Dec 042008

…to smarten up Parliamentary behaviour and do away with the annoying and wasteful ‘Dorothy Dixer’?

I’m sure and certain I’ve heard and seen Kevin Rudd and his cabinet, on more than one occasion, make note of the practice of Government backbenchers asking questions of their own Ministers during Question Time in the House and Senate, for the express purpose of promoting Government policies and creating an excuse for said Minister to criticise Opposition policy. If memory serves, Labor promised to do away with this practice and yet, as I listen daily to QT, there seem to be more and more of these time-wasting, futile exercises in self-aggrandisement.
Shouldn’t the government, elected by the people, be utilising OUR time and OUR salaries in more productive pursuits, such as getting on with the business of Government? Question Time, from what I can tell, relates to proper Westminster-style government as a Rugby League scrum relates to competitive distribution of the ball.
Perhaps it’s a case of, "They did it in Government, so now we’re getting our own back". I don’t believe the practice is at all justified. If the Government of the day is performing as the people want them to, then self-gratification can come after the House adjourns, in the Member’s Bar. Certainly not on MY time and using MY taxpayer-funded salary.

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