Parliamentary debates

by Lorenzo Piccoli

The recent elections in the UK – by the way: I wrote a piece before the election where I got a couple of prediction right and one prediction badly off target – have brought a new flurry of attention for the lovely British style of running politics. Today I was reading an article about some of the oldest rules of conduct in the Palace of Westminster, or the British Parliament. Just a few:

1. MPs are not allowed to use each others’ names – as the article reminds us, “this rule sounds like part of a bad drinking game, but it’s true“.

2. MPs cannot call each other “liar“, “hypocrite”, “pipsqueak”, “swine”, “rat”, “blackguard” and “tart”.

3. MPs cannot wear t-shirts.

4. MPs cannot wear armors and swords. In fact, up to this day MPs are given a loop next to their coat hook to hang their swords in the cloakroom.

Now try to imagine these rules applied to the Italian Parliament where parliamentary debates often involve MPs singing chants, inventing new creative death threats, popping bottles of champagne, and occasionally fighting. What a horribly boring place it would be.