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Bucharest
September 28, 2021
EDITORIAL

The Parliamentarian

Who is the Parliamentarian in Romania, as the entity itself, beyond the institution in which it operates and whose role is as clear as it can be?

Who is it, what it does and, more than this, what is the parliamentarian’s role in the political life, and especially for each man separately, for each individual who doesn’t make politics and who actually represents the purpose for which the parliamentarian position was created.

It was discussed at length and certainly not enough about parties, leaders, programs and all kinds of political issues. How are they, why, if they exist anymore, what they are going to be and, finally, if they can be achievable.

But I believe there’s something which was never discussed seriously and it isn’t discussed by any political side, or by the civil society, or by the analysts and commentators in the media, and this thing is what really means, beyond any definition, label, political or media speech, to be a parliamentarian in Romania.

Yes. The Parliament is an extremely analyzed subject, commented and brought in forefront in the political life’s agenda. But the institution of the Parliament was always identified, willingly or not, but for sure in an inadmissible manner, with the person of the parliamentarian. When I say parliamentarian, I am not referring to the parliamentary body of one party or another, but to the political entity which, for one or more terms, is part of the legislative Forum of the country, consisting, in principle, in a wheel of the gear of the main state’s power.

Beyond the official prerogatives owed by a parliamentarian, from my point of view, there are two ways of analyzing and looking in the context of the reality behind this position.

 

As I said before, there is the party parliamentarian, who has to fulfill and to complete a certain standard of political requests and obligations at the beginning of his/her term and during its exercise. Being a political creation completely dependent of the orientation, the needs and the decisions of the party where he/she comes from or which he/she is transiting.

There is also, or better to say there should be also the parliamentarian as an emanation of the people’s will and of the need for social representativeness.

This second form, the social parliamentarian, is the one who has a questionable status, being at the strange confluence of the politician with the official, the dignitary, the party person and the people’s representative. Yet, in the end, he/she is nothing else than a pawn without any political dignity or rank, both for politics and for the society. Better to say, a political official, whose sole purpose or role is to serve and to obey to the political interests for which he/she was nominated on a list.

Leaving aside the more or less stylized calling card of each person aspiring to the status of a parliamentarian, his/her significance and role are invariably and indisputably reduced to a single dimension:

What this parliamentarian does for each one of us, his/her voters who gave him the mndate to enter in Parliament? How is he/she useful to us?

To us, people, his voters. In reality. Not only in words, or TV shows, political promises, etc.

But to be able to distinguish this existing or not existing realities of the Romanian parliamentarian, we first should activate in each one of us this civic responsibility which I talked about so often in my editorials – the involvement in the political act at any level, not only by being a passive observer and commentator of the political phenomenon, as it unfortunately happened in the last 28 years in most of the cases, but by actively observing and analyzing things, thus amending any disparity of the things said and (not) done from the politics towards the civil society.

The social impact which I am talking about and which any parliamentarian, an occupant of the eligible position of a deputy or senator, actually has and produces at this level, as a social agent, MUST NOT result only in the media image, in the political speech, in the electoral gears and in partisan alliances which are not actually anything else but a sad picture of the Romania’s political instability.

The fundamental criterion by which a parliamentarian was, is and will remain a man of people, but not a man of the politicians and “smart guys”, a man of those who are supposed of voting him by democratic voting, sending him in the Legislative Forum of the country, is the representativeness.

A representativeness which us, Romanian people, are far to find in any of the mandates in the last ten years of democracy.

It’s a complex criterion which has to exceed also in Romania the numeric and territorial frame logically and minimally provided by the law.

This representativeness MUST be related IN REAL TERMS to the entire Romanian society, at all its levels, on all the criteria: professionally, culturally, traditionally, in terms of the specific of the areas, etc., related to each of us.

But from this fundamental point of view, as I said, I don’t think many of us ever felt really represented in the country’s Parliament.

Here comes exactly the thing that, before being a politician, a political entity who has political and obviously partisan interests, the parliamentarian has to play his main role – to be a social agent. He is a REPRESENTATIVE of each Romanian citizen. He IS NOT the representative of a party first, but of a group of thousands of people who voted him on the basis of belonging or not to a certain political body. And this political body is assumed that engaged itself, in its turn, to serve, respect and represent people’s interests.

It’s utopian, isn’t it? It’s a bitter irony about how things are going in Romania.

Just to give an example of laws made in a complete ignorance of those who are mandated to make them, namely the parliamentarians, depending on strictly political, party interests or related to the mental eccentricity (like eliminating the winter time for the reason of completely using the day, because people are too lazy in the winter for the reason that it’s getting dark earlier – PSD MP Constantin Mazilu), I think it’s enough to underline that in Romania, people’s representativeness in Parliament on criteria that really count doesn’t exist.

Not to mention the concrete connection, cooperation and feedback that must exist between the representative, who actually is the employee of the community, the parliamentarian, ant the community itself. The one who mandated and hired him/her. And I say “hired” because the remuneration itself and any other benefits of any kind, which are not few or ordinary, are paid by people.

Actually, the social role of the parliamentarian exclusively limits to be an electoral agent for parties. The parliamentarian is the main propaganda person for this, and the perfect land for… political “work”.

From this point, comes the second way of considering the significance of the parliamentarian and its actual role, unfortunately its only role.

This role is to be a humble and obedient servant of the party that included him/her on the electoral lists, bringing him/her in the Parliament. A more visible aspect in the case of the list voting system, which was reintroduced this year. Not to mention the activity itself of a parliamentarian.

Recently, Liviu Dragnea, the leader of PSD, the party with the alleged highest electoral magnitude and impact in this moment in Romania, made an extremely suggestive statement related to what I mentioned above, about the actual role or the Romanian parliamentary: “Unfortunately, in the last days of their term, certain colleagues who think that they will not be included on the lists, started to have other views, slightly different from the party’s views. (…) Why should we support in the future Parliament, a parliamentarian that we cannot count in our party?”

It’s like the parliamentarian’s obedience and serving the interests of the party from which he/she is part of, were always understood from a political view, and no parliamentarian should make this an act of performance. The question is: What is considered to actually be the parliamentarian’s performance related to serving the interests of the people of the Romanian state? I how many mandates, of course real mandates, can this performance be accounted?

This being said, now, before the parliamentary elections which all of us are waiting, I don’t know how interested, I believe we should redefine correctly and as practically as possible this role, the parliamentarian’s role, before making the next choice.

Because, on the lists or uninominal, knowingly or by inertia, having a political affiliation or not, there is only one important issue that should concern all of us at this time:

Who will enter the next Romanian Parliament, for whom, and especially why.

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