5 comments on “Just Another Day in Taiwan’s Parliament
  • Legislative dissent in full force in the multi party democracy of the island state.

    You won’t find this in mainland Chinese legislature where communism reigns and party whips can’t be violated.

    What do you prefer – occasional revolt or `whipped’ up peace ?

  • To avoid chair-throwing, commonly seen in Indian Parliament, the seats in the British House of Commons are fixed 🙂 The governing party and Her Majesty’s Opposition sit across each other with two lines drawn in front of them, the distance between which is exactly 2 sword lengths, just so they cannot cross them to settle a score, should they so decide. They cannot throw microphones at each other, as they are fixed on chicken-wire and suspended from the ceiling at fixed distances throughout the front and the bank benches.

    What we get instead in the British Parliament, therefore, is a fantastic time of histrionics and rhetoric while also sometimes hearing answers to important questions. Dissent is of course what the Opposition is supposed to engage in and engage they do, physicality having been disabled by design. The best time to watch is PM’s Questions each Wednesday where the game of verbal thrust and parry is at its best, and scripts are often left aside in favour of extempore bon mots inspired by presence-of-mind.

    So I have to disagree with Vince Williams. The UK Parliament is not rowdy at all; it is a fantastic gentlemen’s gathering which plays by ancient rules, uses a lingo incomprehensible to most, except those who are inside the game or otherwise keen on it, and is full of actions imbued with meaning (ever wonder why some of the MPs stand up when someone is asking a question?) and rhetoric.

  • I enjoyed your informative comment, Shefaly, but I should point out that I said I THOUGHT the UK Parliament was rowdy.

    After all, I didn’t say or imply that they throw chairs.

    I’ve seen enough Parliamentary debate to appreciate the zest the actors bring to their engagements, a zest which might be mistaken for rowdyism in its more heated moments.

    I don’t care for Tony Blair’s politics, but I always thought he played the game well.

    You are so right that it “is a fantastic time of histrionics and rhetoric”. I enjoy it myself.

    And I think it is very appropriate to compare a parliamentary debate to a bout of fencing.

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