OPPOSITION MP Anita Haynes – who is serving as Speaker of the House at the 11th Commonwealth Youth Parliament – says she is enthused by what she's heard and seen so far from the participants.
The youth parliament kicked off with debate on a bill titled the Remote Work Bill 2022, which seeks to allow work-from-home policies and a four-day work week.
The 56 participants, aged 18-29, are separated into two parties – the New Political Movement (government) and the National Labour Party (opposition) – and form the fictional government of "Kairi and Chaconia."
The two sides weighed the pros and the cons of the bill for about 30 minutes until the debate was adjourned to Tuesday at 10am.
Speaking with Newsday, Haynes said it's a learning experience not only for the young participants but also for established politicians.
"We are accustomed posing questions to the Speaker, not having to answer those questions, so it was an interesting experience."
She said the session was an "amazing start" to a debate that will be "energetic and informative."
"All of them have prepared thoroughly and they are prepared to get into the spirit of debating.
"I was very enthused that they chose to file urgent questions."
She said the participants have shown a lot of creative thinking and she is looking forward to an exciting time when the debate continues on Tuesday.
"They are really getting into the spirit of our parliamentary procedure."