here is much ado about the parliamentary system of government across the world. Parliaments reflect the behaviour and maturity of societies they represent.
Parliamentary experiences in developing countries usually begin modestly, then develop and grow with the passage of time. It is inspired by the life, economic and social realities of the country concerned.
At the same time, lessons are learned from the experiences of other countries, especially with older parliamentary systems.
In some parliaments, there are what are called as ‘values committees’. They are responsible for monitoring/ controlling the general behaviour during the parliamentary proceedings in case of a violation of law or ignorance of internal rules and regulations or the general system.
Members of these committees are usually experienced jurists or legal experts who offer guidance, which is put into practice and implemented.
In the British House of Commons, for example, there is a department that deals with the “improvement” of members, and which also clarifies the laws and regulations under which the council works.
The department explains and simplifies the laws in force in the country. One of its most important duties is dealing with the media. There are a number of ways in which a question is formulated and put forward so that it looks integrated and coherent and it does not appear to disrespect or demean others.
All these rules are learned in a system and under an infrastructure developed to teach and educate members. As part of their training programme, members are taught how to ask questions and how to respond to them without any show of emotion or anger.
Besides there are courses of etiquette for members. The courses, also known as ‘art of dealing with others’, helps members “look fine and nice to others” after they go through this learning process. They are trained in using polite and civilised words, and how to avoid sharp/ harsh language.
This results in making the parliament or the council free from scenes of hue and cry, tension, skirmishes and throwing of chairs on each other, as in the case of some parliaments.
Because our parliamentary system is still in a nascent stage, it is not fair to blame the new members. They have probably not been given orientation on “parliamentary behaviour”.
Therefore, it is our duty to make arrangements for their orientation and training at the earliest and ensure parliamentary values and ethics. It is important to safeguard parliament’s integrity and respect in the eyes of common people.
We understand that difference of opinion is an integral part of work in any parliament on earth. Therefore, a member of parliament should not resort to social media to highlight his/her point of view.
It should not happen at all. If it does, then it will be difficult to discuss and deal with issues inside the parliament or the council. That is because people will expect everything to be resolved on social media and not in parliament and things will become more complicated.
We hope we will work hard to reformulate our democratic experience, learning from our previous mistakes and mistakes of others in other parts of the world. It is important to learn and correct ourselves. In a parliamentary system, we can always improve without ignoring our own values and traditions. This will certainly make us the best example of a democratic system at least in the region.