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Let’s throw out the complex ‘Mixed Voting’ system for good

2017-12-07 00:00:05
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It’s learned that the proposed, imported ‘Mixed Voting System’, is designed to elect more than 225 parliamentarians through (First Past the Post) FPP and (Proportional Representation) PR on an adhoc 50:50 basis. The declared objective of FPP is to assign a MP from the area to be responsible for each electorate. In our view, the introduction of this complex system merely to assign central Govt. MPs to peripheral Electorates through a high cost General election exercise is preposterous, superfluous and meaningless, as it leads to, MPs usurping the main role of some 455 Provincial Councilors and of 4486 local Govt, members at grassroots level who are already unproductive. 


 

  • Citizen concerns will be addressed at steering committee deliberations
  • Proposed, imported ‘mixed voting system’, is designed to elect more than 225 parliamentarians through FPP and PR systems 
  • A sum allocating a massive Rs. 3.5 billion is to be set aside for the Local Govt.  elections to train and educate voters and officials under the alien  ‘Mixed Voting’ system 
  • Each electorate will have 44 unproductive politicians in the future!
  • The number of local govt. members will increase by another 3,500

 

The latter figures work out to an average of 26 politicians for each electorate! Now, it’s shuddering to hear that the number of local Govt. members will increase by another 3,500to inter-alia accommodate female members. As a result, each electorate will have 44 unproductive politicians in the future!People never asked for these frightful increases in the numbers of our unproductive politicians breeding bribery and corruption at the expense of the taxpayer. Incidentally, the latest bombshell is tallocating a massive sum of Rs. 3.5 billion for the Local Govt.

elections to train and educate voters and officials under the alien ‘Mixed Voting’ system ignoring low cost and simple proposals by the sovereign voters. Be that as it may, a practical necessity for MPs to maintain an ‘Umbilical cord’ connection with the voters at grassroots level shouldn’t arise at a time the ‘Preference Voting’ system stands to be abolished.  

 

Tax payers’ money 

Surely, it isn’t good governance to duplicate functions on the one hand and waste tax payer’s money on the other, on expansion of the infrastructure to accommodate the increasing numbers of our unproductive political fraternity. The writer has submitted a comprehensive package of proposals on Electoral reforms several times during the recent past through the press with copies to Public Committee on constitutional reforms, Constitutional Assembly, Election Commission, President’s office, PM’s office a few concerned Party offices, Civil Organizations and individuals to of no avail. In essence, the proposals address the following important national imperatives triggering from our emerging political culture, which aren’t adequately dealt with under the imported ‘Mixed Voting’ system which is practised only in 30 countries out of 213!  

 

1) Resolving ethnic conflict by mandatory recognition of equality of all citizens of Sri Lanka as ‘Sri Lankans’ bereft of race, religion or caste differences by giving an equal value to all votes at any General or Provincial Council elections buttressed with the introduction of an all-party Cabinet (35 to 40 Portfolios) based on proportionate national vote obtained by each party big or small.  
 

2) The introduction of ‘Grama Rajya’ concept acceptable to all communities by depoliticizing Local Govt. elections to allow independent persons to be elected as ward members by the local people supported by steps to increase efficiency of much maligned Public Service, Police and the judiciary. With depolitizisation, the present fiasco of delaying LG elections would never have occurred!  
 

3) Improving the effectiveness of Provincial Councils which now remain as white-elephants by streamlining the existing Decentralized Political administration with specific allocation of functions to avoid duplication and wastage of resources.  
 

4) Decentralized budgets for provinces to be effectively utilised by discontinuing separate allocations for MPs at the centre.  
 

5) Hoodwinking the voter by false promises to be stopped by transforming Party ‘Election Manifestos’ to legally enforceable documents.  
 

6) Wasteful and unproductive electoral system to be replaced by simple, cost and time saving electoral reforms such as, substituting Preference Voting system with ‘District merit lists of Parties’ carrying names of political professionals selected under robust national criteria leading to avoidance of Bi-elections, ‘Hung-Parliament’ and ‘Cross-overs’ et al.  
 

7) Reducing exorbitant, unproductive expenditure incurred by the political fraternity by rationalising the numbers, salaries, allowances and the role responsibilities of all politicians including the Cabinet.  
 

8) Cutting down wasteful expenditure by holding Elections on specified dates.  
 

9) Simplifying the work-load of the Elections Dept. paving the way for Election results to be announced before mid-night.  
 

10) Removing the draconian powers remaining, if any, of Executive Presidency while maintaining the post to deal with Provincial Governors and other executive functions to ensure enhanced productivity of the country as a whole.  
 

11) Making Executive President a ‘Statesman’ cum ‘Caretaker’ by prohibiting participation in Party politics during his tenure of office.  
 

Readers will appreciate that the above proposals constitute a ‘Model’ of our own anvil with Social equality, Justice, simplicity and passion for high productivity forming its ‘Metal-Plates’. Therefore, looking for examples from other countries is superfluous.  

At last, we are happy to learn that citizens’ concerns will be addressed at steering committee deliberations after the current session of the constituent assembly. We therefore, appeal to all sensible citizens, academics, politicians and civil activists to carefully study the above proposals with an open mind and persuade the authorities to dispense with the redundant and complex ‘Mixed –voting’ system that will breed more unproductive politicians draining the resources of our country already burdened with a colossal debt portfolio and low productivity.  

 

Complex system

It is learned that the proposed, imported ‘mixed voting system’, is designed to elect more than 225 parliamentarians through FPP and PR on an adhoc 50:50 basis. The declared objective of FPP is to assign an MP from the area to be responsible for each electorate. In our view, the introduction of this complex system merely to assign central Govt.

MPs to peripheral Electorates through a high cost General election exercise is preposterous, superfluous and meaningless, as it leads to, MPs usurping the main role of some 455 Provincial Councilors and of 4486 local Govt, members at grass root level who are already unproductive. The latter figures work out to an average of 26 politicians for each electorate! Now, it is shuddering to hear that the number of local Govt. members will increase by another 3,500 to inter-alia accommodate female members. As a result, each electorate will have 44 unproductive politicians in the future! People never asked for these frightful increases in the numbers of our unproductive politicians breeding bribery and corruption at the expense of the Tax-payer.

Incidentally, the latest bombshell is allocating a massive sum of Rs. 3.5 billion for the Local Govt. elections to train and educate voters and officials under the alien ‘Mixed Voting’ system ignoring low cost and simple proposals by the sovereign voters. Be that as it may, a practical necessity for MPs to maintain an ‘umbilical cord’ connection with the grass root level voters should not arise at a time the ‘Preference Voting’ system stands to be abolished.  

 


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