Friday, September 08, 2006

Speaker of the house

Thanks to the Maori Party, the Greens and even United Future for pointing out that question time in the house is exactly that - for answering political questions.

The main problem is they and many parts of the media are still pointing partial blame on this at the National Party - however the blame here really lies completely with Labour, and more specifically the Speaker; Margaret Wilson.

It has been documented many times before now the number of complaints about Ministers failing to answer a question put to them; instead being allowed to give anything from a personal attack on the opposition to an "I couldn't comment on that" as "addressing the question". And so the question time has both been allowed to degenerate, and in fact couldn't help but to degenerate to the mess it is now in.

The minor parties here have shown the way forward. Next time any minister fails to answer the question the procedure must be:
* Raise a point of order that the question has not been addressed
* When Margaret again fails to bring the minister to order, raise a motion of no confidence in the speaker
* If the motion fails, walk out.

The opposition and coalition parties need to bring some respect back into Parliamentary proceedings. Labour won't - it is not in their best interest. They are already seen with the most derision by the general public in terms of accountability and behavior. They can only win by dragging other parties down to their level. Here is hoping that the members of all other parties will have enough decency to stay above it, and show that the "highest court of the land" can be a place of genuine debate and thinking.
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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Mangere Bridge gets a chance to speak for all New Zealanders

Due to the inability of Labour affiliated people to observe the property rights of others, the people of Mangere Bridge now have the chance that Tamaki rejected.
That is to send a message to the Labour party in Wellington that they will not accept the endemic corruption that would appear to be steeped in their organisation, whilst simultaneously letting the Auckland City Council that their over taxation via rates is unacceptable.

Of course given the areas socio-economic status this would also equate to a message to the rest of the country that the people there are actually willing to stand on their own feet rather than relying on handouts for the majority of their per capita income.

I read with interest in the The Aucklander South the brave platform that Sylvia Taylor is standing on; "If I had my way, I wouldn't sanction social welfare for our kids under 20"
Reputedly there has been a number of South Ausklanders approach her in the past for this type of reform to help save the youth in those neighbourhoods.
It will be interesting to watch now that they are being given another chance to support that reform whether it will be taken, or prove to be empty rhetoric.