Even though we dislike his politics, we have a bit of time for Russel Norman, the Green Party co-leader. We've even blogged a couple of times that he has looked like a de-facto Leader of the Opposition since the 50th Parliament convened late last year.
We missed Question Time yesterday, as we had to make a rush trip down to the Kapiti Coast. For those conspiracy theorists wondering how we managed to reply to comments during that time, smartphones are wonderful! So we didn't actually see Question Time until last night sometime; MySky is wonderful too!
Russel Norman was scheduled to ask Q5, to the Minister of Finance. The question was originally directed to the Prime Minister but the government, as governments do and have done for years transferred it. The merits of the Standing Order which permits this practice can be argued until the cows come home, but rules is rules!
A lengthy series of Points of Order flowed, and unsurprisingly, Winston Peters was right in the thick of it. Speaker Lockwood Smith reminded the NZ First leader that it was a long-sranding practice, and that as Peters has been in three governments, he would know that. The mirth around the chamber at that comment meant that the punchline was unnecessary; Peters of course never saw out a single term as a Minister.
The video below picks up just as Russel Norman makes a last-ditch plea to be able to interrogate the Prime Minister:
We're happy to concede that Russel Norman may well have had a point yesterday, but his display of petulance when he didn't get his way was inexcusable. He was fortunate that the only sanction was having his question struck from the Order Paper.
With the Greens at record levels of support, Norman and co-leader Metiria Turei can expect to come under greater scrutiny as voters consider whether they might be a worthy alternative to a dysfunctional Labour Party. Russel Norman blotted his copybook yesterday, and needs to make amends, especially with the platform that the Budget Debate will give him tomorrow.