The Juggle: How Politicians Prioritise (w/ Rt. Hon. Nelly Mutti, Speaker of the National Assembly of Zambia)

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In The Juggle: How Politicians Prioritise, a special World Parliament Day mini-series of Parliamentary Conversations in the Commonwealth, we peel back the layers of what Parliaments do and consider a simple concept that lies at the heart of parliamentary democracy – representation.
As an elected representative, the job of a politician is to collect the views of the people they represent, and use them to dictate their actions and decisions in Parliament. It sounds simple in theory, but the reality is that the views of the wider public are not often defined, ordered or presented to politicians in a simple way.
Their challenge is to constantly juggle the competing interests of different groups of people, all of whom want to talk to them, talk at them or even shout at them, and have a right to do so in a representative democracy. Successfully fulfilling a responsibility to represent others requires a constant balancing act.
So, in this mini-series, we ravel around the Commonwealth to ask Members of Parliament about their processes for listening to and filtering the daily demands on their attention, choosing what’s important or urgent, deciding how their time is best spent and what that means for how they operate on a day-to-day basis.
In this episode, we speak to Rt. Hon. Nelly Mutti, Speaker of the National Assembly of Zambia, about how the role of Speaker brings different pressures and priorities compared to other politicians, the need to think about fairness and gender equality when presiding over parliamentary business, and the key improvements she hopes to make to the Zambian National Assembly in her time in office.
Music: Vine Crawler by Blue Dot Sessions (
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