Electoral reforms


Theoretically the government’s proposal of introducing electoral reforms is definitely a very positive step and should be welcomed as such. But there is hardly anything academic about political developments, especially in this country, and the timing of the initiative seems suspect to the opposition for somewhat compelling reasons. Why now, for example, so close to the Senate elections and not when the opposition moved a no-confidence motion against the chairman of the upper house. Opposition parties have not forgotten of course, even if everybody else has, that not everybody in their ranks was loyal that day and they’ve still not been able to find out who precisely because there was no show of hands, only secret ballot. Now they feel that the shoe is on the other foot, and the government fears that PDM’s rising star might lure some of their own votes, hence all the uproar about reforms.
The thing about this that the government probably hasn’t forgotten is that, at the end of the day, most of its people in both houses are career political opportunists to begin with – the famous electables that enabled the PTI win – so there’s no telling really when some of them might think about finding a new boss again. That in itself is perhaps the biggest stumbling block in the whole process. The reforms that the prime minister is talking about would require legislation, but how do you get such bills through parliament when the people who will decide its fate will stand to lose the most if it becomes law?