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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Parliament over

Another year of parliament over. The most heat was probably over the free votes - the big ones this session were the alcohol reforms (the drinking age votes) and the marriage amendment.

The government bill generating the most heat was probably the asset privatisation bill, the so-called "mixed-ownership model" (MOM) Act to amend the SOE statute. The Nats have a clear majority, even when they have to play their three support partners off each other to achieve it, so none of their bills had any serious prospect of failing. As far as debates go - and debaters go - nothing seems to stand out to me this year. It was all a bit colourless - helped in no small part by the National and Labour leaders bidding to out-bland each other with Shearer winning that comp. Winston was firing - literally firing caucus members. The Greens coast along in a smug, comfy, self-satisfied bubble with Russel Norman achieving critical acclaim without improving any (still a high-pitched Aussie whine I'm afraid). Hone was staunch, but a one-man show can only spread so far and he makes more impact on the ground in the communities than in the House. Banks' non-answers and selective amnesia were hilarious, but meant he kept a low profile this year. And Dunne's bouffant remained stable with an outlook for further growth.


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