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Dave 3rd August 2006 09:53 PM

The Behaviour of Politicians
So the Speaker of The House (the Hon Margaret Wilson) wants to improve the image of Parliament by preventing news coverage of politicians behaving like children.

Here's a novel idea Margaret.... Forget about the cameras and instruct the politicians to behave like grown-ups.

And what's with "ejecting" as a form of punishment? That's sort of like kicking a child out of class and telling them to go downtown - it doesn't seem much like a punishment to me. Let's hit them in the pockets with a hefty fine, or prevent them from voting on the next bill. I bet the party leaders would start thinking seriously about the behaviour of their crew if it meant losing a few votes.

This doesn't seem like rocket science. Everyone I talk to is sick to death of the behaviour of these people. It's pathetic. I say to all politicians who think it's just part of political life to hurl insults at each other.... GROW UP and start setting an example. At the moment you are embarrassing us as a nation.

Dave 30th August 2006 11:30 AM

This story is getting rather disturbing. TV3 has been kicked out of Parliament for three days for showing MP Ron Mark behaving in a disgraceful manner, while Ron Mark himself gets no real punishment at all.

I hope TV3 continues the good fight and milks every bit of publicity they can out of this. Do we really want to live in a country where the press are not allowed to report the unacceptable behaviour of politicians?

Dave 8th September 2006 11:29 AM

Technology commentator Bruce Simpson has started a campaign to address the disgraceful state of affairs in Parliament. Check it out at:

I encourage everyone to take a few minutes and fill out the form. Tell them that enough is enough!

Dave 1st January 2007 12:20 PM

I wrote to the Speaker of the House, and to her credit she gave me the following personal reply:


Dear Mr Owen

Thank you for your email dated 8 September 20906 about the behaviour of MPs. I agree the behaviour of Members from time to time could be improved. Our Parliament is known for its robust debate and it is always a question of enabling Members to express themselves freely while ensuring standards of respect and courtesy are maintained.

My main concern is that some Members' actions deny others, whether they are in the public gallery or at home listening on the radio or watching Question Time on SKY, the right to hear what is going on. This is anti-democratic.

I have suggested members consider a code of conduct but that is a matter for them to determine. The Standing Orders Committee is currently considering the matter.

I agree with you that people should be able to see more of Parliament on television. I have long been concerned that free-to-air television coverage is restricted to edited clips that the channels consider important or entertaining enough for their news and current affairs programmes.

Currently a proposal to provide a live television feed from the debating Chamber is being considered. If the public could see the debates as a whole they would see that the behaviour of most Members, most of the time is consistent with the standard of conduct you are entitled to expect.

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to write.

Yours sincerely

Hon Margaret Wilson

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