Bryce Edwards’ Political Roundup: Stuart Nash’s resignation shows our leaders need a lesson in civics

* Dr Bryce Edwards writes –
I teach a first-year course at Victoria University of Wellington about government and the political process in New Zealand. In “Introduction to Government and Law”, students learn there are rules preventing senior public servants from getting involved in big political debates – as we have recently witnessed with Rob Campbell – and that government ministers aren’t allowed to interfere in some functions of the state, such as telling the Police where to make prosecutions.

It’s essentially a civics course about how our political system works, and hopefully the 1300 students who take the course each year will go off to work in government departments, businesses and other careers understanding the rules of our political system.

Politicians are fond of complaining about a lack of this type of political education amongst the voting public but, as we’ve seen in the last few weeks, so many of our leaders are themselves unaware of basic political rules.

As with Rob Campbell and other wayward senior public servant appointees like Steve Maharey and Ruth Dyson, Nash has pleaded it was just a mistake and, in defending his actions, he showed his ignorance of the rules. But shouldn’t we expect our leaders to have a much better understanding of the political rules about integrity? After all, Nash is no newbie – he’s been a minister since 2017, and an MP for 15 years. Continue reading “Bryce Edwards’ Political Roundup: Stuart Nash’s resignation shows our leaders need a lesson in civics”

Queen breaks law – but badly advised

In a stunning denoument, Britain’s Supreme Court has ruled that if you want Brexit, you really need to vote for Boris Johnson.

Well, not exactly …  The Court decided – unanimously – that Boris’s advice to the Queen to prorogue Parliament for five weeks was unlawful – and it follows that the Queen’s decision was null and of no effect – in effect Parliament was not prorogued at all. Continue reading “Queen breaks law – but badly advised”