IT has been a while since I attended a session of the Balearic parliament but on Tuesday night I watched the Balearic version of “Today in Parliament” on local television. What a change! Elected Member of Parliaments now cheer and clap if they agree with a motion or a speech. Now, this week has been an interesting one in parliament because Balearic President Jose Ramon Bauza has been giving his state of the Balearics speech. He spoke at length and then was cheered and applauded by his own MPs while the opposition showed their discontent. It was almost like a TVsoap. But Imust admit that it does make the local parliament more interesting to watch. Also, few people actually appeared to be listening to the Balearic leader. They were either smiling, or chatting with each other. Even the Speaker, who was sitting behind the Balearic President as he made his speech, was smiling and grinning broadly, at one of the seated MPs. All good stuff. But Idon´t know, perhaps Iam old fashioned, but I do not believe that there is a place for clapping in parliament, unless the occasion actually demands it. Applauding your leader after a speech might look good, but it doesn´t really add anything to the debate. Now, the British parliament is full of antics but it is not so partisan as the Balearic one. In the Balearics you tow the party line or you are out. There is no need for applause because MPs will tell you if they liked it or not. And that is a big difference.
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