If Labour can’t run parliament can it run the country?
The Government called for an extended sitting of the House to consider six Bills, but showed exactly how shambolic it is when a Minister failed to be present in the House as required to begin a debate on the next Bill on the Order Paper, Shadow Leader of the House Gerry Brownlee says.
“Today’s performance in the House borders on farcical.
“The Speaker was left with no choice but to end the extended sitting an hour and 45 minutes early meaning next to no progress was made on the Government’s legislative programme.
“Meanwhile, because the Government imposed extended sitting hours without agreement from the Business Committee a whole morning of select committee hearings was lost.
“This means Bills which could have had their first reading and be sent off to select committee for scrutiny this morning will now languish on the Order Paper for an unknown period of time. The machinery of government is being ground to a halt by a Government which can’t get the basics right.
“Leader of the House Chris Hipkins will have ministerial colleagues asking for a please explain.
“The Government needs to get its act together. More people will begin to think ‘if it can’t even run Parliament how can it run the country’.”
Labour is also having problems with its relationship with NZ First which stymied an announcement about the Crown/Maori relations portfolio at the last minute.
. . .It’s the latest disagreement between the coalition partners.
NZ First pulled the rug out from under Justice Minister Andrew Little in June when he announced his plans to repeal the three strikes legislation.
Since then NZ First has cast doubt on a Labour pre-election promise to lift the refugee quota to 1500 and has also signalled it wants to see changes to the contentious Employment Relations Amendment Bill.
It’s understood the lines of communication between Labour and NZ First are still not clear almost one year into the coalition arrangement. . .
Few will be surprised about the difficulties in dealing with NZ First but governments have to be able to deal with all sorts of difficulties.
One of the valid questions asked of Labour as it struggled with in-fighting in opposition was if it can’t run itself, how can it be trusted to run the country?
After nearly a year in government, it’s showing it can’t run parliament and manage its relationship with the support partner which put it into power.
These are two more reasons to question its ability to run the country.