Wednesday, October 5, 2022

PROPOSAL for a NEW POLITICAL SYSTEM for SRI LANKA

Sri Lanka is facing a decisive period in its democratic history. It requires all to relook at how government & governance is structured & look for ways we can adopt a system beneficial to us.

PRESIDENT will be the Head of State & head of Parliament. There will be no Prime Minister.  Instead of MPs getting elected & given portfolios, the proposed new system will have Subject Ministries to which candidates can come forward to contest & be elected based on their knowledge & expertise. There is no party politics as candidates are voted only on their merit & not because of the political party they belong to. This proposal aspires to end divisive politics & concentrate on getting the best out of the ministries by people who are experts in that area for which the tax payers are remunerating.

ex: Ministry of Education & Teacher Training – anyone who is qualified in the field of education/teacher training can contest to be elected to this key ministry from which 1 out of the 9 members will be selected to Cabinet rank

PROPOSED MINISTRIES

  1. MINISTRY OF DEFENSE & NATIONAL SECURITY & LAND-SEA-AIR SOVEREIGNTY
  2. MINISTRY OF FINANCE
  3. MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
  4. MINISTRY OF BUDDHASASANA & RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS, CULTURE & HERITAGE
  5. MINISTRY OF EDUCATION & TEACHER TRAINING
  6. MINISTRY OF HEALTH & INDIGENOUS MEDICINE
  7. MINISTRY OF LAW & ORDER, PUBLIC SECURITY & JUSTICE
  8. MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS & PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
  9. MINISTRY OF MASS MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS
  10. MINISTRY OF CIVIL AVIATION,
  11. MINISTRY OF ROAD,TRANSPORT,HIGHWAYS
  12. MINISTRY OF RAILWAYS 
  13. MINISTRY OF SHIPPING & PORT
  14. MINISTRY OF SMALL INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES & COMMERCE & TRADE
  15. MINISTRY OF POWER & ENERGY
  16. MINISTRY OF SPORTS & YOUTH
  17. MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT & FORESTS
  18. MINISTRY OF SCIENCE, INFORMATION & TECHNOLOGY
  19. MINISTRY OF TOURISM  
  20. MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE & FARMING & IRRIGATION & WATER SUPPLY
  21. MINISTRY OF HOUSING & PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT
  22. MINISTRY OF SKILLS/VOCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT & ENTREPRENEURSHIP
  23. MINISTRY OF RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT & INNOVATION
  24. MINISTRY OF INVESTMENT POLICY & IMPLEMENTATION
  25. MINISTRY OF OMBUDSMAN FOR PUBLIC COMPLAINTS & COMPLAINTS BY PUBLIC SERVANTS

QUALIFICATIONS TO CONTEST TO BE ELECTED TO EACH MINISTRY

  • A list of qualifications & experience to be decided for anyone wishing to contest for each ministry.
  • People will vote for 9 persons for each Ministry (Total Parliament 225)
  • The head of each Ministry will become a member of the Cabinet headed by the President. (Cabinet will be 25 + 1) – decisions must have 2/3 majority
  • There is no requirement to have a Prime Minister

The above new system is to depart from Party Politics which is

  • End culture of divisive politics – Divisive politics is unproductive to the Nation
  • An unnecessary expense for campaigning funds leading to corruptions as candidates have to depend on people’s funds for their campaign and after coming to power pay back in more ways than the funds given.
  • People will elect candidates based on their abilities & qualifications.

The selection to these Ministries will be solely based on candidate’s expertise in a particular area so they are conversant & knowledgeable to take decisions on the subject. Candidates must be minimum 25 years of age. There is no age limit as it is left to the voters to decide who they choose. The minimum age is given as 25 generally enables a person to obtain a basic degree.

If candidate who has only O/L or only A/L applies but has a wealth of experience inspite of the lack of basic qualifications, it is up to the voters to decide their vote. The candidates will be campaigning based on why they should be elected to the Ministry & not because their political party has nominated them as previously. It is important that people realize that inspite of not have A/L or only O/L a person can gain knowledge & expertise in other ways & deserves a chance to apply his expert knowledge.

9 experts for each Ministry will be preparing the policy framework for Sri Lanka vis a vis their ministry.

They will function for 5 years. There is no restriction for the number of times a candidate can come forward for elections to a particular ministry – it is the democratic right of the candidate to contest & it is the democratic right of the voters to elect or reject him.

Thus, every election we will see only experts coming forward to contest & they will get elected & prepare policies & implement the best solution for Sri Lanka.

You are welcome to comment on the above new system taking to consideration that the current system where we choose 225 individuals nominated via their political parties are given portfolios which they are clueless about & as a result they are unable to take important decisions or have to rely on others to make their decisions.

It is best that we give prominence to the Ministry and elect persons qualified to be members of that Ministry.

When people do not think about their political party & divisive politics and concentrate on the subject ministry at hand & given that it is an area that is of special interest to them – we are likely to get better results for the benefit of all. This proposal is unlikely to please politicians and those who thrive on politicians but if we are looking at system change, we must look for a productive new way to take the country forward.

Shenali D Waduge

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