And he wasn't even there...

By: Rod Baker | 30 Apr 2013 07:48
NEWSWATCH: Glitches in the voting on the POIB included a vote being recorded for a former MP who hasn't actually been in Parliament for a while, and a few who also weren't even there for the vote, reports Times Live.
For more:
  • Times Live: Technical glitches hit secrecy bill voting... The ANC's knee-jerk reaction to a DA MP's call for the voting on the contentious POIB to be redone, was - as expected - outright rejection.

    Now, however, it seems that "Parliament is scrambling to uncover how technical glitches occurred during the National Assembly's vote on the Info Bill," writes Denise Williams in Times Live.

    It is ridiculous and irresponsible to reject a call when it seems there is clear evidence that there were - or are - faults in the system.

    Those in power owe it to us all to ensure that the voting system used in Parliament works 100% every time. Some votes are on issues that, in the scheme of things, probably matter little to us in our day-to-day lives. Others, however, are extremely important - not only to us as individuals, but also to our democracy.

    A great example is right now, when the vote is on a bill that provides for draconian punishments (the bill actually provides for longer sentences than some murderers have received for brutal killings) for those reporters, editors and even members of the public who may be deemed to have crossed the line in exposing corruption etc. We have to all be 100% certain that the voting mechanism is working perfectly.

    So recording the vote of a former MP who hasn't been in parliament for some time, and not recording the vote of an MP who voted against the bill makes a nonsense of the procedure. Even worse, five MPs who weren't even in the place at the time were recorded as voting against the bill.

    Now it would be great if they actually do vote against the bill, but come on - at least they should actually be in the House... to press the little button.


    About Rod Baker

    Rod Baker is Content Director at A journalist since before computers, he worked on a wide range of magazines and, in his youth, rose through the ranks from being a lowly and abused sub-editor, to a high and still abused editor and publisher. He has been editor and publisher of a number of magazines, as well as a newspaper. He has edited many books, and written a number too. Email him at .