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Fourth Monitoring Report on the Quality of the Debate in the Parliament

November 2014


This report covers the monitoring period 1 -30 November 2014 and it includes 10 parliamentary sessions. The main conclusions of this Fourth report are that the discussion about legislation remains weak and that MPs had less interactions compared to the previous monitoring periods (19 June – 1 August, 25 August – 30 September and October).
The decrease in the interaction is reflected through the decrease of number of replies and counter-replies.

The monitoring in November showed that external participants (non MPs) increased their share in the parliamentary discussions. This increase is caused by several public hearings that were organized at the committees and by the participation of Government representatives (Prime Minister, ministers and deputies) on plenary sessions dedicated to parliamentary questions. In addition, the Assembly held fewer plenary sessions in November compared to previous monitoring periods.

The participation of women MPs was lower than in previous periods (25 August – 30 September and October) but higher compared to the first period (19 June – 1 August). In November, a larger part of speeches and a substantially higher proportion of replies were brought by male MPs.
Opposition MPs decreased their share in discussions compared to previous periods (25 August – 30 September and October) and equaled their share from the first period (19 June – 1 August).

The level of argumentation in the speech acts with two or more arguments continued to decline slightly and, in November, it reached the lowest level since the beginning of the monitoring in June 2014. On the other side, the percent of speech acts with one argument increased and reached the highest level.
Parliamentary questions, amendments to the Law for contributions for obligatory social insurance and changes to the Agenda of the Inter-Community Relations Committee were the topics that draw most of the attention of the MPs.

Remaining topics in the agenda of the Assembly in November passed with poor and one-sided or without any discussion.
As a consequence, the public was deprived once again of a quality debate on large part of the legislations. At the same time, it was missed the opportunity to test the validity and strength of arguments through debate and to create better public policies for the common good and public interest. Generally, in November, MPs again remained in their “trenches”. Most of the individual MP discussions did not refer to other speeches and did not manage to persuade any other MPs to change their position and standpoints. With this, MPs in general also did not display readiness to amend their positions under the force of better arguments brought in the discussions by other speakers.


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