It looks like today’s questions were a coordinated effort by opposition parties to make the prime minister answer questions and not have him fob them off to someone else or deny he has any responsibility to answer it. I thought Duncan Garner was a political journalist once, so surely he would have known this? Or is this fobbing off questions a new thing, unique to Team Key?
When MPs ask Key if he “stands by all his statements” he has to answer questions that are put to him and not pass it on to one of his Ministers. If they simply asked him about a particular subject, he can blow it off and not answer it by saying he has no responsibility for that portfolio, thereby wasting a valuable question. The government does this so the prime minister is kept from having to answer tough questions and/or be associated with dodgy, useless, inept, corrupt, etc, government ministers and departments.
For example you could ask Key about the state of operations at a particular DHB, he could claim he has no ‘ministerial responsibility for that’ and pass the question to his Minister of Health to answer. Or he might have made the claim a health department is operating very well, but when it’s proven it isn’t, he can simply deny he has any knowledge or responsibility for it. Whereas asking him if he “stands by all this statements” (usually it is only in relation to a particular topic) but to make the point the opposition parties gave him no wiggle room today by asking if he stood by all his statements since becoming prime minister, means he has to answer, and truthfully, MPs including the PM can not to lie to or mislead parliament. It’s probably the worse thing a politician can do.
Passing off questions has been happening a lot with this government and it frustrates democracy. A country needs a strong opposition (regardless of your politics) to hold governments to account but if they are hindered in the very house where they are meant to get answers for the public, from the very ministers or a prime minister who serve us, then there’s not much an opposition can be, but inept – and that doesn’t do anyone any favours. I applaud what the parties did to day. More of the same please.
Resignation Watch: calls are growing for New Zealand Prime Minister John Key to resign after the ex currency trader is caught on CCTV playing an illegal game of Elevator Bingo in Beehive lift…more at six.
Calls are growing for New Zealand Prime Minister John Key to resign after footage surfaced of him participating in an illegal game of ‘Elevator Bingo’.
His party’s National government legalised elevator gambling in all government buildings last year at the request of casino operator Skycity who were seeking an outside of the box solution to cover a funding shortfall for their iconic #SkySore Convention Centre in Auckland. While elevator gambling was perfectly legal in all other government buildings, it still remains a criminal activity in the lifts of the nation’s Parliament and the footage has many questioning the Prime Minister’s judgement.
He had earlier rubbished Opposition claims his office was moving to legalise gambling in the Beehive’s lifts after it was revealed last minute amendments were made in secrecy to Skycity’s 200 year elevator gambling license last week, including provision for bingo balls to be installed in any lift at any Government Ministers’ request. When confronted by journalists this afternoon, the Prime Minister said he could not recall ever been in an elevator and he was “comfortable with that” but would consult with his Office stapler to be sure.
Last week the Prime Minister refused to be drawn on rumours of the secret amendments saying they were ‘operational matters’ but maintained if there were any balls, hypothetically the balls would be an eyesore only if cheaper smaller balls were installed, especially when all economic signs pointed to the Beehive needing bigger balls when gambling with a casino operator such as Skycity.
Anti-gambling opponents angered by the latest revelations say access to the Beehive would be lucrative for Skycity, especially if the Government approves the casino’s bid to legalise ‘Lave Va Tory Craps’ too.
Meanwhile the country’s Attonery General Chris Finlayson denied his elevator bingo hosting gig was a violation of his employment conditions, citing a recent change to Speaker’s ruling ‘Eggs Eleven’ which made it a requirement for Ministers of the Crown to moonlight as Beehivecity ‘Elevator Bingo’ hosts at least three nights a week.
Re-enactment only: Beehive CCTV
Speaker David Carter confirmed the rule change, saying he was having Parliament do what it could to assist the Government with it’s surplus, and to a lesser degree the struggling Prime Minister whose office was feeling the pinch after Parliament ruled Prime Ministers were to supply their own Prime Ministerial crayons for the entirety of their term; and with at least three potential Key Prime Ministers inhabiting the office at any given time the stationary expenses on the 9th floor were said to be skyrocketing.
As well as having Crown Ministers’ tithe their bingo commissions to the Prime Minister’s office, Parliament visitors were being asked to bring donations of non-toxic textures and PM friendly pastels with their next visit.
“We’ve all gotta do our bit,” the Speaker said, “if they could play bingo while they’re here, that would be great too.”
In other news – Minister of Finance Bill English has been cleared of any wrong doing in the elevator, with investigators concluding the state of the New Zealand economy was enough wrong doing for any man.