Committee for consideration. Mr Shirley did however have some praise for his ecological adversaries.

"The Greens to their credit gave an undertaking [in the last Parliament] so that we'd always have questions [of the day during urgency]."

Whilst Shirley gave the Greens credit for their part in the previous administration's in negotiations regarding urgency, he too is less impressed with United Future and the current arrangements.

" If United Future had any balls they'd insist we had question time," he said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

ALSO:

Buildup:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news