THE government's attempt to pass the election law amendment which abolished the BA condition for candidates ended abruptly with the PML(N) walking out in protest. The passage of the bill had been approved by the Cabinet because court decisions had made the condition nonexistent, and there was now simply the question of amending the laws accordingly. The PML(N) did not walk out because it opposed the bill, but because of the manner of its presentation, and the absence of any consultation with it. The PML(N) was protesting one of the fuzzy areas in the life of a coalition, but it ended up highlighting something of which it too has been guilty of while it was in government: the tendency of the executive to regard the legislature as a mere rubberstamp. It is bad enough for a single-party government to take that view, but for a government which depends for its survival on the support of other parties, the most important not being even in the Cabinet, it is a risky strategy, which should not be risked. The executive should keep in mind that Parliament is the forum where all parties with representation there will express their thoughts about whatever legislative measures that the government will present. If the parties, especially those without representation in Cabinet, do not use Parliament to express their views, they will be left no other option except undemocratic means of expression. Therefore, the ruling party does not take a serious view of such protests out of a fanatical loyalty to the democratic ideal, but because it is its own best interest. However, the government could have pre-empted this PML(N) move by allowing it to debate the amendment act. As it is, the PML(N) has brought the bill back into debate by its walkout. Apart from this bill, the government should offer the rest of its legislative agenda for examination as to which bills the (PML)N, or indeed any other party, wants to debate. The government should keep in mind that nothing transpiring on the floor is final, so the parties should be left to speak in Parliament.