Too many unaccountable political staffers

Across the ditch a slagging match has erupted over the quality of advice within ministerial offices.

The government says the chief executive of the Business Council of Australia, Jennifer Westacott, did not check facts before making ”ill-informed and inaccurate” accusations that there are too many ”unaccountable” political staffers in ministers’ offices and a public service that doesn’t stand up to them.

But the Coalition says Ms Westacott has opened a ”great” debate, although it would not be employing fewer ministerial staffers when in government because the problem was not actually the numbers but the ”cowboys” hired by Labor.

The public slanging match about the quality of political decision-makers erupted after a speech by Ms Westacott on Thursday in which she said the authority of the public service had been undermined by political staffers, often with little expertise and no accountability.

From what I hear New Zealand carries a fair amount of deadweight in the public service as well as a few ‘cowboys’ within ministerial offices.  The best Ministers balance advice from public servants, political advice and strategy from internal staffers and most importantly have some useful advisers in the real world… and the best actually listen a bit to their constituents.

I wonder how our Ministers would rate in each of those categories.  I bet Pinko wouldn’t have the balls to apply an analysis on NZ government ministers.  Perhaps a few of you can have a go in the comments here?

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