By LR Liburd
The St. Kitts-Nevis Observer
It is said by some persons that the manner in which our politicians behave in Parliament is likened to that of “a brood of cackling hens after laying eggs”, while in some quarters it is “worse than fishmongers competing for sale on a Saturday morning”.
Whatever way their behaviour is classified, it does not auger well for democracy and, moreover, leaders of a multitude of people and not hogs.
There are 11 elected Members and three Senators in the National House of Assembly, most of whom show little or no respect for the Speaker of the House and, worse yet, the Deputy Speaker.
I guess that everyone who watches ZIZ TV or tunes in to radio stations to listen when a sitting is in progress would agree that only a few of them, who can be counted on one hand, would normally refrain from constant disruptions when an MP takes the floor.
These Parliamentarians are the same people who love to see and hear the word Honourable before their names when written and being addressed, respectively.
But how many of them know what the word connotes?
Honourable is defined as a title of respect placed before a name and is characterised by highly accepted or professed rules of conduct; not what we see and hear in our Parliament, which can be described as dishonourable.
Both elected and non-elected Parliamentarians’ presence in that Honourable House is not to satisfy their personal desires or those of their political parties but to represent all of the people, irrespective of which party they support.
They are members of the law-making body of the Federation and much is expected of them. They go there to conduct the nation’s business but end up quarrelling, much to the disgust of those who are listening and want to clearly comprehend what benefits can be derived from decisions taken in the passing of Bills.
Their continuous despicable behaviour is an abomination to intelligent listeners and viewers.
This type of behaviour has been exhibited for many years and people had expected to see a reaction similar to the one executed by the Deputy Speaker at the last sitting. Kudos to him! All Speakers have such power according to the Constitution and they must not tolerate such behaviour in the House from any MP.
This brings to mind the saying that “man is a product of his environment”. If this saying holds truth, then one can conclude that Parliamentarians who act in such manner had either inculcated such behaviour within their homes or places they frequented, or the company they keep.
Therefore, there is dire need for them to be re-educated not only on Parliamentary Rules and Procedures, but also Moral Principles.
Maybe a lesson can be learnt from school children who compete in debates, because there are set rules for presentations and rebuttals.
People learn from their leaders, but examples are not being set by most of our Parliamentarians. These are the same group of people who decry the nation’s youth whenever they are engaged in deviant behaviour. But what do our politicians portray as example setters?
It is time for this nonsensical attitude to end in our Parliament. Stop behaving like ravenous wild hogs and let our future leaders learn that conflicts in Parliament can be resolved amicably through intelligent debates and stately behaviour.