New paradigm, new rules, same old politics
If you didn’t like cricket would it be any easier to bear if you were forced to watch a one day international as opposed to a test match? No, because you just don’t like cricket.
The first Question Time following the much publicised changes to parliamentary procedure was sharper, quicker and more concise but it was still just politics.
Questions were dodged by Julia Gillard and her Government, and cheap political punches scored by the Abbott’s opposition. So if you didn’t much care for politics under the old paradigm, the new one isn’t going to do much for you.
The notion that new Question Time rules would do anything for the functioning of democracy in this country is pretty ridiculous. What they might do is aid politicians, staffers, journalists and political tragics plan their days more accurately.
With Question Time starting at 2 pm it got through 20 questions by 3:20 when it was dissolved. This is a nice improvement on the torturous sessions that would almost hit 4 o’clock under Rudd - but this merely reins in the ridiculous. Question time would regularly finish before 3:20 under the Howard Government in any case.
The reforms were supposed to force ministers to answer questions, cut down on waffle and pointless Dorothy Dixers. Ministers failed to answer questions on at least three occasions today (Bowen on the cost extension to the Curtin detention centre, Garrett on the BER blowout and Rudd on East Timor solution), there was waffle a plenty and some pretty pointless Dixers (though Rudd did make a gallant go of it in his first question as Foreign Minister through a Dixer on Pakistan).
Besides getting through questions quicker there were some other interesting changes.
The Opposition couldn’t heckle as willingly as they would in the past, after all, no member wants to be banned for 24 hours from this Parliament lest they miss a crucial vote and deal with Abbott after that. But this is a product of the precarious nature of the numbers in Parliament, and has nothing to do with the reforms themselves.
Regular QT viewers may have noticed a few seating changes of the members that appear in shots behind their leaders - known as the “nodders” for their supportive and incessant nodding. Former Labor nodder Amanda Rishworth has been replaced by new recruit marginal seat recruit and Belinda Neal replacement Deb O’Neil.
On the Liberal side the nodders in shot consist of the first indigenous House member in Ken Wyatt, and Australia’s whitest man in John Alexander.
But really the new paradigm is remarkably similar to the old, in that it’s always about politics and not cricket.
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Up to the minute Twitter chatter
@mooks83 sophisticated response. Think the kids parents saw it differently
More class from 9's footy show, lampooning a baby that allegedly looks like Sterlo with a pic swiped from Facebook http://t.co/BGoYP6Pn68
@Kittu64 That's true. Pretty sure I referred to "high salaried" women.
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