Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How To Deepen Our Democracy

First we need to empower our MPs to raise the level of debate so that our representatives deliver better outcomes. We can do this by attaching a vigorously independent Parliamentary Policy Office (PPO) to our National Assembly modeled after the Congressional Budget Office in America. The PPO would analyse policies and issue informed and increasingly respected opinions. Check this sample report to get an idea.

Second we should make sure we always have a functional opposition. Given that our parliament is already too big we can do this by splitting back our 20 three-member constituencies to 40 one-member ones just like they were in 1959 and 1963. And then allocating a maximum of 8 additional seats -- on a non-ethnic basis --  to make sure our opposition has always a minimum of 8 MPs to keep our government on its toes. This would at the same time drastically reduce the unfairness of our FPTP system without compromising its stability.

Reverting to the 1959 set-up will also yield extra advantages including greater proximity between candidate and voters and getting election results a few hours after polling stations close as there would be two-thirds less votes to count.

We don't need to pass new laws to increase the number of women in parliament. There are already three times more women there than in 2000 and this should keep on rising. We certainly do not need any perverse recommendations like double candidacy because this denies citizens the basic privilege of vot ar lipie.

And finally our main parties should have their electoral manifestos released at least 3 weeks before election day. So that voters get an opportunity to sniff them out.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Should also propose that the Primeministership should not exceed more than two consecutive mandat

akagugo said...

And what about the compulsory disclosure of gifts (in kind and in any other form) made to political parties? And what about capping the magnitude of gifts that a political party is entitled to? And what about the thorough enforcement of the Equal Opportunities Act, and the other basic laws for that matter? But how many political parties actually elect their leaders and candidates? Ah, sorry, Dodolanders are so fond of dynasties of Ramgoolam & Son, Duval & Son, Jugnauth & Son, Mohammen & Son & Grandson. And whatever comes with that: nepotism, autocracy/ plutocracy, do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do, etc...

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

Not only consecutive mandates but two mandates altogether.

Yeah, gifts value should be capped and we should include political financing too. Wrote this post in a blink to compensate poor audio quality of recording and to include some of the elements that were genuinely edited out of interview to respect airtime constraint.

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

Voters in QB have come up with a good method for assessing candidates in their riding: show them a clip of a few important problems and ask them how they would go about solving them. Nice. Voters in other ridings should do the same.

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

A PPO would be a great addition to our decision-making ability.

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

Recently I have formalised the size of the functional opposition: 6 is good enough for Mauritius. 1 for Rodrigues. Which means the latest 10-2 score there would have not been adjusted.