Direct ac­tion and its use­ful­ness

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Se­condly, the fail­ure of the op­po­si­tion to make an im­pact in par­lia­ment is no sin. Their easy-to-climb stage of direct ac­tion and sup­port of hos­tile con­stituen­cies will al­ways be less re­ward­ing.

All that goes on in Le­sotho of the 9th Par­lia­ment are largely un­so­licited in­puts which only en­able the gov­ern­ment to re­assess its poli­cies.

That could be democ­racy at work, though dif­fer­ently un­der­stood. The cur­rent and fu­ture op­po­si­tion are en­cour­aged to change to the right gear if their wish is to be ef­fec­tive and rel­e­vant in a democ­racy.

A wish that they should change to be His Majesty`s loyal op­po­si­tion shall be re­peated over and over. They are en­cour­aged to one day, dur­ing this sec­ond year of this par­lia­ment, sur­prise the na­tion by fil­ing a mo­tion urg­ing par­lia­ment and the ex­ec­u­tive to adopt the con­cept of Con­sul­ta­tive Meet­ings (par­lia- men­tary sense). This could be their best fo­rum to frankly ex­press op­po­si­tion views and en­able the gov­ern­ment to sell its pol­icy views to the oth­er­wise hos­tile op­po­si­tion in a less busi­nesslike and less an­tag­o­nis­tic House sit­u­a­tions where the op­po­si­tion dis­mally fails to have its way. The op­po­si­tion de­serves to be heard; but that de­pends on its de­port­ment.

The re­cent in­ci­dent where the op­po­si­tion dis­rupted a pre­sen­ta­tion by a res­i­dent UN Agency rep­re­sen­ta­tive in the House is a typ­i­cal ex­am­ple of the kind of op­po­si­tion Le­sotho cur­rently has. Stand­ing Or­ders did not ap­ply: there was no point to stand on a point of or­der.

Could there be any Stand­ing Or­der cited as vi­o­lated if lead­ers in ex­ile were not in at­ten­dance for such pre­sen­ta­tions? One gets per­suaded to re­call the kind of gov­ern­ment which com­prised of this very op­po­si­tion dur- ing the 8th Par­lia­ment. It was a gov­ern­ment of marks­men who ably shot them­selves out of power.

This un­for­tu­nate act was an­other in­ci­dent of their cus­tom­ary mis­fir­ing. Why does the op­po­si­tion not treat this as a mat­ter of pub­lic im­por­tance un­der Stand­ing Or­der 29? This did not even fall within in­ter­rup­tion as it ap­plies dur­ing for­mal sit­tings of the House. Will they not dis­rupt the im­pend­ing CPA Post 2015 Elec­tion Sem­i­nar? One may so ask.

There is a lot to be learnt from the 8th Par­lia­ment. Was there any op­po­si­tion en­gi­neered demon­stra­tion or de­liv­ery of pe­ti­tions in the two years of that par­lia­ment? How many direct ac­tions have been un­der­taken in the one year of this par­lia­ment?

The 8th Par­lia­ment op­po­si­tion knew too well that a sit­ting gov­ern­ment de­serves to

gov­ern the way it found fit. Its ap­proach was only to size up the gov­ern­ment and plot how to tackle it. This is why it had a Shadow Cabi­net. It fought all its po­lit­i­cal bat­tles in the House and at ral­lies where ques­tion­able gov­ern­ment poli­cies were laid bare be­fore the elec­torate.

Re­searchers are urged to find out whether or not there is any par­lia­ment where the op­po­si­tion ever de­feated a gov­ern­ing ma­jor­ity in a divi­sion dur­ing House de­bates like it hap­pened in Le­sotho. One won­ders how the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment would re­spond if its op­po­si­tion opted to use tac­tics of direct ac­tion against it? Truth is that this rarely works, ex­cept to just in­tim­i­date the un­cer­tain or just probe how the tar­geted would re­spond.

The Le­sotho op­po­si­tion is hon­estly and frankly en­cour­aged, and in the pub­lic in­ter­est, to en­gage in self-as­sess­ment. Ba­sotho wand op­po­si­tions in the Na­tional Assem­bly to re­main rel­e­vant and vig­i­lant. This par­tic­u­lar one up to now, Ache!

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