Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Earning that reputation again

Today's "big" political news is a spat between New Zealand First and National over the House's extended sittings this week. Originally the Business Committee had agreed to hold a special sitting on Friday to finish off some Treaty settlement bills. National had also apparently received agreement for a voice vote on those bills. However, NZ First wanted its opposition to Treaty settlements to be on the public record, so have said they will not allow a voice vote - and in a supreme act of petulance, Gerry Brownlee has now cancelled the entire thing, with much finger-pointing and public blaming.

But this isn't just a case of MPs being petulant little brats, there's an underlying issue: having a party vote rather than a voice vote means that MPs actually have to turn up for work instead of skiving off and relying on a procedural trick to cover their absence. But instead of disrupting the weekend plans of a single government MP, Brownlee would rather throw a public tantrum and disrupt the travel plans of hundreds of Maori instead.

...and then politicians wonder why the public think they're lazy, self-interested wankers. In this case, as in so many others, they have no-one but themselves to blame.