When does politics affect ability to do job?

Can someone with strong political views work in a position where s/he’s required to help MPs whose philosophy and policies s/he opposes?

I don’t think so and support Whaleoil in asking how someone who blogged against National is now working in the Parliamentary Library where employees need to be non-partisan.

Has no-one learned from the Madeleine Setchell saga?

She was sacked from a public service appointment because her partner worked for John Key. Whether she shared her partner’s political views or what those views were wasn’t canvassed. The perception of conflict was enough to scuttle her appointment – even though she was explicit about her relationship when she was interviewed for the job.

I don’t think living with someone who works for a politician is necessarily a problem in the public service, but being actively engaged in working against a political party is definitely a problem in a staff member of parliament’s library.


4 Responses to When does politics affect ability to do job?

  1. barnsleybill says:

    We have been on this one for weeks. It is a bloody outrage.
    Rather than ability maybe we should be using words like trustworthiness or suitability?

  2. Truth Seeker says:

    I’d see the issue as an employment matter. Everyone is entitled to their political views, including public servants. If it can be demonstrated her work isn’t adequate, then by all means pursue that. But villifying every public servant who previously spoke one way or the other politically is a very bad path to follow.

  3. Deborah says:

    Hmmm…. I spent some time in the public service, in a position where from time to time I was working directly with ministers and select committees. This meant that I couldn’t go on protest marches and the like. The concern was that I would then be identified as being for or against a particular position and / or party, and that meant that MPs couldn’t be sure that I was offering impartial advice. There was one march that I was very keen to go on, nothing to do with the area in which I was working, but we got a very clear and specific direction that we were not to go on it. So I didn’t, and I settled for arguing with my immediate colleagues instead.

    The State Services Commission has some very clear guidelines about what public servants may or may not do with respect to political involvement. They’re easy enough to follow.

  4. when the issue is survival, worse, survival of the fittest, there are those who are ready to compromise principles.

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