Finally, we have a budget. It’s saddening, really, that in the face of so many other crises, actually passing a budget has barely raised a feather on the nation’s proverbial back. But there it is.
The best part of our Parliamentarians getting back to business was that they really got down to business.
Opposition Leader Ishmael Kalsakau and his colleagues organised a pre-budget workshop, spending the better part of a week preparing. They arrived in the chamber fully loaded and ready to fire away at the Government’s spending decisions.
The budget debate was broadcast live and streamed over the internet. Anyone who watched it was treated to a novel display of political theatre. Once we got past the irony of watching senior members of the Opposition opposing a budget they were instrumental in creating, it was genuinely refreshing and encouraging to see the pointed questions and quiet ripostes that filled the debate.
It also became painfully clear that even some veteran politicians are not yet fully-fledged parliamentarians. A lot of work still needs to be done to bring this new crop of MPs up to speed with the formal processes of government.
Outside the chamber, things have been moving quickly as well. They have to. There are still many unresolved crises. Continue reading