|The morality of crossing over|
|William Leong Jee Keen | Sep 17, 08 8:12pm|
The Bar Council, Harris Ibrahim and Sean Ang are reported in theNew Straits Times on September 10 to have said that members of parliament crossing the floor to join another party is legal but immoral.
It is therefore necessary to draw the attention of the public to several fundamental principles with regard to the issue on the morality of MPs crossing the floor.
Crossing the floor to sit as a member of parliament in another political party is nothing new in parliamentary democracies. It has been described as the height of treachery. It has also been praised as the stuff which parliamentarian heroes are made of.
The great Sir Winston Churchill is perhaps the most famous parliamentarian to cross the floor and switch allegiance on more than one occasion.
There is no dispute that crossing the floor for money or personal gain is both immoral and a betrayal of the voters’ trust. However, when the MP crosses not for personal gain but in the interest and welfare of his constituents then he should be commended.
The argument that crossing is immoral is that the MP was elected on his erstwhile political party’s ticket and that is amounts to a fraud on his voters. This argument is founded on two assumptions. The first is that the MP’s seat belongs to the political party. The second is that the MP was voted in based on his party’s platform and policies.
The assumptions are wrong and the argument has failed to take into consideration several objectives and purposes of certain fundamental principles of a parliamentary constitutional system.
Thursday, 18 September 2008
to cross over or not to cross over
from the mp for selayang on the morality of corssing over.