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Parliamentary Behaviour

04/12/10

Permalink 11:26:48 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Politics, Commentary

Parliamentary Behaviour

Anybody who has read or even glimpsed the news over the past month or so will have read about the current situation within parliament which stands as a major embarassment to the Jamaican public, as they see the people we have elected to run our country act like squabbling children instead of focusing on the important issues, such as how to pay our public sector workers. But then again what can you expect, the people put in charge of our country are nothing less than a bunch of corrupt thieves who more than likely went into politics for nothing more than their own personal gain, and not something like making a better life for the people of Jamaica. But I digress.

The first instance of the mass flareup in parliament came from Everald Warmington. Warmington a (JLP senator) got quite angry after he attempted to vote against a move recommended by the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) and ended up with his opinion not being represented in Parliament. He started to get very angry and heated and started openly cursing the members of both sides of the house including his own side despite the attempts by other JLP ministers to clam him down. The entire debacle ended with Warmington storming out of the house while making it known to his party that they cannot remove him from power, as only the people of his constituency have the power to do that. He also made sure to include a few choice Jamaican words on his way out to make sure that his point was properly made.

Warmington in Parliament**Taken from Jamaica Gleaner

He was chided openly for his behaviour in parliament, and the Gleaner reports that:

Karl Samuda, the party's general secretary, said Warmington was out of line and that his behaviour was "a departure from what is expected". Warmington, however, insists that the party cannot sanction him for his actions in Parliament. He also says that there is no strained relationship between him and the party... he had received widespread commendation for his actions in Parliament for his constituency, which has indicated it will stand with him.

However this is not the first time something like this has happened.

A similar event took place few weeks after Warmington's outburst, however this time from the opposite side of the house - This time from Senator KD Knight. As the JLP through senator lightbourne was attempting to pass the Financial Investigation Division Bill in the senate, Knight grew increasingly upset at the manner in which the government was passing the bill stating that they are trying to rush through the proceedings without following proper procedure as the opposition had not had any say in the proceedings. Senator Lightbourne shot back at his remark, only to be called stupid by Knight, before he stepped out of parliament. Knight was subsequently suspended for 2 sittings of the senate and the bill was eventually passed. Knight however stated that his suspension was merely a sideshow for what was really taking place which was:

What they do is use the occasion to rush through legis-lation, and when we ask them to delay legislation for a week, the leader of government business gets up and says we are trying to derail the legislative agenda

However true this is, is up to interpretation, but there have been some recent reportings that parliament has been notably lazy in pushing a legislative agenda... However I think it is important to note the fact that this isnt exactly the first time that KD has made outbursts in parliament, as a matter of fact he is quite known for being one of the more feisty members of parliament.

KD Knight**Taken from JIS

However it is things like this that happens all the time in Jamaican parliament, which is why more and more Jamaicans find themselves becoming embarrassed by the behaviour of our MP's and Senators. Things like the cursing and walk outs are regular occurences, so much so that if one was to actually sit and watch/listen to one of the parliamentary broadcasts, I can assure you that you would hear people behaving in a manner that is not becoming of leaders of a country. This is not to say that the Jamaican Parliament is the only place where this happens, after all there have been a number of other examples where people in other country's parliaments have been caught cursing, and one can point to the fights in the South Korean Parliament last year which is much more embarassing I would think.

However this cannot be used as some sort of excuse for poor behaviour in our local parliament. This is no excuse, we should expect more from our leaders, and it is becoming sickening to watch parliament and see these children who are in charge of our country. I have made the call numerous times and while I doubt it will happen anytime soon I still think it is a necessary move. The two party system, and all current MP's and senators need to be swapped out for a new batch of people, who are focused not on what is right for themselves, but what is right for the people of Jamaica.

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