Monday, 17 October 2011

Parliament under Lock(wood) and Key

I don't have the time to get too involved in this post as I'm taking advantage of some break time at work, but didn't want to wait until I get home tonight to post it.

The rules on what footage can be shown on Parliament tv (among other things) have been tightened. The article states that they've been changed "by MPs" but it seems to have come largely from Lockwood Smith, the Speaker and National party member, as an obvious response to what happened in the House a couple of weeks ago when a man attempted to jump off the balcony.

Under the new rules "ambient sound" and shots of what politicians are doing would be regulated - meaning that John Key's apparent throat-slitting gesture and the shocked reaction from Labour would not have been allowed into the media if the new guidelines had been in place at the time.

This is not an irrelevant detail. This is important. These are our representatives - we need to be able to know how they act when they're not performing for the cameras. Transparency is a vital part of democracy or there can be no informed consent, and this clearly undermines that.

Parliament is our house. We need to be able to see what goes on there - all of it.

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