Clocks play a crucial role in Canberra’s Parliament House. There are clocks – more than 2,700 – everywhere, including public areas such as the foyer. The bells installed in the clocks ring for four minutes when a division takes place. This signals that a vote on a bill or contentious issue that can’t be decided on a yea or nay is imminent. MPs stampede. Only four minutes to get to the chamber. Every body counts and is counted; woe-be-tide those who miss the call and find themselves locked out.
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