Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Winston's war with the Speaker

If you've been watching Question Time for the last few years, you'll know that NZ First leader Winston Peters really does not get along with Speaker of the House David Carter. And now he's escalated that, with a formal motion of no confidence in the Speaker on today's Order Paper:

Rt Hon Winston Peters to move, That this House has no confidence in The Rt Hon David Carter as Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives, due to his gross misunderstanding of Standing Orders, for inconsistent Speakers' Rulings and for abusing his power as Speaker during and after Martin Matthews' appointment as Auditor-General, and for inaccurately reporting the proceedings of the Officers of Parliament Committee yesterday when he claimed that the decision of that committee was unanimous and again repeated his personal view of the propriety of the Auditor-General's appointment, all of which is resulting in an absolute failure to uphold and protect the standards and reputation of this Parliament.

All of which is true. Carter is the worst Speaker I can remember, a partisan hack who twists the rules of the House to advantage his party. What's also true is that Winston is a grumpy old fart with a seniority complex who is often incapable of remembering the point he was trying to make a sentence ago, which doesn't exactly help the order of the House. In other words, there are far better reasons to dump Carter than this. Unfortunately, due to the general chickenshittedness of the opposition. this is what we have.

Unfortunately, member's motions are not voted on, though I expect we'll see a move today to gain leave to debate and vote on it.