8 May 2010

NZ Cabinet manual of interest in UK election

10:37 pm on 8 May 2010

The BBC reports that the New Zealand Cabinet Manual has caught the eye of Whitehall.

Britain has a hung parliament after the general election on Thursday.

The Conservatives won the most seats, but did not secure a majority.

Party leader David Cameron has been speaking by telephone with the leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg.

New Zealand has had the Mixed Member Proportional system (MMP) system of proportional representation since the 1996 general election.

Since then, no single party in New Zealand has been able to command a majority.

The Cabinet Manual lays down the procedures and conventions which then come into effect.

British Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O'Donnell was at a recent gathering in Wellington of public servants from Australia, Canada, Ireland, Britain and New Zealand.

Professor Jonathan Boston, the director of the Institute of Policy Studies, says the Cabinet manual provides the rules about what caretaker governments can do and has some general principles on government formation.