Needless to say that in Pakistan the present electoral system does not offer a fair representation for the parliament and local bodies’ elections. A cautious estimate indicates that not more than 30% of the available votes are cast hence almost 70% remain unrepresented. Even out of these 30% counted votes, notwithstanding the rigging before, during or after the polls about 20% are divided between various candidates in such a way that no one gets majority/ plurality votes hence wasted. and only 10% of the registered voters get their representatives elected and that only goes mostly to the elite class, may they be sufficiently educated and honest enough or not. This is the main reason why the aristocrats grab the lion’s share, the “winner take away all.” from the plurality/majority system available at their disposal which resembles gambling because in this game the winner takes away the entire money of all the stake holders.
Pakistan is the most unfortunate countries in the sense that since its inception it remained without a stable constitution (or with a constitution serving vested interest of the parliament members). The military rulers ruled over this country about 2/3rd period of its history who very brutally twisted the constitution to suit their selfish motives. The remaining period of 1/3rd became captive of the civil dictators who never hesitated to sacrifice the sanctity and the sovereignty of the Republic for their malignant motives and in order to satisfy their desire and perpetuate their power for ever.
It is worthwhile to note that before passing the 1973 Constitution the then Opposition under the guidelines of United Democratic Front (UDF) raised demand of Proportional Representation System of voting before the then P.M. Z.A. Bhutto who did not accept it because he could not see any personal interest in it ; he became the unopposed ruler of the country by means of his nefarious designs and suppressed the demand of Proportionate representation, it was not needed by him or his companions . He could not have become the ruler unless the country was separated into 2 independent entities and at last the Indo-Pak war ended in great loss to the people and disintegration of this sacred land of the Country. His struggle continued until he gave recognition to the Bangladesh the illegitimate product of Bhutto and Mujeeb. Due to the plurality/majority system of voting and record rigging in the 1977 Elections he gained absolute majority in the National Assembly.
The Provincial Assembly election remained suspended due to the protest of the Opposition and countrywide processions took place after which taking the advantage of the political vacuum, Gen. Zia-ul-Haq arrested Mr. Bhutto and declared Martial Law. Unfortunately he remained in power by hook or by crook for about 11 years until his assassination. This is the usual way of the Military Rulers.
In the present scenario, when the country is under the grip of worst rulers having even worst governance and most corrupt executives of the Government under the rule of a person who is known only for his specific quality, corruption, resulting in all sort of turmoil and the clear danger of disintegration of the country, it is high time for us to think about reforms which are needed on emergency basis. Some of the points worth considering are highlighted below.
- Party system of election may be introduced in the country for which political parties should be filtered in the following way.
a) Proper amendments should be made in the Political Parties Act, especially registration of the party, the minimum age and qualification of every member which should be certified by the Election Commission.
b) Secondly proper election should be made in every registered political party under the supervision of the Election Commission.
c) The party members should offer all their property and assets and of their spouse and dependents for inspection and audit to verify its legality and authenticity.
- The election commission should be nominated by the Apex Court of the Country because appointment of the Election Commission by the Parliament itself or any of its representatives for its own election bears no moral ground.
- In our Constitution it is expressly mentioned that no law shall be made against Quran and Sunnah but practically we see that hundreds of laws are against it and nobody bothers to care for this violation. In order to meet this objective it is imperative that an oath must be taken from every parliamentarian that without bothering for dire consequences they will strive utmost to make every law to coincide with the tenets and injunctions of Quran and Sunnah. And above all since they are the law makers they must have sufficient, at least basic, knowledge of the Holy Book and Shariah.
- Taking of liquor must be a punishable offence for all parliamentarians, the armed forces and the government officials because it is ‘mother of evils’ and a person taking liquor or wine cannot be entrusted with any serious work of mass interest.
- Interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution is the authority of the Apex Courtso in order to avoid ultra constitution amendments it should first be offered to the judiciary to authenticate it before being presented for vote of Parliament. Recently we have seen that 18th amendment of the Constitution has been challenged in the Supreme Court.
- The persons who have already ruled over the country must be made unqualified for contesting any fresh election so that probability and causes of malpractice might be eliminated. Obviously those who have ruled over this country have a very nasty track record and can hardly be entrusted with any position of responsibility.
- Proportional Representation system (or in short P R System) should be made legal and compulsory. It is worth noting that there is a variety of P R System adopted by over 70 countries of the world out of which only ‘Open Party List’ system is suitable for our country. Proponents of this system also suggest adopting the formula of ‘largest remainder’ which results in equitable allocation of the remaining seats and only negligible number of votes remains wasted.
- Last but not the least it should be proved by facts and figures that the results of the plurality/majority system of voting has indirectly resulted in mass destruction of the society and the country as a whole.
By Faisal Arshad