Colombia Can’t Get Any Politicians To Show Up And Vote

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter

The Colombian Congress is trying to pass a law to make lawmakers attend votes, but no one showed up to vote on it.

If the bill is passed, it would slash the salaries of members of Congress that don’t make it to votes. Not enough senators were around for a quorum to be declared Tuesday, so the bill wasn’t even debated.

Sen. Alfredo Rangel of the conservative opposition Democratic Center party proposed the law, because often times, a lack of lawmakers delays debates on various potential laws. The senator defended his bill, explaining, “This bill is not against members of Congress, it’s for the the good of Congress, against absenteeism and in favor of its legitimacy and efficiency,” according to BBC News.

The current bill would effectively invalidate the authority of members of Congress that miss six or more sessions without an official excuse. A doctor’s note would suffice to explain an absence and have it be deemed legitimate, according to the proposed law.

More often than not, members of the Colombian Congress show up at the beginning of the institution’s working day to sign their name as having been there, and then engage in non-congressional business the rest of the day, according to Colombia Reports. The Colombian Senate is scheduled to debate the law again Thursday.

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