Monday, November 12, 2007

Does the layout of a parliamentary chamber make any difference?

All too often we hear the suggestion made that the House of Commons should be redesigned so as to be semi-circular, the reasoning being that this might make debate in the chamber more "constructive".

Are they thinking of something like this, as shown at the start of the Wikipedia article on Parliament:

This is the Australian House of Representatives. Now according to the theory, a more rounded chamber should lead to a calmer style of parliamentary politics shouldn't it?

So here's an excerpt from a session:

I can't imagine Alistair Darling ever having the problems at the dispatch box that Peter Costello is having here! Somehow I don't think the shape of the chamber has much effect...


Paul Burgin said...

Its a known fact that our House of Commons is more civillised. I remember once seeing a clip of the then Australian Prime Minister, Paul Keating, making a particular personal insult about his opposite no at the dispatch box that would have been ruthlessly slapped down by a Speaker of the House of Commons over here and make front-page news.

Rhod Gates said...

I like it as it is.


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