Re-entry of the gladiators takes us back to the bygone era of brass bands and their captivating, yet deafening, music. One particular march, composed by Julius Fucik, holds a special place in my heart: the Entry of the Gladiators. This fin de siècle piece paints a vivid picture of the grand entrance of muscled warriors, armed to the teeth, ready to face their fate in the colosseum. While the music has found its way into the circus of today, its significance remains rooted in the historical spectacles of ancient times.
The Return of the Gladiators
As we examine the current events in Parliament, the term “Entry of the Gladiators” feels apt, symbolizing the return of all the major players to the center stage. Like gladiators stepping back into the colosseum, Auckland-based Members of Parliament (MPs) have emerged from a prolonged lockdown, resuming their roles in the political arena. However, this return doesn’t dramatically alter the functioning of Parliament, at least regarding government legislation.
While fresh faces are a welcome sight, the previously present MPs may find relief in sharing the burdens of debate with their counterparts. However, business has not slowed down during their absence. Select Committees, with the participation of all MPs, have been meeting remotely and diligently progressing through their work. Government legislation has maintained its momentum, possibly aided by the reduced number of experienced opposition MPs, which facilitates swifter progression through committee stages.
Members’ Days and Fresh Bills
Nonetheless, one aspect that has experienced a noticeable shift is members’ days. This week, in particular, brings forth a members’ day, reintroducing a number of member’s bills that have been on hold due to the unavailability of their sponsoring MPs. These MPs are eager to return to the forefront and defend their bills against the opposition, unwilling to let their proposed legislation face the other gladiators without their presence.
Consequently, this week presents several intriguing bills, brought forward by MPs who have freshly reentered the political arena. Let’s explore a few notable ones:
1. New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income (Fair Residency) Amendment Bill
National MP Andrew Bayly spearheads the third and final reading of this bill. The proposed amendment gradually doubles the residency requirement for individuals to be eligible for New Zealand superannuation, addressing concerns surrounding fair residency and retirement income.
2. Todd Muller’s Sunscreen (Product Safety Standard) Bill
In its second reading, this bill, championed by Todd Muller, seeks to establish a product safety standard for sunscreens. The name of the bill itself gives a glimpse into its objective, ensuring the safety and efficacy of sun protection products.
3. Louisa Wall’s Harmful Digital Communications (Unauthorised posting of Intimate Visuals Recording) Amendment Bill
Louisa Wall presents this bill for its second reading, aiming to strengthen legislation surrounding the unauthorized sharing of intimate visuals or what is commonly referred to as ‘revenge porn.’ The bill places the onus of proof for consent onto the sharer, making such actions a more chargeable offense.
The Melody of Re-entry
As we delve into these debates, a curious question arises: If the jaunty brass band march signifies the Entry of the Gladiators, what tune should accompany their re-entry? Should it be the same march played twice as fast, or perhaps at half speed? Is there room for an entirely different melody, or even a reversal of the original piece? The possibilities are intriguing, mirroring the diverse perspectives and approaches that unfold within the political arena.
In conclusion, the re-entry of the gladiators in Parliament serves as a moment of anticipation and renewed engagement. With fresh bills on the agenda and a dynamic cast of MPs ready to tackle the debates, the stage is set for an enthralling political spectacle. Just as the Entry of the Gladiators music captured the essence of its time, the re-entry holds the promise of captivating discussions, fierce advocacy, and the forging of new paths in the landscape of governance.