Northern Cape Provincial Legislature
Independent Democrats: Ismail Obaray
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The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association is an important network of parliamentarians in the Commonwealth. As a platform, it has proven to be an important tool for the exchange of not only ideas, but also cultural experiences between Members of Parliaments and Legislatures from all over the world.
Speaker, I would challenge ANY MPL here to say they did not learn anything from their interaction with other Members in the CPA.
It is just simply impossible to say that.
We have interacted with people who on many occasions opened my mind to not only the challenges faced by them in their respective countries, but also to the limitless number of ideas and interventions available to us to solve these problems.
The conferences and study tours we undertook under the CPA brought into sharp focus the concept of international best-practice.
The lessons learned from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association have forced us to stop and ask ourselves as MPL’s in this House, are we doing enough to add value to society? Is this really what we all entered politics to do?
I say, surely not. The people of the Northern Cape elected us for a reason. For many people, we are their hope of articulating what a better life means for them.
With this in mind, I believe the time has come for the Northern Cape Legislature and MPL’s to do things differently.
If we are to really improve the way our Legislature operates compered to our Commonwealth partners, we need a radical mind-shift.
We need to become the agents of change and progress that our people expect us to be. We need to become an oversight body which plays a more pro-active, and NOT a reactive role.
Indeed we need to become an Activist Legislature.
In short, an Activist Legislature is an engaged, energetic, and proactive institution which has built strong relationships with Civil Society formations from all walks of society.
As an Activist Legislature we need to encourage and support citizens to continue to exercise their democratic rights and civic duties after the Election Day.
We must encourage people to remain concerned and fully engaged in the political decision-making process and in shaping the present and the future of their country.
In conclusion Speaker, we as the Independent Democrats have already embraced this shift in approach and have already drastically changed the manner by which we operate.
By adopting greater social media platforms, increasing our Constituency visits, and working with NGO’s, we’re working towards building the new majority in the province, and we encourage all of you here in the Provincial Legislature to do the same.
I thank you.