Thursday, December 2, 2004

Order in the House

1. "Indian law-maker puts slipper into Government"
"An opposition law-maker has triggered a free-for-all in an Indian state
 assembly, when he threw slippers at the Government benches during a debate
 over a controversial mining contract"

2. "Taiwanese MPs hold a food fight"
"Already known for their heated debates, and even the odd fist fight
 Taiwan's legislators now seem to have resorted to another form of insult
 - hurling food at each other"

3. "Venezuela politicians in punch-up"
"Tensions between the government and opposition in Venezuela have reached
 new highs after a fistfight broke out during a session of parliament"

4. "Duel fought over leader's honour"
"Two far-right Austrian Freedom Party members have fought a duel after one
 claimed the other had offended the honour of party mentor Joerg Haider"

5. "Hunt brawl in Commons"
"Pro-hunting demonstrators descended on Westminster yesterday, storming
 into the Commons chamber and causing chaotic scenes inside and outside
 Parliament in a foretaste of a countryside uprising against a hunting ban"

6. "MP ejected over mobile"
"An MP has been thrown out of the Commons chamber for using his mobile phone"

7. "Calls to end drunken debates in Austrian parliament"
"[S]ome members take their seats with alchohol levels in their blood that
 would make it illegal for them to drive a car"

8. "Women MPs told to dress down"
"Female MPs in Russia have been asked to dress down so male colleagues can
 concentrate on their jobs"

9. "Siberian shaman to cleanse Duma [Russian Parliament] of dark spirits"
"'The shaman believes that much hatred and detestation have accumulated in
 the premises of the lower chamber over the past ten years and also more
 than a few evil words have been uttered, which poisons the lives of those
 who work at the Duma'"

10. "Indian charmers threaten to unleash snakes on parliament"
"Snake charmers in the Indian state of Orissa have threatened to release
 snakes in the state assembly to protest against restrictions being imposed
 on them"

11. "Guru to calm rowdy politicians"
"A spiritual guru is to try to calm rowdy Indian politicians whose
 outbursts have led to brawls in parliament"

12. "Bad feng shui 'sucks politicians' brains dry'"
"The German Parliament's glass dome, a Berlin landmark, makes for bad
 feng shui, according to an expert in the Chinese art of positioning
 objects, buildings and furniture"

An interesting overview article about recent parliamentary conflicts,
and the psychology involved:
"When politicians attack..."
"Politics has been described as 'war without bloodshed', but there is a
 fine line between verbal confrontation and physical violence"
"[M]any fledgling democracies - like unruly teenagers - were just going
 through a stage"
"[T]he confrontational nature of politics, and the high stakes, leave
 violence simmering beneath the surface, however august the chamber"