Red Alert

Another “Urgency” shambles

Posted by on December 9th, 2010

Parliament went into “Urgency” this afternoon. This is totally due to Gerry Brownlee’s incompetent management of parliamentary business. It also shows a total lack of good faith and a lack of respect for our most important democratic institution. There is nothing “urgent” about the legislation that we’re going to be debating for the next 48 hours, and if Gerry Brownlee had been a more competent manager it could have all been passed during normal sitting hours anyway.

So what’s Gerry’s rationale for this un-urgent Urgency? He claims that because Parliament is about to go into recess for the Christmas break we should sit almost around the clock for the next few days to ram through new laws without giving them the proper scrutiny and debate they would normally get. It just doesn’t add up. I love Parliament, and I love parliamentary debate, but sitting from 9am to midnight for days in a row doesn’t make for good, considered law-making.

We owe it to those who send us here to give all legislation before the House proper scrutiny. The government has been rightly critiscised already this year for passing new laws without allowing select committee scrutiny. They’ve also been critiscised for passing laws that give exceptionally broad powers to individual ministers. It all starts to paint a picture of a born-to-rule Tory government gorging itself on power after 9 years in the wilderness.


27 Responses to “Another “Urgency” shambles”

  1. Dave says:

    Um, didn’t Labour ever go into “urgency” to ram through some laws of its own? Pot, Kettle, Black …no?

  2. Phil Lyth says:

    Dave, try letting the facts get in the way. Grant Robertson posted comparative stats in a post last year – see
    http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/2009/10/27/urgency-act-vi/

    I have a memory that there was more, but appears to not be tagged ‘urgency’

  3. familymon says:

    Maybe Parliament wouldn’t have to go late into the night if Labour hadn’t decided to ask 24 questions to Members after question time today. Your complaint would look more credible Chris if your party wasn’t fillibustering last night over the title of a Bill. I know you have to try and look relevant but that’s not the way to do it.

  4. Spud says:

    King Gerry’s reign of terror has begun! :o
    Next he’ll be calling the place Gerryland! :-(

  5. Phil Lyth says:

    Charles’ post on comparative use of urgency is at http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/2009/05/16/sitting-on-saturdays/

    Familymon, Brownlee had made his decision on urgency before the House sat on Tuesday – unaffected by anything that happened today.

  6. JMK says:

    As a leaky home owner I’m rather pleased the government is pushing through the weathertightness financial assistance bill quickly – it’s taken long enough already.

    As for “proper scrutiny”, my experience is that most speakers in parliamentary debates tend to be pretty ill informed. Committee stage is where the real scrutiny happens so I’ve got no problem with urgency for 1st, 2nd or 3rd reading. On the committee stage of the whole house, you’ve got a point. Otherwise not so much.

  7. ianmac says:

    Hells bells! That’s 33.6% in one year and it had already exceeded any other 3 year term. So if 2010 and 2011 were added then at that rate it would be about 90%. Defend that!

  8. Christopher Nimmo says:

    “Maybe Parliament wouldn’t have to go late into the night if Labour hadn’t decided to ask 24 questions to Members after question time today”

    Funny. I watched all of that. I’m not entirely sure what the point was, but it only took five minutes or so.

  9. BLiP says:

    No sympathy from me, mate. Working overtime due to management cock ups is pretty much standard practise for us wage earners.

  10. Pre-Christmas urgency was reasonably standard under Labour wasn’t it – for finishing off bills and sending things off to select committee…

  11. tracey says:

    JMK

    The devil is still in the detail on the leaky home bill. Have you read the FAP?

    Govt is going to make us accept the WHRS Assessors report, follow the remediation he recommends and then remove itself for liability if those repairs dont work. And believe me, full reclads are failing. This is why some prominent remediation specialists and “experts” advise their clients about doing simple non invasive invetsigation post repair to check the repair worked

  12. Spud says:

    Tired looking MPs in the house this morning :-(

  13. Spud says:

    Have watched much of today’s proceedings, you guys are champs! :-D !

  14. JMK says:

    Tracey,

    If you’re saying the Bill is not perfect I agree. But Chris’ post was about the use of urgency and my point was that I’m entirely comfortable with urgency for first reading. This is because the Bill won’t get improved until Committee Stage so I am keen for that to happen as soon as possible and then for it to be implemented ASAP also.

  15. Colonial Viper says:

    I’m entirely comfortable with urgency

    Oxymoron Alert.

  16. Colonial Viper says:

    Danyl, thanks, picture = 1000 words

  17. Pentwig says:

    There is an easy fix.

    More sitting days

    MPs are elected to do a job. You knew what the job entailed before you decided your candidency.

    If you find the job too taxing ie long hours etc. the resign,
    that is what most of us workers do if the job doesn’t suit us.

    What we don’t do is whine and moan.

    IMHO.

  18. Spud says:

    ========== :-D ==========
    ======= :-D :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :-D ======
    ====== :-D :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :-D =
    === :-D :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :-D
    :-D :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :-D

  19. Spud says:

    8O:o:oops:

    Lopsided Christmas Tree :-( !

  20. Spud says:

    ========= :-D
    ======= :-D :mrgreen: :-D
    ====== :-D :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :-D
    === :-D :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :-D
    = :-D :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :-D
    :-D :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :-D

    Merry Christmas! :-D !

  21. Spud says:

    Argh! :x
    Sorry, :-(

  22. Santa says:

    IT IS TRADITION IN CORRUPT POLITICS ALL AROUND THE WORLD, where seemingly Democratic” desisions are rushed through just before the summer reces, or actually during the summer eces, when nobody is watching.

    IT IS CORRUPTION, that’s what it is.

  23. Spud says:

    8O SANTA’s here! :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D !

    For Xmas I want (whisper) cheers mate :-D

  24. Spud says:

    8O Say Santa 8O I’ve just figured out that you are a socialist! :-D Giving away toys and wearing red! :-D

  25. Ian says:

    And he looks after all the good children, not just the rich ones.

    Also, he uses sustainable transport and has an inclusive work force (not size discrimination)

  26. Harry says:

    “More sitting days”

    Damn right there.