Taking the lead from the federal legislative bodies, the Punjab Assembly decided to register its take on the Panama case verdict by devolving into a day full of insults and sloganeering. With the Parliament setting a poor example, it was unreasonable to expect the regional bodies to be pictures of decorum, but the Punjab Assembly found a way to make it worse – replacing political point scoring with personalised insults and unfounded and indecent slander.

Both sides are to blame for this one. The opposition seems to think the term ‘political pressure’ only entails shouting and chanting slogans in the assembly. The treasury benches are no better, faced with such an insurrection the government members opt to shout even louder and make their insults more personal. Instead of leaving this mob like behaviour at the rallies and doing their jobs as lawmakers, the members of our esteemed legislature seem to only operate in shouting matches. These verbal brawls may soothe the anger of these men and women, but the business of the government is always forgotten, and by the end of the day, enough enmity is sown that future cross-bench cooperation is a forgone prospect.

Trying to make our chosen representatives use logic and argumentation to make political points is a long and arduous procedure, but they must be taught basic decorum at all costs immediately. At no point can representatives launch ad hominem attacks at other members, imply sexual connotations in their remarks or call others slanderous names. The Punjab Assembly has done all three in a single day. The national and provincial legislatures are supposed to be stocked with our leaders, the best of society and the public’s role models. It they act like uncouth agitators causing pandemonium while in government, it is difficult to afford the institution of the legislature the esteem it demands.