Home / Letters to the Editor/ Ad hoc ratios and bonus seats for PC elections: Why?

Ad hoc ratios and bonus seats for PC elections: Why?


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Wednesday, 25 July 2018 00:00


It is reported in the press that the Delimitation Commission has proposed to introduce a 50:50 ratio and increase the number of bonus seats to tide over the issues of stability and minority representation in the Provincial Councils. Let me briefly deal with the said issues which unfortunately seem to be still entrenched in the minds of some our leading politicians, political pundits, academics and civil activists.

Stability in Provincial Councils

This parochial concept founded on maintaining an absolute majority in the Council for all purposes is not in keeping with the principles of a liberal democracy where all parties should contribute to arrive at the best solution favouring the Council/country after a healthy debate. Maintaining an absolute majority will in fact lead to misguided, dictatorial decisions. ‘Hung’ or ‘unstable’ Councils/Parliament should become misnomers when professionals with country at heart deliberate and decide on the best fine-tuned options for the Council/Parliament/Country.

Minority representation

In our view, at any level of elections, all votes should be considered as cast by ‘Sri Lankans’ giving equal value to every valid vote. Only this concept can iron out the elusive issue of voting based on ethnicity, religion, caste, etc. The application of proportionate arithmetic in a ‘cut and dry’ scientific manner, to determine the number of seats won in a district by each party, will ensure an ‘equal value’ for each Sri Lankan vote in a district. 

Why should a feeling of ‘minority’ make a section of the citizenry downgrade themselves and beg for preferential treatment on the one hand and why should the ‘majority’ feel good by giving preferential treatment to their fellow citizens on the other? It is very unfortunate and sad that we are still not ready to think as ‘Sri Lankans’ having equal rights and duties. If we perpetuate this parochial ‘Majority and Minority’ syndrome, with the proposed changes, our country will never ever come out of this abysmal ethnic conflict.

Promote ‘Sri Lankan’ concept through electoral process

The delimitation exercise should take all variables in to account and generate the pre-determined number of seats allocated to each district and dispense with the application of post-election measures such as ad hoc ratios and bonus seats, not scientifically founded on empirical evidence and research, to strike a balance in a liberal democratic process of exercising voter franchise.

As stated above, the electoral process can surely catalyse this elusive and seemingly difficult paradigm shift towards a cultural and attitudinal change of treating all citizens as ‘Sri Lankans’.

Bernard Fernando

Moratuwa


Share This Article

Facebook Twitter


DISCLAIMER:

1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.

COMMENTS

Today's Columnists

Condottieri contesting for presidency?

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Condottieri is the plural for condottiere, which is Italian in origin, meaning the leader or captain of a mercenary army. They are hirelings bought for money or other rewards by a resourceful party. How and whys of a war or struggle is not their conc


Ceylon Tea: Not an adoption driver?

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

The latest research study done using Artificial Intelligence (AI) on consumer perceptions on a sample market like ‘Australia’ reveal that, the key attributes that a consumer looks for when selecting tea are: quality of tea, type of tea and tea fl


Crumbling courts, rumbling sentiments

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Hulftsdorp The High Court and District Court premises in Colombo were built about 300 years ago during the Dutch period, at Hulftsdorp which is named after the Dutch General Hulft who died in 1656 by a bullet, fired by a Portuguese soldier while besi


If Sajith wants to win

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Presidential Elections are more about candidate and less about the party. That explains the curious, yet familiar process that we have witnessed in recent weeks; would-be candidate refashioning the party structures in his own image or attempting to d


Columnists More