AN ALTERNATIVE PROPOSAL FOR ELECTORAL REFORM (PART TWO)

Discussion dans 'Discussions Générales' créé par Lotus, 16 Oct 2015.

  1. Lotus

    Lotus Membre

    BOUNDARIES


    The boundaries of constituencies will be redrawn so that all of them have the same number of electors as far as possible, taking into account density and geographical differences, as well as new administrative boundaries under the Local Government Act 2011.



    TRANSFUGES


    Provisions would be introduced to prevent crossing the floor along the same lines as the changes made in the Local Government Act 2011.


    LANGUAGES


    English shall be the official language of both the National Assembly and the Senate, and along with French, where appropriate or necessary, shall be used in all official written papers, as well as in the answer to questions and presentation and summing-up of bills and motions.


    All other languages recognised in the Republic of Mauritius (through a Speaking Union or Cultural Centre) may be used in debates on bills or on motions.


    POLITICAL APPOINTMENTS


    All major political appointments such as ambassadors, chairpersons and CEO’s of government para-statal bodies shall require the approval of a joint committee of Senate and National Assembly members.


    REFERENDUM


    Section 47(3)(a) of the Constitution (Alteration of Constitution) is possibly in itself anti-constitutional because no interpretation has been given to either the terms “referendum” or “electorate”.


    Section 47(3)(b) is also potentially anti-constitutional because it implicitly blocks any potential electoral reform, eg 2nd Republic.


    A new section should be introduced allowing the President to submit a Constitutional Bill, eg 2nd Republic, for consideration of the electorate, by way of referendum, if consensus cannot be found at either Senate and/or National Assembly levels. A simple majority of the registered electorate (not the total number of voters) would be required to pass any such measure.


    ADVANTAGES:


    (1) Popular referendum to decide on 2nd Republic

    (2) Difficult for Opposition to contest consultation of the electorate on important matters

    (3) Initiative rests with government of the day


    INTERNET


    It is debatable whether television coverage of parliamentary proceedings would be of sufficient public interest to warrant live transmission.


    On the other hand, with the rapidly evolving internet and mobile network around the island, it would make more sense for there to be a dedicated server allowing streaming of the sessions of the National Assembly and Senate, under the control of the Speaker and Chairperson of those bodies.



    CONCLUSION


    In any country or democracy, substantial electoral reform is something that happens once in a blue moon, and should not be carried out lightly.


    It should be used to address, correct and modernise as many aspects possible, not just cosmetically.


    Changes that may also create political instability or that may hinder the electoral process should also be discarded. Three measures that fall in this category would be electronic voting, same day proclamation of results and the use of identity cards.


    In the first case, electronic voting, there is no reason whatsoever to resort to this procedure, in view of the small size of the electorate. Furthermore, even in countries that use such a system, like India, it is not used for an early proclamation of results.


    In the second case, there is no rush to find out the winners of an election. There is no justification to exchange the cooling off period of an overnight wait with a system that would require either late night proclamation of results and/or identification of voting patterns due to counting being held at individual polling stations.


    Finally, with regard to the use of identity cards to prevent electoral fraud, another simpler option would be to allow the Electoral Commission to have access to the National Identity Card database so that all polling stations could have access to photo ID of electors as necessary, with the use of laptops or tablets.



    Sanjit Teelock

    This 16th of October, 2015
     

Partager cette page