Behaviour of our representatives in legislative chambers

February 17, 2007

Shameful! How is it possible that people who have been elected by us attend the sessions in parliament, sit down, read the papers and only work to cheer their leader in the chamber, who may happen to be the representative of another electoral district, and push the buttom when they have to vote? And for that task we pay them!

It is only their party’s politics that prevail, irrespective of what is convenient to the electoral district of each parliamentarian. And the one representative we elect shuts up and does not even budge in her/his seat.

If we are fortunate enough that our representative is at the same time a spokesperson for a particular area in the party, that fortune is rapidly thrown into the dust bin because at all moments he will voice the party’s views, not ours.

I wonder why all the persons in a parliament do not enjoy the same prerrogatives and why they cannot speak at a given moment during the session, thus behaving as their electors would like them to. The party they belong to are not aware what our real needs are, it is presumed our representative does, although at times it happens the latter may have come from a different town or any place where our worries are not known.

It seems today I have focussed my attention on our parliamentarians, the question is that too many ills that affect us are the responsibility of those who are there to solve them.

Is it not then clear that this system of political parties is really a spoke in the wheels of our democracy?

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26 Responses to “Behaviour of our representatives in legislative chambers”

  1. jeremiasx said

    Wow…for a minute there I thought you were an American talking about the similar activities of our Congress…LOL

  2. Jose said

    I was generalising, of course, jeremiasx. But that could be applied too to your Senate and Congress. How many of your Senators and Congresspersons do really carry out what should be their obligations towards their electors?

    I’m sure they respect more their parties than their electors.

  3. anticant said

    The great 18th century Whig statesman Edmund Burke [who, incidentally, was passionately opposed to both American independence and the folly of fighting the colonies once they had decided to secede] famously wrote to his constituents at Bristol: “Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgement; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.” This classic statement of a legislator’s role has proved popular neither with the electorate nor with party managers.

  4. So where is the link between representative and constituent severed?

    The motto “E PLURIBUS UNUM” comes to mind when I read your post Jose.
    Perhaps Congress and Parliament let these words’ spirit stand in the way of actually articulating their local public’s desires.

    I’ve never had coffee with my rep. Maybe I should invite her over sometime.

  5. {Such ideas animated the “vast communal movements” of pre-capitalist Europe, Brady writes, and ” brought elements of self-government in to the hands of the Common Man, ” arousing “contempt and sometimes fear in the traditional elites.” The common people who sought freedom and the common good were “craftsmen of shit,” “rabble” (“canaille”) who should “die of starvation.” They were condemned by the Emperor Maximilian as “wicked, crude, stupid peasants, in whom there is neither virtue, noble blood, nor proper moderation, but only immoderate display, disloyalty, and hatred for the German nation” -” anti-Americans” of their day. The democratic upsurge in the 17th century England evoked harsh denunciation of the “rascal multitude,” “beasts in men’s shapes,” “depraved and corrupt.” Twentieth century democratic theorists advise that “The public must be put in its place, ” so that the “responsible men” may “live free of the trampling and the roar of a bewildered herd,” “ignorant and meddlesome outsiders, lending their weight periodically to one or another member of the leadership class (elections), then returning to their private concerns (Walter Lippmann). The great mass of the population, “ignorant and mentally deficient,” must be kept in their place for the common good, fed with “necessary illusion” and ” emotionally potent oversimplifications” (Wilson’s Secretary of State Robert Lansing, Reinhold Niebuhr). Their “conservative” counterparts are only more extreme in their adulation of the Wise Men who are the rightful rulers – in the service of the rich and powerful, a minor footnote regularly forgotten.}

    Not surprisingly taken from a chapter of Chomsky’s YEAR 501 (The Conquest Continues). I thought this expands on anticants’ Whig Burke quotes.

  6. Richard said

    Ah, Chomsky again – Einstein of Modern Linguistics and America’s Orwell – wonderful stuff – thanks 1loneranger !

  7. Ha, I do what I can where I can. Now…… shit, I have to get to a rehearsal.
    Looking forward to more reading later.

  8. anticant said

    There are too many aspects of this problem to dispose of in brief comments. It requires at least half a dozen blogs! We must distinguish between universal suffrage, representative democracy, and populism. Remember that many dictators came to power via the popular vote, and remained widely popular after they had done so [Napoleon III, Hitler]. Other dictators spuriously ‘legitimise’ their regimes through rigged elections [Stalin, Mugabe]. Populism exercised through frequent direct referenda – now technically possible – would, no doubt egged on by the unscrupulous right-wing media – almost certainly result in some extremely reactionary measures such as capital punishment [maybe even televised public executions], possibly publicly approved torture of suspected “terrorists” – which we’re already being softened up for – and so forth. Without an educated electorate and a civilised climate of liberal tolerance, unrestrained democracy can be a two-edged sword. Don’t forget the French Revolution!

