Every time a crucial vote is in order to pass or reject an important bill in Parliament, we encounter serious absenteeism among MPs.
The business of MPs is chiefly and primarily conducted in Parliament. There can be no representative or stand-in for voting on a bill.
But when you read of the sizeable number of MPs not present to examine and vote on bills that will have enormous impact on the people, we have to hold these missing MPs to account.
No one else can pass or reject a motion of an impending bill. Only MPs can do this job, and they act on behalf of their respective constituents, who elect the MP to office in the first place.
The passing of the bill to extend the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act provision, which gives police the right to detain suspects for 28 days without trial, legal representation or even access to their families, shames our MPs to kingdom come.
A good 15% of MPs were absent from Parliament when the vote was called, with 83 MPs rejecting the motion and 105 voting in favour.
The 32 absent MPs could have helped reject this bill that was being pushed a second time.
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The last time the home minister tried to push the bill was as recently as 23 March but his attempt failed.
It is about time we name and shame MPs who do not report for work at their most legitimate place of business, especially when bills are tabled.
This culture of MP absenteeism undermines our parliamentary democracy. It is also gross misconduct that raises ethical questions of morality.
If ‘frogging’ (MPs crossing the aisle) is bad, so too is absenteeism.