Scramble those seating plans in politics

Imagine seating a right-wing MP next to a left-wing MP in the House of Commons? Fireworks or a recipe for cooperative non-partisan politics?

A simple reseating plan has, apparently, fostered closer working relations in the divisive world of American politics. The Democratic speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, Sara Gideon, became quite fed-up of political rancour and decided to redesign the seating plans in the 151-member chamber. Both Democrats and Republicans were unhappy about the plan, needless to say, in a land where everything is divided along blue and red lines (like the UK). Even pets sport party-affiliated paraphernalia in America.

Why work with the enemy when it is far more comforting to work with your own side, right? Wrong. Upending long-standing seating plans seems to be working in Sara Gideon’s favour.

She is the Democratic nominee for the US state election in Maine and is running against the present incumbent, Susan Collins, who has been the Senator since 1997. Suggestions are that Sara Gideon has a good chance of winning the nomination. Her supporters put this down (partly) to Sara Gideon’s ability to work across the divide for the good of all.

While not exactly a game of ‘musical chairs’, as I understand it because members still had a seating plan in the new arrangement, it raises the question of whether throwing politicians together could actually reduce hostilities. Jacob Rees-Mogg next to Jeremy Corbyn?  

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