New DePuy corps dramatically changes the rules in the Russian Parliament. The leadership of the EP decided that the Duma will vote only in person. Voting by “proxy” is prohibited, and pictures with the empty rows of seats in the Duma must now leave in the past. International practice in this area is even tougher.
On Wednesday, the leadership of “United Russia” called for a ban in the state Duma voting by proxy. Amendments to the regulations which abolish the right to transfer your voice to colleagues in the absence “for legitimate reasons”, prepared by the Vice-speaker, Secretary of the General Council “United Russia” Sergei Neverov, Chairman of the faction Vladimir Vasiliev and his first Deputy Andrei Isayev.
“When the Russian man in the street watching the broadcast of the meetings of the state Duma and sees the blank rows, he thinks deputies are loafers”
“I think the vote should be only personal. People have entrusted a particular MP to represent their interests, and the Deputy is responsible for the decisions”, – said Neverov. In his opinion, the transfer of the MP of your voice to another – “it including the transfer of responsibility”. But “voter in the Smolensk region did not vote for deputies elected, for example, from Novosibirsk region”, he said. “We should start with ourselves. If the person is absent from a meeting, he can’t participate in the vote, and to do things for him that no one can make” – quotes Neverov TASS. He also added that a similar procedure is followed in many regional parliaments.
As the newspaper VIEW, state Duma of the previous convocation not once attempted to force the deputies to attend the meetings, but their proponents have gone the other way – punishing “shirkers”, for example, subtracted from the salaries of the Deputy the fines reaching tens of thousands of rubles. However, these measures did not help. Not surprising – the income of many deputies are much higher than their parliamentary salary.
Discipline will not prevent
New Vice-speaker of the state Duma Pyotr Tolstoy believes that the strengthening of discipline in the work of the house will enhance its prestige. “The weight of a particular authority in political life is perceived, first, the practical results of his work, and, secondly, the level of trust of citizens to this authority. With regard to the state Duma: when we see the deputies of the empty hall and vote for their colleagues, it certainly undermines the credibility of the chamber,” said the large newspaper LOOK. He welcomed the initiative of the colleagues. “Discipline Russian legislators will not interfere”, – summed up the MP.
“One of the main fashion problem the previous Duma was the indiscipline of the deputies – their absence at the meeting, voting “for himself and a friend.” All of this does not increase the credibility of the chamber. As we remember, in the state Duma of the previous convocation were trying to fight for the discipline of Parliament, but the specific outcomes, then the voter does not see,” – said the expert newspaper VIEW. The new Duma and the “United Russia” as the party having a constitutional majority, believes Kalachev, to bring the struggle for the discipline to its logical end. In his opinion, the authority of the state Duma also depends on how the voters perceive the activities of deputies.
“When the Russian man in the street watching the broadcast of the meetings of the state Duma and sees the blank rows, he thinks deputies are bums that the choice he made the wrong one. In General, it affects the credibility of the electoral system and turnout at the next elections”, – believes the analyst. According to the expert, the new leadership of the Council and the EP is trying to convey to all the simple truth of the Duma work is the same work as any other. “If an ordinary person comes to work in the morning and leaving in the evening, why MPs should be exempt? The voter must ensure that its representatives are present at meetings where protect its interests, and not sunbathing on the beaches of the Maldives,” – said Kalachev.
As predicted by the newspaper VIEW, the new state Duma will not be like their predecessors. Not because of the seventh convocation will be many new faces (although it does happen a massive upgrade of the deputies), and by strengthening its political weight. The policy of openness and effectiveness of government, updating the elite objectively leads to the growth of the influence of the legislature.
Voting with hands and feet
In many parliaments of the world voting is allowed too, just personal. To vote “by proxy” it is impossible, in particular in the Polish Sejm, the Parliament of Finland. In the Congress of the United States or in the European Parliament the majority of votes is happening the old fashioned way – a show of hands, not by pressing the buttons. In the British house of Commons, MPs generally vote with their feet, which eliminates the possibility of any fraud. Those who are going at the right hand of the speaker, vs on the left. They report his name to the clerk when you pass by it. The results of the vote are announced by the speaker.
Slovak Deputy Iveta Radicova in April 2009 voted for his absent colleague Tatiana Ross. Scandal and Radicova was forced to withdraw from the deputies. Member of the Lithuanian Seimas Linas Karalius himself has lost the mandate – while on holiday in Thailand in early 2010. At this time his card several times have used fellow faction Alexander Sakharuk.
In Israel, the “double voting” prosecuted. So, for the falsification of election results in 2006 condemned the Knesset of Ihiala Hazan, who three years earlier had voted against the draft budget not only for himself but for his colleague Inbal Gavrieli. The maximum penalty for such actions can be a five-year sentence. But Hazan was sentenced only to four months of community service and six months ‘ imprisonment conditionally.