The Parliament of Shalampax resumed sitting yesterday after a five-month break. The first order of business when the Members of Parliament (MPs) returned from their vacations in the bar and in front of their TV sets was a vote on a private Member’s bill that a backbench Member, Leakingpen, introduced before Parliament recessed.
Leakingpen’s motion called for the government to replace all of the filters in the ventilation system in Shalampax’s only building, which houses the entire population of Shalampax. The motion noted that the filters had not been changed for nine years. Consequently, rather than cleaning the air, they now contain proliferating pernicious pathogens that are being transferred into any air that passes through them.
Leakingpen carefully investigated the price of new filters and the labor required to install them. Even after adding an amount to cover any possible contingencies, such as bribes, the cost was found to be less than $1,500.
Manexposinghimself, Shalampax’s Prime Minister argued that, while it would be nice to change the filters, it was a frivolous expense that would be too much of a burden to place on hard-working Shalampaxians in this time of restraint.
Manexposinghimself then called for an immediate vote, but not until after ordering all of his Cabinet Ministers, and any other MPs that he had any dirt on, to vote against the profligate proposal. As a result, the motion was soundly defeated, with Leakingpen casting the only vote in favor.
Parliament then moved on to vote, without debate, on a motion introduced by Manexposinghimself. This motion proposed increasing the salaries and benefits of all Members of Parliament, including the Prime Minister, by 37 percent per annum for each of the next four years. The motion called for these annual increases to be reconsidered after four years, with an eye toward raising them yet higher.
Manexposinghimself’s motion passed unanimously.
Parliament then rose for a 30-minute break. By coincidence, Manexposinghimself bumped into his doctor in the smoking room during this break. His doctor informed him that a review of Manexposinghimself’s recent chest scan showed that the Prime Minister had a serious lung problem. The doctor also stated with certainty that the poor air quality in Shalampax’s building was aggravating Manexposinghimself’s condition.
After returning to Parliament from his smoking break, Manexposinghimself stood on a point of order. He used that opportunity to introduce an innovative new emergency motion that required the government to replace all of the filters in Shalampax’s ventilation system with new, high quality HEPA filters at a cost of $27,500, including kickbacks. The motion proposed paying for the filters by expanding the government’s staff of pickpockets to increase the government’s revenue.
Manexposinghimself’s emergency motion passed easily, with only Leakingpen voting against it. Parliament then adjourned for the day.
Cornered by your humble reporter as he left Parliament, Manexposinghimself was asked why he voted against Leakingpen’s motion when he, in fact, wanted the filters changed.
The Prime Minister responded, “Leakingpen’s motion was slipshod and irresponsible. He did not specify HEPA filters. He did not adequately account for kickbacks. And he did not explain how he would pay for the filters. My motion addressed all of those issues. And, shut up.”
Another day in Parliament, the same as it always was.