A cunning plan
New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters has formally proposed that the position of Leader of the Opposition be abolished.
He has put the proposal to the high-powered Standing Orders’ Committee chaired by the Speaker, David Carter, which is currently conducting a review of Parliament's standing orders – the rules which govern the way Parliament works.
The office of the Leader, Andrew Little, was bemused by Peters’ proposal and a spokesperson said that though the electoral system had changed the Westminister system had not and the position was an integral part of the Westminster system.
Mr Peters, however, argues that MMP has made the position redundant.
“It’s a carry over from first past the post,” he told POLITIK.
“It’s Tweedledum, Tweedledee, it's our turn now."
He said that instead of having an Opposition Leader each p[arty that was not in the Government would speak in order of the number of seats they had in the House.
Of course Peters is not really trying to make a Constitutional point; his argument is mostly political.
He wants to dimish Labour’s importance at the same time as he makes it clear he is neither for nor against National and votes on each piece of legislation according to what he considers its merits to be.