The press has headlined the captioned proposal by the PM to be imposed by constitution. It is a welcome proposal and, in our view, it can be effectively implemented only by re-introducing the District Nomination list based on merit of each candidate in place of the ignominious ‘preference voting’ system .
Under the proposed system, each party that is responsible for deciding on the ‘merit-list’ will have to undertake the election campaign and allocate the campaign funds for each district it is contesting, making it easily monitor by the Elections Commissioner. The candidates will not be required to fund the campaign as they shall be selected through a robust and well-structured Party Interview system paving the way for honest and professional candidates to enter Parliament.
If our major political parties with long histories and maturity are genuinely interested in the country’s development and the well-being of the people, they should now amass courage to nominate honest and professional candidates in merit order sans any element of bias or favouritism. In such a scenario, all parliamentarians irrespective of party colours shall place the country first when they vote and the necessity should not arise to offer ministerial carrots to buy votes.
The Opposition shall not oppose for the sake of opposing but instead will contribute to fine tune proposals beneficial to the country and its people. Presently, this is happening to some extent but outside a ‘Yahapalanaya’ framework. As a spin-off effect of the new system, the bureaucracy of the country too will find their equals in the political hierarchy producing a synergistic effect benefiting the country.
With this much awaited change of attitude by the politicians, the voters will not be required to cast a preference vote and the entire election process will become simple and cost–effective. Isn’t this a crucial aspect of ‘Yahapalanaya’?
The writer has already made written and verbal submissions in regard to the various other advantages arising from the abolition of the ‘Preference Voting’ system to the Public Constitutional Reforms Committee and the press.
Bernard Fernando Moratuwa