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Electoral reform proposals

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For good governance of the people,  for the people,  and by the people

The Parliament is due to consider electoral reforms as a part of constitutional reform process for good governance. We consider that it is vital that the reforms be based on the needs of the people, to work for the people and with the participation of the representatives of all interest sectors of the people, as an active democracy. This calls for its composition to be representative of vital interest sectors, enabling it to decide on priorities for the whole nation.

The political party agendas, their criteria for  nominations and the Preference Vote system needs change,   Political parties nominate candidate for elections, considering consumer interests that appeal to ordinary voter.  Political party manifestos must be positive and constructive. Appeal to negative aspects of consumer interests can be destructive. The 1952 food scarcities led to trade union riots, and a change of government. The promise of eight measures of cereals by J R Jayawardenane, promise of bread at Rs 3.50 by Chandrika Kumaratunga and a 100-day program to reduce essential food prices changed governments.  On the other hand, development interests such as development programs, cultural and security considerations are not reflected in political manifestos. This culture needs overhaul.

Consider the positive role that development sectors could play if represented in the Parliament. The trade union sector with an organized work force of over 4 million, their representatives in Parliament could be mobilized to promote national interests, productivity improvement and industrial peace.   Professionals and entrepreneurial sector groups, forming the engine of growth have no representatives in the Parliament,  lead to corruption,      
                                                                                   failure to use or improper utilization of resources and waste.  Religious and cultural leaders, such as writers, dramatists, preachers   guide the people in development strategies. But they are absent in the Parliament to promote harmony and peace though they command the media most of the time, forming a critical elite force outside the Parliament. The security of the country is in the hands of about a million personal, maintaining national and private security. Still widespread crime and violence are reported in the media.

The absence of these sector representatives, since the abolition of the Senate, constitute a serious lacuna in the electoral system .We propose that the following reforms be considered as a part of the electoral reforms for the growth and good governance.
1.    Political parties, largely representing consumer interests, required to nominate candidates free from criminal records, and un-ethnical conduct. They be required to possess at least GCE AL. educational attainment , and  has at least 10 years experience  in a responsible capacity in a business, public service or profession. Of the 225 seats in Parliament, 165 seats be allocated to electoral candidates to be elected on the fftp basis on 160 seats, leaving five seats for parties failing to get seats under fftp .
2.    Development interest sectors be grouped into four sectors namely, employee sector, professional and entrepreneur sector, cultural and religious sector, and security sector. Organizations promoting the interests of these sectors be invited to register under the Election Commission to be considered for allocation of seats to be nominated by them as Members of Parliament.  Each of these four sectors be allocated 15 seats, and be asked to nominate   persons of eminence with  distinguished public service in the respective the sectors for a period of three years at a time , as it was done in the Soulbury model.  

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