Parliament on Wheels
In times gone by national Parliaments were monumental buildings erected in capitals. They were buildings that signalled power, and had very limited access for the people. Those who worked in such buildings developed a penchant for becoming completely isolated from the people they governed (becoming a so-called ‘elite’). AMEXRAP’s Parliament on Wheels programme is a futuristic vision for a Parliament that moves around the country and forces politicians to visit parts of the country they would never otherwise set foot in.
The practice of taking parliament to the people already exists in some countries. Botswana has its own ‘Parliament on Wheels’ programme, in which representatives of the Speaker’s and Information offices tour villages to explain the role of parliament in society. In South Africa there are ‘democracy roadshows’ which aim to ‘take Parliament to communities that do not have ready access to Parliament so as to educate and inform people of how laws are made and how citizens can participate in law-making processes.’ Each year, the South African Parliament’s second chamber, the National Council of the Provinces, moves to a different province for a week.
We at AMEXRAP, however, intend to actually PUT WHEELS ON THE PARLIAMENT and tour it around Hungary. This is because a Portable Parliament would help those who do not have reasonable physical access to parliament by having it COME TO THEM so they can air their views, and participate more fully in democracy and democratic governance.
Another good reason for this is the following: when politicians fail to represent and serve their people, as they inevitably do, the parliament can be used as a TRAVELLING CIRCUS, ZOO and FREAK SHOW all in one. The public will have ample opportunity to express their anger and amazement in person, and noone will have to travel all the way to Budapest.
And if democracy completely fails, and huge scale corruption means that everyone has had enough, then it will be easy for the public to PUSH PARLIAMENT INTO THE DANUBE (or send it to a neighbouring country) and start all over again.
In this way, the parliament may well be on wheels, but politicians will be forced to keep their feet firmly planted on the ground.