Right or wrong, it is important to have an opinion. That’s one of the reasons why I admire people like Castro, Gaddafi and Putin – or even Obama to some extent. But not the lot that sound like Blairs and Browns.
One’s opinions and beliefs may not necessarily agree with someone else’s, but having an opinion and sticking to one’s beliefs are of paramount importance. This sets apart a leader, and a follower.
I was thinking. Yes, sometimes I do that. Why does the entire Sri Lankan populace seem to harp the same tune in unison – most often than not? Today, it would be the arrest of Fonseka, for example.
The biggest mantra in the last few elections has been “abolishing the Executive Presidency” and everyone seems to get so gung-ho about it. But, hang on a second, is that the biggest problem in our parliamentary system today?
In my humble opinion, the biggest problem we have with our “elected representatives of the people” is the A-C-C-O-U-N-T-A-B-I-L-I-T-Y.
Or, the lack of it, rather.
We appoint the MP’s and give them responsibilities. But no one seems to monitor or evaluate their performance. True, the whole country – even the private sector – is not used to setting annual objectives and conducting evaluations on progress or performance, but then why is that everyone ganging-up on the President to criticise everything he does – be it right or wrong for the country? Who is holding the opposition responsible for their failure to keep the government in it’s rightful place? Why does media give us their opinion, not the facts (we know which is on whose side, don’t we?) so that you and I can make-up our own minds and form our own opinion?
Leave that aside.
Who is holding the hundreds of MP’s responsible or accountable for what they do, or don’t?
Accountability is what we need. That is what would clean-up the country, not a retired military man with a big mouth.
One solution would be to dissolve the Provincial Councils and revert to the electorate system where there is one solitary MP for each constituency.
An MP for every electorate, who will be responsible and accountable for the development of his area. If he doesn’t deliver his promises, voters have the ability and the power to throw him out, like we used to do in the 70’s.
The good old way would bring back a lean and mean Parliament, backed by a Civil Service that runs the administration of the country. The grama seveka’s, DRO’s, AGA’s, GA’s... they were part of an effective mechanism, which was much better than the current – politically appointed – provincial council system.
That would also bring back one responsible minister for education, not a handful. It would take the many different ministries responsible for healthcare under one roof, to make up one ministry.
And it would pave the way to downsize or minimize the Cabinet and let the MP’s do the work, instead of the talk.
I’d say, go back to the system of one constituency for every MP. Either dissolve, negate or relegate the Provincial Councils. The powers conferred upon the Executive President doesn’t mean much if the power of the parliament is back in the hands of the people.
What say you?
*The Revolution Will Not Be Televised is a poem and song by Gil Scott-Heron.