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Old 1st January 2007, 12:20 PM   #4
Your friendly local necromancer
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Te Awamutu, New Zealand
Posts: 100
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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