I just can’t understand what this electoral reform is all about. We have had the Proportional Representation system for a long, long time now. It hasn’t changed things at all. We were in charge and we are still in charge. Kolombians, that is. And if it has worked for us for so long, why change it?
It’s fun, really. First of all it gives an edge to Kolombians. Money helps. More importantly it puts non-Kolombians who are not in that other pitiful category called ‘Wannabe Kolombians’ at a distinct disadvantage. Such people, even if they have the money, can’t really compete with moneyed riff-raff. Oh yes, we would prefer the latter to the former any day. They wouldn’t know better, that’s why.
JR was thinking ahead. Far ahead. He came up with a system guaranteed to benefit Kolombians. Heck, even during Mahinda’s time, we were safe. Sure he got the glory but we made the bucks. Just think of Arjun Aloysius. People think he became rich only after Ranil appointed his papa-in-law Arjuna Mahendran as Central Bank Governor. What rubbish! He was doing the needful (shall we say) even when the Colombo 5 Kolombian Nivard Cabraal was Governor. Nivard and Papa Aloysius were classmates, someone said. Friends helping friends? Coincidence? Whatever! The point is, us Kolombians were helping ourselves even during the Rajapaksa days.
Ok, enough of that ‘aside’. Let’s talk about the much-maligned manaapa kramaya. Just think what might happen if we had a first past the post system, even with a number set aside to allow parties to swell strength on account of overall vote-getting performance. We could actually get some decent, intelligent, honest men and women in Parliament.
Who wants that, tell me! Not us Kolombians and not by a long shot! We don’t want free radicals in Parliament. We want controllable persons. And no one is more submissive than the greedy. The more thieves we get the easier it is to protect and nurture Kolombian interests.
This is why I am not surprised that our boys in the UNP are fighting tooth and nail to scuttle the 20th Amendment. Lakshman Kiriella and Kabir Hashim are doing a fine job bad mouthing the opposition and demanding immediate elections. They even got the Speaker (a Rajapaksa no less!) to say that dissolution might be a good thing. Hooray! The important thing that most political commentators have missed is not that the UNP will have an edge in an immediate election given that the SLFP is in disarray (to be expected with that ace party pooper Chandrika Kumaratunga having a say!). What’s important in an immediate election is that it will bury the 20th and put a stop to all talk of doing away with the manaapa kramaya.
I am looking forward to another manaapa-poraya. It is fun watching the candidates go at each other. The funniest are those who think that getting into Parliament will make it possible for them to make a difference, especially a difference to the status quo, i.e. the ‘By Kolombians, for Kolombians and with Kolombians’ situation. Gives me quite a tickle, I must say.
So yes, I am salivating. And I can’t get over the fact that the JVP is actually going along with the UNP. Getting the rathu sahodarayas to submit to the Dictatorship of Kolombia is quite an achievement. I must say that this boy Ranil is quite something. His uncle’s nephew, one has to agree.