Prime Minister Sikua has announced that Parliament will resume sitting on 11 March, according to a Radio New Zealand report (08/02/10) which also states that six more Bills will be presented in the March sitting. This suggests that the Sikua-led CNURA (Coalition for National Unity and Rural Advancement) government plans to maintain its high work rate right until the very end, at least if you accept the number of laws enacted by Parliament as a crude work-rate measure.
In 2009, Parliament enacted 20 laws. According to the records on the Solomons Parliament web site and through PacLII (the Pacific Legal Information Institute), this tally has only been bettered once in 25 years (back in 1987, when 29 laws were enacted). During that time, there were, on average, around 12 laws enacted each year. However, since 1993, that average fell to 9 laws per year, including the mandatory annual appropriation bill. Thus, by recent standards, the CNURA government certainly kept its Parliament busy in 2009.
This is also reflected in the number of sitting days each year of the 8th Parliament, 2006-2010 (based on Hansard reports). In 2006, Parliament sat for just 19 days. In 2007, this increased to 35 days but under the CNURA government, the figure has increased again to 60 days (in 2008) and 66 days (in 2009). Perhaps there may even be a hint of relief amongst the honourable members of the Eighth when parliament is finally prorogued!
(Note: I have collated the data for this post in a short spreadsheet which is available on request. I would like to post it but haven’t yet figured out how to post tables or links to Excel spreadsheets.)
UPDATE (16/02/10): all the supporting data for this post is now available here.
Tags: Solomons politics