Iâve not made a habit of reading Hansard so these comments are necessarily those of a newcomer when it comes to parliamentary performance. Perhaps those of you who are old hands can disabuse me of the impression Iâve gained from the last four sessions and in particular todayâs.
Put bluntly, Laborâs efforts today in Questions Without Notice struck me as closer to Dorothy Dixers than the sort of searching examination one might hope for. First, Wayne Swan served up a lollipop to Costello about whether he had sought advice on the likely impact of a successful buyout on Qantasâ credit rating. It was duly dispatched to the boundary. Rudd followed up with two questions about a apparent minor inconsistency between the Treasurerâs answer and a statement of the PMâs quoted in the Fin Review. Once again, a four for the government. Rudd then labored over a series of questions revolving around the proportion of household income going towards mortgage payments and the rate of interest in Australia compared to other OECD countries. No discernable impact, indeed more realistically a small opportunity for Howard to once again trot out his economic management credentials. Finally, in what seemed to me a note of near farce, Garrett unleashed a deeply probing question as to whether the government would be supporting Sunriseâs Lights Off Australia on the 31st March.
About the only creditable performance from the Labor side I could see in my quick once over was a tidy little speech on Iraq from Chris Bowen during the Grievance Debate.
Is this really the best they can do?