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Greens take Speaker role

By Gungahlin Al 6 November 2008 48

[First filed: November 05, 2008 @ 11:01]

ABC is reporting that Shane Rattenbury has been elected Speaker of the Assembly.

“Interesting times” indeed.

[ED – So we’ve now got signs of real compromise from Labor. Also Shane would appear to have been cast out of the sewing circle leaving the ladies free to undertake the politicking.]

UPDATED: The Greens have now got a media release up:

    ““I understand the role of Speaker is a demanding one, and it will be a fairly steep learning curve to start. But I am confident, with my legal training and recent experience in leading the Greenpeace delegation at the vital climate change negotiations in Bali, I will develop the necessary skills quickly.”

    “There has also been a lot of argument between ALP and the Liberal parties about the need to have a ‘government’ or an ‘anti-government’ Speaker. As a member of the third party in this Assembly I am confident I will be able to find a non partisan approach in managing the business in the chamber.”

    “I am also looking forward to building on the work of the past Speaker in looking to give the Assembly a stronger role on in public life.”

    “The ACT Assembly is a small and flexible parliament and it is usual for the Speaker to also contribute to the development of legislation and debate. I intend adding to that record by taking an active role in pursuing key issues, climate change in particular” Mr Rattenbury said.”

But what do we think of a speaker who doesn’t wear a tie?

The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly:

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Greens take Speaker role
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Gungahlin Al 3:48 pm 06 Nov 08

Aurelius said :

I don’t think Meredith and the girls would be a knitting circle – that would be supportive of the oppressive wool industry!

LOL!

On ties (as I sit here with my own rubbing at my neck uncomfortably), probably the first day of the Assembly wsn’t the day to buck it. But I probably can’t talk – in Council and at a similar age to Shane, I also often went without a tie, and on days when I rode my cruiser in, even stooped to jeans and boots (shock horror).

Caf: good one! I could just see him doing that. 🙂

housebound 3:47 pm 06 Nov 08

Labor back Dunne? ha ha ha ha ha ha.

That would mean getting off an ALP high horse. That’s sure gonna happen.

As for a party-line vote = valid majority, well, technically true but it really shows party discipline more than any indication of the best person for the job.

caf 2:56 pm 06 Nov 08

It’s silly to say the Greens “forced” this decision on anyone – it was a majority of the LA that backed Rattenbury, if Labor had thought it important enough to have a speaker with MLA experience, they could have backed Dunne.

GregT 2:43 pm 06 Nov 08

I’m sure a man who can talk to the extremist fringe of the Greens on a daily basis and keep a straight face will be more than capable of handling a pouting Chief Minister.

Thumper 2:40 pm 06 Nov 08

Will Shane wilt under the terrifying glare of an angry and bristling Sonic?

GregT 2:36 pm 06 Nov 08

The role of the Speaker is an essential one in protecting and promoting the integrity, standards and professionalism of the Legislative Assembly. That’s work that Wayne Berry did an excellent job at and had a genuine commitment to, but it’s also something that the Greens have something genuinely fresh to contribute to. My hope is that Shane takes advantage of the appointment to bring a higher and more mature standard of debate to the Assembly; if he achieves that, it could be more significant in the long run than anything else the Greens have on their agenda.

As to what he wears – that’s really only a subset of his role in promoting and ensuring public respect for our Assembly and if he’s achieving that larger task it really doesn’t matter what he wears while he does it.

jimbocool 2:24 pm 06 Nov 08

As the Speaker is the local dignatory that new Ambassadors visit to present their credentials I think it only fair that Shane frock up for these visits. Otherwise I think going tie-free in the chair is fine – as long as he’s wearing a suit and shirt with french cuffs.

I really don’t think it matters that the Speaker has not been in the Assembly before – for any tricky decisions he will be relying on the advice of the Clerk anyway.

Aurelius 2:17 pm 06 Nov 08

I don’t think Meredith and the girls would be a knitting circle – that would be supportive of the oppressive wool industry!

poptop 2:08 pm 06 Nov 08

Anyone would think Shane had tortured a ferret!

Who cares what he wears? Lets see what he does when people get silly in the Assembly

Crikey 2:03 pm 06 Nov 08

The Greens’ ‘experiment’ with Canberra has begun. They have forced upon us a Speaker who at the time of his appointment had not spend a day in the Assembly (as a Member).

It was an embarrassing back down for Labor and it will not be the last time that Stanhope will have to run away with his tail between his legs. I wonder how the cowardly Stanhope broke the news to the hard-working Mary Porter.

Our new speaker has now elected not to show his respect and follow tradition by not wearing a tie in the Assembly (like his ‘father’ Bob Brown).

The Greens’ political correctness started with the announcement that their ‘leader’ would be called “Parliamentary Convenor”…they, of course, could never use the word leader as it may look that one Green was more important than another.

Canberra better get used to all this crap!

Primal 1:22 pm 06 Nov 08

Speaking as a committed non-tie-wearing public servant, I commend his stance on these evil accoutrements.

thetruth 12:51 pm 06 Nov 08

che said :

It seems a bit of a let down to go through 4 elections attempting to play this game and then when you turn up at the stadium choose to become the umpire.

good call

That’s a really good point – have the Greens settled for the “keep the bastards honest” role (ie always the third force)?

I just cannot see them getting enough votes to be a viable alternative Government – unless they take them from the labor party.

housebound 12:46 pm 06 Nov 08

RE the tie: who cares.

Maybe showing a bit of neckline is what the greens mean by open government.

Skidbladnir 12:22 pm 06 Nov 08

Re: the poll…
I don’t think he _has to_ wear a tie, but I also don’t think he should come into work wearing tracksuit pants and the shirt he slept in, but can we have some middle ground?

housebound 6:18 am 06 Nov 08

[i]So we’ve now got signs of real compromise from Labor.[/i]

Today’s CT made it clear: not compromise, just fear of a humiliating loss. Labor capitulated because of a threat from the Greens to support someone else from outside Labor.

I don’t think that would be cast as working together.

caf 11:09 pm 05 Nov 08

On the contrary, 4.3 looks like giving Private Members’ bills a little of the kind of assistance that Government bills routinely get.

bd84 9:55 pm 05 Nov 08

NickD said :

sepi said :

I don’t really understand the benefits of becoming the speaker?

I presume that they get a pay rise and a nicer office. They also get to tell other members of the assembly to sit down and shut up and/or answer the questions they get asked.

Pretty much it, it’s normally used to put politicians out of the way where they can’t do any damage. Only problem now is that we will have John Hargreaves, the Minister for Incompetence and Mary Porter the Minister for SFA again. Though Labor had little option other than bowing to the Greens’ will, they chose the soft option of a Greens member over the Liberal minister as they had very little other choice, Mary Porter as deputy was obviously part of the deal.

housebound 7:54 pm 05 Nov 08

“There has also been a lot of argument between ALP and the Liberal parties about the need to have a ‘government’ or an ‘anti-government’ Speaker. As a member of the third party in this Assembly I am confident I will be able to find a non partisan approach in managing the business in the chamber.”

I think we just got a third side. I love this idea that the Greens are so non-partisan.

Bundybear 7:22 pm 05 Nov 08

Well bugger me! Whodathunkit! Not too small to say I got it wrong.

“Also Shane would appear to have been cast out of the sewing circle leaving the ladies free to undertake the politicking.” Chortle – yup!

Holierthanthou 7:21 pm 05 Nov 08

and they get to chuck people out

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