French Politicians Caught Gambling Online During Debate

French Politicians Caught Gambling Online During DebateLast year in Britain, Parliament decided to permit the use of hand-held devices in its Chamber, such as ipads and electronic tablets. The idea was that MP’s would be encouraged to spend more time in the Chamber attending debates, if they were allowed to multi-task using hand held electronic devices. However, a stipulation was that they were used silently and in a way that preserved “decorum.”
French politicians, too, enjoy access to parliamentary wireless internet, but they have fallen foul of decorum stipulations in their own country, after being caught playing online poker and other games during a nighttime debate. In addition, they were snapped by photographers from the press balcony area, surfing the net on a range of unrelated subjects, including reading adult cartoons, shopping and ordering fine wines.
Not surprisingly, there has subsequently been a strong demand for the Assembly’s speaker Claude Bartolone to scrambles wireless signals in order to stop bored politicians flouting their duties. As president of France’s constitutional council Mr Debré, commented to the Daily Telegraph yesterday:
“One doesn’t elect representatives of the people for them to turn up and play cards. In that case, I’d frankly rather they didn’t show up at all. It’s execrable for democracy. When debating a bill, an MP must be alone with his conscience and his ideas.”
Mr Debré added that he was all in favour of mobiles and computers devices being used anywhere else in parliament, but that it was reasonable to scramble signals exclusively in the debating chamber. He also added that they had the technology to carry out such a response, saying: “If we can put a man on the moon, we have the expertise to do this.”
Nevertheless, despite the uproar caused by the wayward French MP’s, the Assembly’s Socialist speaker Claude Bartolone has so far failed to use the scrambling device to clamp down on their online antics.

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