Bill English has revealed the roles his MPs will hold as National “pushes the button on Opposition” – saying the party will use its size to frustrate progress for the new Government.
Parliament resumes next week and English today announced the portfolios he has assigned to his team, including a big promotion for Judith Collins.
“You should expect more tension and more pressure in the Parliament, and particularly through the select committee process. Because we are the dominant select committee party,” English said.
“And that is going to make a difference to how everything runs – it’s not our job to make this place run for an incoming Government that is a minority.
What exactly is Bill English threatening here and what should the new Government do about it?
Bill is talking about the select Committee process which National dominate because they were the Party with the most votes.
This is a unique threat (and one that was brought up with Labour Party strategists a couple of weeks ago). It means National could stymie, block, slow down and filibuster the new Government’s political agenda.
Normally the Select Committee process is an important and fundamental process of our Democracy. It allows the public, political interests and industry interests to all have a say on the law as it is being drafted.
The idea is that we all sit down and work through law so that everyone feels they have input in the final legislation.
What Bill is threatening is to just run malicious interference for the next 3 years to slow down any way for the new Government to pass its agenda.
It’s less a declaration of opposition as it is a threat to sabotage our democracy.
I think there is only one way to deal with political maliciousness of this level, and that is to punch back twice as hard.
I think that the new Government should come out and say that if National are only interested in childish tactics of disruption rather than constructive engagement on the issues that face all New Zealander’s, then they will pass their first 100 day legislation all in one hit and ram it through under urgency which would bypass the select committee process altogether.
National Party stake holders will howl in rage at National for allowing legislation to be passed that they can’t even have input in.
Watch how quickly National drop the spite and tantrums if they’re behaviour forces the new Government to bypass them altogether.
While no one wants to set the precedent of using urgency to pass all domestic law, the new Government must understand that National have nothing to contribute other than spoiling tactics and their threats to undermine the Select Committee process must be addressed harshly.
National are still in denial they lost the election, the new Government should send them a short, sharp message that they did.