Direct action and its usefulness
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!