Another parliamentary expression used in the legislative context is ‘Filibustering’.
What does ‘Filibustering’ mean in the parliamentary/legislative context? The Concise Oxford English Dictionary defines
‘Filibuster’ as “prolonged speaking or other action which obstructs progress in a Legislative
Assembly while not technically contravening the required procedures.”
In its historical context, the term has been defined as “a person engaging in unauthorised warfare against a foreign state.”
‘Filibustering’ is to deliberately waste time during a debate by making overlong speeches or raising unnecessary procedural points.
In this way a Bill or a motion may be ‘talked out’: ie stopped from making progress within the time allowed.
A ‘filibuster’ is a parliamentary procedure where debate over a proposed piece of legislation is extended,
allowing one or more Members to delay or entirely prevent a vote on the proposal.
It is sometimes referred to as ‘talking out a Bill’ or ‘talking a Bill to death’
and characterized as a form of obstruction in a Legislature or other decisionmaking body.
Ancient Rome One of the first known practitioners of the ‘filibuster’ was the Roman Senator, Cato the Younger.
In the third of a three-part In debates over Legislation, he especially opposed, Cato would often obstruct the measure by speaking continuously until nightfall.
As the Roman Senate had a rule requiring all business to conclude by dusk, Cato’s purposefully long-winded speeches were an effective device to forestall a vote.
Cato attempted to use the filibuster at least twice to frustrate the political objectives of Julius Caesar.
In the third of a three-part Etymology The term ‘filibuster’ ultimately derives from the Dutch ‘vrijbuiter’ (‘freebooter’, a pillaging and plundering adventurer).
The Oxford English Dictionary finds its only known use in early modern English in a 1587 book describing ‘flibutors’ who robbed supply convoys.
In the late eighteenth century, the term was re-borrowed into English from its French form ‘flibustier’, a form that was used until the midnineteenth century.
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