Slowing the bastards down ... a little
A little good news from last week's National Business Review, which reports the following like it's a bad thing:
At the beginning of the 1993 National government, the executive took 20 sitting days on average to pass a bill. The 1996 National-New Zealand First government enacted new laws in an average of 34 days.
When Labour took power in a minority coalition with the Alliance in 1999, that time ballooned out to 66 days.
Bills also spend more time at select committee being scrutinised, despite time limits being put on the process to avoid bills being lost behind desks.
Consequently, the number of laws being made has dropped under MMP by about a third each year.
Governments can still pass important legislation as in the past and, similarly, screeds of unimportant legislation. The point is not that MMP governments cannot govern but they cannot govern by blitzkrieg.
So MMP has one good thing going for it then: it slows the bastards down. Nowhere enough, mind, but when legislation is being measure in "screeds," every little bit counts.