Opinion: More give and take

POSTED: 05/9/12 1:34 PM

Yesterday we wrote about the rule that parliamentarians ought to act in parliament without burden or consultation. Taken literally, we wrote, this means that faction-members should not consult with each other about the position they are going to take on a certain issue.

Attorney mr. Maarten le Poole dove into prof. mr. A.M. Donner’s manual of constitutional law and found an extensive historical opinion about this sacred formula.

Donner concludes his opinion with the following remark: “It is no longer possible to forbid consultation to parliamentarians; part of their function. But getting a burden or accepting a burden from party meetings or other organs would make the representation impossible.”

The “burden” prof. Donner refers to is an order by for instance a party meeting to vote a certain way.

“One should think about the breathing down one’s neck by the party or party organizations in relation to burden or consultation, not about mutual consultation between representatives,” mr. Le Poole notes.

Acting without burden or consultation is limited to voting, mr. Le Poole furthermore points out. “One could therefore defend the idea that taking a position while this position is not propagated by casting a vote, does not fall under article 63 sub 3 of the State Regulation.”

We appreciate this elucidation. But thinking back to November 17 of last year when the temperature in the parliament peaked during the Pelican-debate, we are unable to get away from the impression that UP faction leader Romain Laville was pushed with his back against the wall by his party leadership in a way that does fall under said article.

That is now water under the bridge, and politicians will keep talking to (or about) each other as they see fit.

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