Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A flood of legislation

What is the government playing at? With the dissolution of Parliament at most three sitting weeks away, they have introduced a flood of new legislation, with eleven new bills introduced yesterday alone. They now have 11 bills awaiting first reading on the Order Paper, plus a further 13 below the line. They have no real hope of advancing these bills before the election, and so they are simply going to hang around and clog up the Order Paper for whoever is in government after it.

Of course, that may be the point - a lot of the bills are legislative makework, which will have to be passed no matter who is in government. So Labour may be leaving another poison pill behind in case it loses power. But some of these bills - e.g. the Employment Relations Amendment Bill (No 3) and the Electricity (Continuance of Supply) Amendment Bill - are policy bills which it will want to see passed. And it makes no sense at all to introduce them now and make them hostages to electoral fortune. So what gives?