  9. Merkin said

    The problem is that, rather than being delegates, our elected ones are representatives.
    They can ‘decide how to’ vote on our behalf rather than carrying out our wishes. And there is nothing we can do about it.
    At the moment.

  10. christianzionismexposed said

    What a bunch of losers. They can’t even get a nonbinding resolution that calls for DEBATING the surge. Jackass losers.

    Senate gridlocks on Iraq war resolution
    House passed measure Friday opposing Bush’s plan to send more troops
    The Associated Press
    Updated: 1:18 p.m. PT Feb 17, 2007
    WASHINGTON – The Senate gridlocked on the Iraq war in a sharply worded showdown (ooooo….how intense!!!) on Saturday as Republicans foiled a Democratic attempt to rebuke (aka slap his hand) President Bush over his deployment of 21,500 additional combat troops.

    …..Republicans blasted him and the Democratic leadership for refusing to allow a vote on an alternative that ruled out any reduction in money for troops in the field. (But the Democraps can say they tried now..hehehe..yeah boy!)

    …..The vote marked the second time this winter that Senate Republicans have blocked action on NONBINDING measures critical of the president’s war policies. This time, however, there were signs of restlessness within the GOP.

    More dissenting GOP members
    Seven Republicans broke with their leadership, compared with only two on the previous test vote.

    Also this time, the maneuvering concerned a NONBINDINGmeasure that disapproved of Bush’s decision to deploy the additional troops and pledged to support and protect the troops. (UH….huh??)

    and more blah blah blah blah blah

    URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17200182/

    Impotent, gutless politicowhores. They are representatives and the people they are representing are themselves…certainly not their constituents.

  11. anticant-

    I am continually struck by and appreciative of your insistence to unfold the bigger picture in these threads.

  12. Jose said

    Well. I know there exist difficulties, as things go, to decide on what is best for the represented. But sticking to party’s global decisions is a way to betray electors.

    For these cases perhaps the solution would be for each representative, or delegate, or member of the commons or Lords, parliamentaries in general, to openly explain why and how they voted to their constituents, that is try to get their approval “afterwards”. This makes part of their work and this would also teach constituents how things in politics are run.

    I know, Anticant, that the French Revolution eventually ended up in a blood bath and a dictatorship of a different sign, these transitions in politics in olden times had this traits in common, mainly due to the lack of education of the people.

    But times have changed and what I suggest above may perhaps be a solution which binds the parliamentarians to behave in a honest way.

    And yes, why not spread this discussion through as many blogs as possible?

    The topic deserves this treatment, doesn’t it?

  13. Richard said

    Can somebody please tell me what the abbreviation “GOP” stands for please – it has something to do with the Republicans, I know….but

  14. “Grand Old Party”

  15. Richard said

    Is that all ?! Thanks anyway

  16. Richard,
    No shit. What a let down eh?
    Check this out. Don’t it just want to make you sign up? Yeeeehaw!
    https://www.gop.com/Secure/Splash.aspx

  17. christianzionismexposed said

    It should stand for Gutless Old Poops

  18. Richard said

    Gaggle Of Predators ?

  19. Richard said

    Gutful Of Parasites

  20. All this american bashing is making me hungry. Lets real it in guys. Don’t want to make a bad impression now do we?

  21. Richard said

    It’s Neo-Con bashing – which is not quite the same thing…

  22. Merkin said

    Well said, Richard.

  23. Fair enough. It must have been the died in the wool republican house I grew up in surfacing through a ‘contact high’ kind of effect that made me spit that comment out. My apologies. I must think before I type, I must think before I type, I must think before I type.
    Thanks for stopping by my site Merkin.

  24. anticant said

    The pro-Bushies who post on CiF and elsewhere are convinced that their critics hate America. It’s clear from the insults they hurl across the Atlantic that they despise us as gutless “appeasers”, and not worth “saving” by the saintly US of A during WW2. Some of them even look forward with relish to Europe being Islamicised in the near future. A weird bunch of guys!

  25. Jose said

    For those who don’t know CiF is, I believe, the space called Comment is Free in the British newspaper The Guardian.

    This is a link to it:

    http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/index.html

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