After clamouring to fight elections and gain seats ever year, when elected legislators end up members of the National Assembly, they act like they never wanted to be MNAs in the first place. This oxymoronic behaviour has gotten to the point where despite having a two-thirds majority, PML-N has failed to maintain quorum in the National Assembly 26 times in the last four years.

Besides making laws the parliament acts as a source of legitimacy for the executive. The Cabinet cannot have their proposals passed as laws, nor can they implement laws they want to get passed is they are absent. This means that the ruling party is here to only to rule, not to build or improve matters and are ensuring the stagnation of the democratic process and a betrayal of the masses.

This non-serious attitude of the members of parliament has led to a rather embarrassing situation for the ruling party, where 36% of National Assembly proceedings had to be suspended during the current term. The 33rd session had to be adjourned thrice, while the 7th, 8th, 9th, 26th, and 28th sessions had to be adjourned twice. It comes as no surprise that ineffective and controversial bills such as the Right to Information Bill and Cybercrime Bill are passed in the Assembly when the majority of the members are flippant in their outlook.

No wonder the opposition parties, especially the PTI, take to the streets so often. If ruling party stalwarts aren’t even attending sessions, what is the point of opposing them? Other parties boycotting democratic process is partially the fault of the majority party. The attendance of PML-N members was found to be much greater whenever Prime Minister Nawaz attended the house, and the benches were vacated as soon as the premier left. Rather than recognising the authority of the parliament and adhering to its practices, members are more fearful of the powers of the Prime Minister. Rather than doing their job, they are there to show their face to the party leader.

The way PML-N has treated the proceedings of the National Assembly during its term takes away any license of criticism that they may have, and instead, puts to question their own sincerity towards democracy.