Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Member's day

Today is (finally) a Member's Day. Unfortunately, after a couple of strategic delays, there is little business for the Members to transact. After a local bill (expected to be dealt with quickly), there are the final three speeches on Kennedy Graham's International Non-Aggression and the Lawful Use of Force Bill (which the government will vote against because it wants us to be a rogue nation), and an hour on ACT's VSM Bill. Even allowing for a rowdy question time, there's a real chance they will be out of real business by 18:00.

This is Gerry Brownlee's fault. His eating Wednesday with urgency for the past two weeks didn't just delay member's day - it also prevented the usual top-up ballot, which would have seen more bills drawn to fill the hole in the Order Paper. I understand that he was asked for leave to hold one last week, and it was denied. After all, the government thinks Parliament is its rubber-stamp; it certainly doesn't want anyone else advancing or highlighting a rival political agenda.

The good news is that we will see a ballot tomorrow. Hopefully MPs will be ready for it.