How we vote in the House

December 1, 2006 12:00 AM

In our Parliament there are three ways to vote in the plenary session: unanimous consent, standing vote, and roll call.

There are only four or five roll calls, including a vote on the Budget, in our Parliament in a year. Most of the votes are done by the standing vote, which the Speaker asks those who support the motion to rise. The not-so-well-known truth is that it does not matter if you rise or remain seated at a standing vote because nobody is counting. Each party reports to the Speaker before each plenary session and makes a pledge how the party members en bloc vote on each motion. That pledge becomes the official voting record in the book. There is no individual voting record except for the few roll calls.

A member of Peoples Congress of China once told me that Japan should run the Parliament more democratic way.

There was a standing vote on the Amendment to the Education Basic Law. I supported the Amendment, so I stood up. As soon as the Speaker said -the Ayes have it- I sat down. Well, it was a bit too soon. Some thought that I did not stand up. All the newspapers and the TV stations called me and asked why I did not support it as the Amendment was the number one priority of the ABE Government.

We should introduce an electronic voting system and keep voting records for each Member in the House.