Pakistanis prove secret ballot is not for them

Published on: 01/08/2019 | Comments: No comments 

Chitral: The secret balloting carried out for a no confidence motion against the sitting Chairman Senate proved a misnomer as have all previous secret balloting in Pakistan proved. The opposition had a clear majority in the upper house but when the voting result came out almost a dozen ‘horses’ had defected in the dark.

Not that the opposition is any more principled than the ruling party. In fact they are all specks of the same dust. If it were the opposition in power they would have done the same thing. Might is authority in this country and principles and scruples are but for those who do not get a chance to flout them.

As honesty and integrity are not taught to Pakistanis at any stage and in any forum, rather unscrupulousness is tacitly approved as a norm in the society, the practice of secret ballot for any purpose should be done away with in Pakistan and people should be asked to show guts and openly declare their support for whomever they want to. .. CN report, 01 Aug 2019


Comment 2

Some people argue that secret ballot is good because voters can vote according to his/her conscience. Surprisingly, it has been observed the conscience is somehow always towards the powerful. We never hear secret ballot voters voting for the underdog however true he/she may be on principles. This means there is no element of conscience in secret balloting. It is pure horse trading and should be abolished soon. .. Altaf, Ahmad 04 Aug 2019

Comment 1

When everybody is complaining of horse trading in secret balloting, why don’t they unanimously change the procedure to open voting. The constitution can be amended in ten minutes for it, if the parliamentarians want to. .. Ghias uddin, 03 Aug 2019

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Out of the box: Suggestion for selecting NA, PA, Senate members

Published on: 21/04/2018 | Comments: 2 comments 

Chitral: As elections have become a farce in Pakistan and more or less every candidate in every election rises to his level of corruption in one way or the other – whether buying of votes, cheating people with false promises, selling religion, tribalism, regionalism or playing on the available emotions and sentiments of people- everything but Merit is considered.

As such kind of elections being held in Pakistan since independence are harming Pakistan instead of helping it, it would be pertinent to think out of the box and device new system for selection of MNAs? MPAs and Senators. The best method is through competitive exams like NTS as being practiced for selection of employees at lower levels. If that is not possible for the time being then the next best alternative should be to publicly auction the NA, PA and Senate seats, within the constituency.

To further elaborate this idea, e.g all candidates wishing to become an MNA/MPA should offer their bids which should be open and transparent. The highest bidder within the constituency should become the? MNA and the second highest bidder should become the MPA. Similarly the highest bidder in the Senate constituency (province) should become the Senator followed by next highest bidder till all the Senate seats are filled by subsequent highest bidders in progression.? After having done that there should be open bidding between the 120 selected senators to choose the chairman and deputy chairman on same basis. Like wise for the speaker National and Provincial Assemblies.

The advantage of this system would be:

  1. It would be a clean and transparent system with no chance of manipulation or fudging the process.
  2. It will save billions of rupees and precious time for the country spent on electioneering and election process.
  3. ?It will add further billions of rupees to the national exchequer obtained from the auction money
  4. ?It will eliminate exploitation of majority illiterate and naive people of Pakistan by clever politicians, on various pretext like tribalism, regionalism and most importantly religious exploitation.

The MNAs, MPAs and Senators thus selected should be given very high protocol status but no financial powers. We have seen that in the Senate elections candidates spend crores just for the sake of status and they are not hungry for money as they already have enough. Similarly MNAs and MPAs who would have bought their seats through a legal process will be be happy with status and would not look to mint money.

Regarding the capability of thus selected MPs, we should not bother as they cannot be worse than what we get through the current election process. If a person has so much money to buy his seat he will have some acumen also, better than most puppet members of the present system, who have been elected by fooling the people and have nothing in their kitty, neither money nor capability.

The idea may sound impractical at first but there can not be a simpler solution to the existing election rubbish in Pakistan. .. CN report, 21 Apr 2018

The Senate election muck: what to do now?

Published on: 07/03/2018 | Comments: No comments 

Chitral: The currently held elections to the Senate of Pakistan have left a bad taste in the mouth of every Pakistani- even the strongest proponents of parliamentary democracy and the present system of elections.

Every member of the legislature is pointing finger at the others, accusing them of selling their votes while absolving themselves of the accusation. There is no foolproof system to determine as to who is guilty and who is innocent in this just concluded dirty game.

One thing can be done though, is that all the party heads should gather their Assembly members and ask them to swear upon the Holy Quran that they did not sell their votes for money. In this way those who are guilty would at least be burdened by the sin of false swearing if they do swear falsely. Their conscience will punish them at least, if the law cannot.? An option can also be given to them to say sorry and deposit the money in party funds, to clear their conscience from pestering them forever. .. CN report, 07 Mar 2018.

Senate Elections: The ‘dirty dancing’ of Pakistani politics

Published on: 10/02/2018 | Comments: 4 comments 

Senate seats should be sold in open auction

Chitral: Each time the phase of Senate elections in Pakistan come up, tales of horse trading, vote buying and selling, cheating and display of moral turpitude present in our political entity come to the limelight. Elections to the Senate of Pakistan, as they are tailored and conducted are a fine example of the failing of democracy.

Outright sale/purchase of votes has but become the essential in Senate elections as is experienced over the decades; with the only difference being that the rate of buying /selling votes keeps escalating with each elections. During the current elections, the price of one vote has hiked to as much as Rs 500 million in one case in Balochistan according to a senior TV anchorperson. The price here does not matter, but the fact the votes are being traded outrightly is a big blemish on the face of democracy as it is in Pakistan.

Most unfortunate part of the episode is that no attempt was made to amend the election laws for the senate in the last five years, even by parties claiming to be fighting to bring about change.

Keeping in mind that votes are being sold and bought anyway, but done so behind the curtain,?It would be far better to sell the senate seats to the highest bidder in an open auction and deposit the money in the government treasury. At least the government treasury would benefit instead of unscrupulous individuals selling their votes clandestinely.? .. CN Editorial, 10 Feb 2018