Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Ich habe genug gehabt!

I suppose most people don't watch Question Time for reasons that are pretty obvious; principally no real questions are asked and no real answers are given.
The Opposition seem intent upon catching the Government out and the Government seems intent upon not answering anything that is put to them. I would not want to suggest that things are some how worse in this Parliament than they were under the Liberal Government, it seems to me the same sort of game playing there too. Tricky Questions and No Answers!
There seemed to be some sort of agreement with the Three (or more) Wise Men who were targets for allied government with the two major parties that Question Time would improve. This would include: the cross benchers being able to ask genuine questions, a limit to how far ministers could wander off the path, and certainprocedural improvements.
It doesn't seem to me that this has worked very well at all. A couple of weeks ago, for example, on every day Question Time was interrupted by the same procedural interruptions ...the Opposition attempted to censure the Government on the same grounds on every day (see here). One would have thought after once and even twice the point would have been made. But no! Day after day 30 mins of MPs time (all Lower House members being present ) was taken up with everyone from the PM down having to wait for the certain failure opf the process.
This week's manifestation has been the Opposition interrupting every Minister's answer with so-called points of order. Even to a novice like me it was always apparent under the revamped rules that most of the sorts of points of orders had been re-ruled on previously many times...and the Speaker's rulings are pretty obvious.
Yesterday Anthony Albanese as Leader of the House, asked the Speaker to rule that these frequent so-called points of order were actually "unruly behaviour".
The Speaker could probably do no other than dismiss this challenge. But he is obviously getting testy. The rather 'twee' Liberal Christopher Pyne, Manager of Opposition Business, who so often spearheads these points of order was 'named' by the Speaker and then (in another time wasting vote) was ejected from the House for a day (does his pay get docked?)...I suspect dear Harry is finding all this a little wearing

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