Jordan’s Parliament & A Lack of Quorum

For the second time this week (and the fifth in the last 4 months) a Lower House session was cancelled due to “a lack of quorum”

Of 110 members only 70 showed up at 10am this Wednesday and waited for 30 minutes and the 3 more deputies they needed to constitutionally hold a session (two thirds) never showed.

The Lower House Speaker Abdul Hadi Majali said the names of the absentees would be published in today’s newspapers an apporach he first took in January.

During this session the deputies were supposed to discuss the impeachment of the agriculture minister over allowing a shipment of minced turkey from Israel into Jordan despite the bird flu in Israel.

I wonder if the reason they all don’t show up all of a sudden on specific days has anything to do with what is supposed to be discussed that session. So what should be done? When over half the people you elect don’t actually show up to work? Imagine we actually had the oppertunity to elect a government through parliamenary representation? Who would be running it and making most of the decisions?

Decisions are made by those who show up. In Jordan that is a scary thought.

I have a solution but a lot of deputies wouldn’t be too happy with it. (hint: it involves unemployment). But here’s another…

Maybe parliament should be run like a TV show. If you don’t get enough people watching then the ratings fall, then advertisers won’t pay money to run commercials during an unpopular show, and the show is cancelled. Fans of the, uhem, show, can always get the DVDs. Deputies can sign contracts requiring them to show up. Think of all the good things would come out of this. Parliament would do everything to survive. During March sweeps it would pull the oldest stunts: guest stars, plot twists, uhem, surprise impeachments and legislations and of course the season, I mean session, finale.

Just another citizen’s idea.

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