Dark clouds hang over Reichstag - Uli Klose - berlinprophoto.de
“Der Maulkorb gehört nicht ins Parlament” – “Muzzles have no place in parliament” says a Berlin newspaper headline and it represents the general mood both in the Partliment and on the street. http://www.tagesspiegel.de/meinung/rederecht-im-bundestag-der-maulkorb-gehoert-nicht-ins-parlament/6516384.html
As Germany’s parliament, the German Bundestag stands at the centre of the country’s political life and is elected by the German people to function as a central forum where differing opinions about the policies the country should be pursuing are formulated and discussed. It also elects the German Federal Chancellor and largely, but not solely the Bundespräsident as head of state.
The most important tasks performed by the Bundestag are the legislative process and the parliamentary scrutiny of the government and its work –it also decides on the federal state budget and deployment of the German Bundeswehr /Federal Armed Forces outside Germany.
The newly proposed rules for the German Parliament/Bundestag would muzzle MPs by limiting their speaking times and not allowing them to speak individually but only to be represented by a party spokesperson – in other words empower the whips even more.
This would in fact emasculate the power of individual members and firmly establish the rule of the whips in German politics. If agreed upon then this would be a case of political self-disenfranchisement by German parliamentarians.
As the “Sueddeutsche Zeitung” in an article by Heribert Prantl points out – parliament is a place for chatting and that is what should be done there! To limit debate and discussion and to make it more difficult-to-speak for dissenters to vent their views is not only counterproductive it is also anti-democratic. http://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/rederecht-im-bundestag-fraktionen-planen-maulkorb-fuer-abgeordnete-1.1332338
Why is this being done now and why should the power of the whips be increased over dissenters be even further increased? ‘Qui bono’ – who benefits? The ruling parties need it to force their own un-popular legistaltion through the Bundestag as for example in the time of the “Rot-grünen Koalition (2002–2005)on the question of German participation in sending its troops to Afghanistan.
Firstly and most importantly we must remember that the German people are completely opposed to this action by their parliament. Poll after opinion poll show that it goes completely against the will of the German people for the Bundeswehr to participate in any aggressive foreign military intervention. http://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/umfrage-zum-afghanistan-einsatz-mehrheit-lehnt-neue-strategie-ab-1.62285 and http://www.tagesspiegel.de/politik/afghanistan-krieg-das-unaussprechliche-wort/4692820.html
This posed a real dilemma for the rank-and-file members of the Green party -’Bündnis 90/Die Grünen’– however not for some of the opportunist so-called leaders who wanted to hold on to their power as coalition partners at any price.
Based on past experience pushing through controversial resolutions for military interventions, the Green Party leadership worked out a ‘formula’ that would allow party delegates to vote in support of the Afghan military adventure while appearing not to do so. What they did is to allow some votes against the motion – but making sure that enough voted for so as not to threaten the governing coalitions stability.
A motion was formulated at the time by the unfortunately named Ralf Fücks, head of the Green Party think-tank, the ‘Heinrich-Böll Institute’, which wrongly concluded that the USA and its NATO allies “are not conducting a war against Afghanistan”, but rather against “a terrorist regime which abuses human rights.” http://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/ralf-fuecks-und-die-heinrich-boell-stiftung-der-falsche-mann-1.72540
Never let it be said that there is any lack of moral-flexibility` or ‘dexterous ethical manoeuvrability’ when it comes to the opportunism of the German Greens -and all the while feigning a virtuous anti-war posture!
This is repulsive, contemptible and vile politics which the Greens in Germany and the Netherlands [Groen-Links] have perfected. It is a clear case of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform – it is pretense and dishonesty and will be harshly dealt with in up-coming elections.
These new proposed rules of the Bundestag will facilitate the process for steam-rolling un-popular bills through the parliment even more and should be opposed.
The free speech of the Bundestag members is in fact being called into question if what the heads of factions are able to impose these new rules in parliament – making it virtually impossible for delegates to represent any different opinions than his party.
On April 26th –this coming Thursday – the issue will be voted on in a plenary Bundestag session which is sure to be a lively event! I will keep you posted. EH
If you read German than the following links are of interest – http://uweness.eu/gruener-pazifismus.html
Dark clouds in Berlin hang over Bundestag – Opposition growing to proposed new rules for the German Parliament/Bundestag – Whips would muzzle MPs and limit their speaking times – by OTA-Berlin Constituency Blog contributor Mr Emil Hoogesteyn from OTA Berlin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Germany License. If you use this article or parts of it, please refer to http://www.ota-berlin.de.
Tags: "Sueddeutsche Zeitung”, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen, Der Tagesspiegel, German Bundeswehr /Federal Armed Forces, German Parliament/Bundestag, Heribert Prantl, Opposistion grows to proposed new rules for the German Parliament/Bundestag, power of the whips in German politics, Tagesspiegel Online, the unfortunately named Ralf Fücks, Uli Klose - berlinprophoto.de, Whips would muzzle Bundestag MPs, Whips would muzzle MPs, ‘Qui bono’ - who benefits?, “Der Maulkorb gehört nicht ins Parlament”