Idea alert

Brian Topp figures it’s time we figure out what the rules of our parliamentary democracy are.

A good place to start would be with the New Zealand cabinet manual. Developed incrementally under many governments over 30 years, with the fingerprints and agreement of all of that country’s political parties, this manual is a well-written, publicly-accessible rulebook setting out many of the basic rules the game in a multi-party Westminster Parliament, written from the perspective of the executive branch.

The British government is currently consulting the public about a similar guide. If you dote on the details of parliamentary government – and if you’re on this website reading stuff in this section, you probably do – it’s a good read.

It’s an idea that Peter Russell, the constitutional scholar, is apparently pursuing.

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