August 25, 2011 in C
Mr Daniels shifted uncomfortably in his plush, leather chair. He had not slept nearly enough the night before and his neck was giving him a sharp pain whenever he inclined it to the left. If he needed to look to his left, he instead shifted his whole body in his chair. It was awkward and made him look stiff and ineffective. But he no longer cared. Across the floor, Mr Joyce, a puffy and sweaty individual, continued his diatribe.
“And furthermore, though members across the aisle will stubbornly deny it, our current system, a dangerous and archaic one, forced upon the Australian people, will, as it stands, bankrupt every working family in this country. And the Australian people will not stand for this, Mr Speaker!! And furthermore…”
Mr Daniels had taken his seat in this chamber every year for 18 years now. When he had first arrived, he was convinced he was entering a world of high morality and intelligent discourse.
It was dirty now. A stale, corrupt place filled with stale, corrupt people. There had once been a time that he had hung on every word spoken, had cared passionately about the causes of his party, had angrily shouted down the dishonest rhetoric of the opposition. But years had passed since he could devote any attention to the words spouting from the members on either side.
Mr Daniels closed his eyes and sank into his chair. The speaker of the house was finally calling for a vote. After three agonising hours of meaningless rhetoric and casual lies, things were mercifully drawing to an end.
“All in favour say ‘Aye’.”
Mr Daniels, nearly sleeping, called out his assent. “AYE!”
It did not matter, the numbers were set. The bill would not pass. A stalemate would lead them to further debate. Consensus would never be reached by this sad group of ageing partisans, fighting only for themselves, a game of which he himself had always been a player.
“All opposed, say ‘Nay’.”
He heard the spirited call go up all around him and felt his heart drop.
He lifted his head, feeling the eyes of his fellow members, staring, sending sharp daggers straight at him.
“The bill has passed. 49 votes in favour, 47 against.”
The leader of the opposition gleefully took to the floor. Laughter sprang up around him.
“A special thank you to the Right Honourable Mr Daniels, for putting aside partisanship and voting for consensus. We are all most grateful that there are still members opposite with the integrity to stand up for what they believe in”.
Mr Daniels sank further into his chair.
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