A clenched fist is sometimes used for thumping the table to accompany verbal approval in many parliaments.
But sometimes elected politicians use their fists shockingly - in violent ways - to disrupt lawmaking and settle differences.
When the code of conduct is flung out of legislature, boisterous proceedings can descend into chaos - fist fights, hair-pulling, furniture and glass thrown, papers torn, microphones yanked off - you name it.
Like the mass fights that Taiwan lawmakers are notorious for. Debate the law like a gentleman? Forget it.
When frustrated law makers in some countries feel the voracity of their argument is lost in a debate driven by extremes, they prefer to use their fists. Or when they use the assembly to accuse rivals of wrong-doings, the meeting becomes a circus.
The latest incident happened in Cape Town on Thursday during South African Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation address in parliament. Fist fights erupted after radical lawmakers accused him of corruption and they had to be thrown out by a large force of security officers.
Below are photos of anarchy and scuffles at parliamentary proceedings in some countries.