Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Member's Day

Today is a member's day, though it looks like it'll be a pretty boring one. Firstly, because the one-hour general debate has been replaced with a two-hour debate on the Budget Policy Statement. And secondly, because the government is desperately filibustering on a local bill to delay the member's bills, in an effort to delay Sue Moroney's Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months' Paid Leave) Amendment Bill. They're clearly trying to push the date they apply their unconstitutional financial veto to it back, presumably so it doesn't happen before the election. Which shouldn't be too hard - there are a maximum of six member's days before the House rises for the election, and a couple of those will probably be eaten by urgency. Meanwhile, the bill is well down the Order Paper, with a lot of second readings and committee stages in the way, and the veto isn't applied until the third reading. Even assuming the House moved at full speed, its at least three member's days before they even start the second reading of parental leave, and five before they got to the third. So its not going to take much for the government to dodge this debate and the bad publicity of voting against kiwi families.

It also means we're not likely to see a ballot for some time, probably until after the election.