And you thought Federal Parliament in Canberra was unruly? During debate in South Korea's parliament yesterday over a Free Trade Agreement with the US, an opposition member threw a canister of tear gas in the chamber. Despite this, a vote in favour of the FTA was carried 151 votes to seven. This report from Agence France-Presse does not indicate how the gas wielding politician voted (or, indeed, if he got the chance to.)
What do our pollies in Australia care for microcredit? On September 4 Peter Garrett initiated a debate in the House of Reps urging the government to support the Microcredit Summit goals. As usual, six MPs got five minutes each to speak to the motion, and then the debate was adjourned indefinitely. (Refer my item of September 17 re Darfur.)
It's not just a great moment in parliamentary behaviour, but a great moment in understated journalism, as the Press Trust of India began a wire report on Tuesday with the following:
Shiv Sena MLA Gulabrao Gawande created commotion in Maharashtra Assembly today by pouring kerosene on his clothes and trying to consume some poisonous substance to protest against, what he called, DF Government's "apathy" towards scores of suicides by debt-ridden farmers, an act resulting in his suspension for rest of Winter Session.
My whole body smells like a lunch box!
- Chen Chong-yi (Democratic Progressive Party, Taiwan), 26.10.04
What a great moment for democracy it was in Taipei on Tuesday. A debate about whether a multi-billion dollar arms budget should be placed on the parliamentary agenda this Friday turned into an open battle of its own.