The smiling faces of pregnant federal MPs Marielle Smith, Alicia Payne and Anika Wells whereas they Facetimed colleague Kate Thwaites – who can also be pregnant – over the last sitting week in Canberra was heartwarming. Their presence, on-line connection and camaraderie sends a powerful message about how our federal parliament is altering.
The 4 MPs had been a part of a trial sitting week in response to COVID-19, which enabled members to contribute to debates, questions and committees in particular person and nearly, whether or not in Canberra or not. This mannequin additionally presents a possibility for parliament to be extra versatile, increase the usual of Query Time and assist the surroundings.
Expertise has lengthy added worth to our democracy and parliamentary interactions. Proper now, our religion in parliamentary illustration wants a lift greater than ever and this new mannequin may do exactly that.
It holds the promise of a thriving trendy parliament and is an enormous enchancment on parliament’s preliminary response to the pandemic, which was a drastically curtailed variety of sitting days, with a restricted variety of MPs within the chamber. This had detrimental implications for our democracy.