MORAY’S MP HAS backed a call for modernisation of the archaic ‘division’ system of voting at the UK Parliament after it was revealed six full Parliamentary days have been wasted in just six months.
Angus Robertson drew attention to new figures published by the House of Commons Library showing the time spent voting in the Parliament through almost two hundred divisions.
While votes in the Scottish Parliament are electronic and take a matter of seconds, those at Westminster require up to 650 members to funnel through packed voting lobbies, taking around 15 to 20 minutes each time.
“The Scottish Parliament has been using electronic voting since 1999,” the Moray MP and leader of the SNP at Westminster said, adding: “It’s a sign of how antiquated Westminster traditions continue to be that a voting process which should take a matter of seconds instead results in MPs literally wasting days trooping through the voting lobbies.
“When you consider that on complex legislation there can be multiple votes, it can reduce significantly reduce debating time either that or it takes away time when MPs could be dealing with casework, meeting with organisations on behalf of constituents and progressing the issues that matter to people.
“Electronic voting has been shown to work in Scotland, Wales and in parliaments around the world – but the House of Common’s reluctance to modernise its outmoded procedures is part of the reason that parliament is far from family friendly and continues to be considered alien and remote by the public.
“As anyone who has ever worked in a business – or any other organisation – knows, retaining practices simply because ‘this is the way we have always done it’ is not the route to success.
“We could get through far more business in parliament if Westminster would accept that we live in the 21st century, not the 17th.”