Friday, June 24, 2016

The Parliamentary decorum. The debate on Speaker and Shemgang Pangbang MP

I was reading through the differing views on this incident posted on fb.  What has occurred is of the past and  probably both His Excellency the Speaker and the Honourable MP of Pangbang have long gotten over the exchange. However, there is a need to understand or rather get used to culture of democracy because democracy is an outside culture that Bhutan imported in  keeping with the national philosophy to preserve what is good in our culture and tradition and adopt what are good culture and practice  of others to foster vibrant development of a nation state.  Stagnation leads to decay, therefore, growth and diversity is a must for the good health of a progressive nation.

Against the back drop of 8 years old democracy inroad in national polity, I am rather surprised at the lack of political comprehension or the unwillingness to accept the ripples of democracy principles. It is kind of rejecting  the reflection in the mirror.

I feel that the Pangbang MP stating the views of the Opposition on the Floor of the Assembly or Parliament and his one time expression of frustration with the stinginess of time/ opportunity allotted by the Speaker to the Opposition (in his perception) is a natural process of Parliamentary democracy. 

There is such a thing as the main Spokesperson of a Party. And in case of DPT,  it is clear that quite articulate MP Dasho Dorji Wangdi former Lyonpo is the chosen Spokesperson of the Opposition. And he will try to seek the opportunity  to express considered views of his Party  on any issue  under discussion on the Floor.  The Opposition has the right to state it's views in the National Assembly and the Parliament.  And it is not out of political forum or  parliamentary decorum to question directly  the Speaker on perceived appearance of prejudiced behaviour of the Chair ( whether such a perception is realistic or is a matter of debate or what majority onlookers think is a different matter).  In a democratic forum,  no Position or Post can demand respect as a matter of unquestionable right (except the reverred Throne and perhaps the Dratsang  though the constitutional secularism factor  may give rise to debate on this  assumption). 

And plain, ordinary, everyday language is not an insult.  It is obiously starkly  different  from the artificial kneel down flowery and flattering  language that has become a new culture in the Parliament after democracy came into being. I think this culture was introduced by the first ruling Party from whose rank the Speaker is chosen,  to intimidate the Opposition. The Speaker has  always been  addressed reverently during the pre -democratic National Assembly that is equalivalent to present day Parliament.  But not to the extent of present profusion.

To wait for one' s turn to take the Floor and to address the Speaker as Honourable Speaker ( Meijay Tsogpon ) is admirable parliamentary decorum. There is dignity in such decorum.  But to thank the Speaker profusely each time one is given an opportunity to take the Floor is rather too much of an endearing act. To me it is a kind of a slavish homage which is certainly outside the  context of democracy. 

1 comment:

  1. Rightly justified and stated for the benefit of our people and law makers...thanks