Friday, February 22, 2008

Parliamentary Farce

There was an element of farce in the Australian parliament today, as you can see in this photo featuring a cut-out of the Prime Minister standing next to an opposition member, Joe Hockey. Under Rudd's new government, parliament is regularly meeting on Fridays for the first time, reportedly to allow the "backbenchers" to have a chance to say what's on their mind. The opposition coalition has a problem with this, as none of the government ministers, including the PM, plans to regularly attend these Friday sessions. Or, as The Australian put it:
For the first time under the Rudd Government, parliament is sitting on a Friday to allow backbenchers to speak their minds - in a day that is already being dubbed Rudd’s Day Off or RDO. But Coalition MPs are angry that Fridays have no proper votes, no question time where ministers can be grilled by the Opposition, and quorum will not be recorded.
I guess I would be upset if I were a backbencher and this was the only day that I could give a speech. These Friday meetings are sort of like the "kiddie table" at an American Thanksgiving dinner.
Still, I would have rather watched the Obama-Clinton debate on live television, rather than viewing these antics in Canberra, which will surely dominate the local news tonight.


Mooselet said...

I have to say I kind of like the "antics" of Parliament here. Not so much the cut-out (it was silly, if mildly amusing), but the liveliness of Question Time in general. It's like theatre, or Monty Python.

Dobbs said...

I like the question time as well here because the debates can get quite funny at times. If you haven't already go visit Canberra and you can actually sit in and listen to the Parliament go about their business if you time it right.