Monday, September 26, 2011

The trouble with politics - It is difficult not to offend people unknowingly

In Sri Lankan politics, we have various issues, which may also be common to politics in other countries. With the first past the post system it is all about getting more votes than the nearest opposition to win a seat. In the Sri Lankan proportional representation system, due to the person receiving the most preferences on the list who wins it is a fight for preference votes. In this battle often people of the same party are fighting against each other to get the preferences and often the real fights are between people of the same party.

An added dimension in Sri Lanka politics is where the governing coalition is made up of a number of parties, then the candidates are chosen from multiparties to contest the same entity, and the often there are fierce battles to resolve the crisis and had lead to election violence as well.

As if the UNP did not have to worry about that it has created its own form of problem by having factions made up of senior members fighting for leadership. This has created factions where candidates can be allied to different camps and accordingly pull one way or another.

These examples show how impossible it is to get good candidates to fight elections as they have to contend with these internecine wars which usually educated and able people seek to avoid. We also have the added problem, when in Sri Lanka there is a formula where one has to assign sufficient slots in the candidates depending on the party  to give for both youth (35and under in the UNP) and a proportion for women. When there is a shortage of women there are unqualified women whose dames are put in and who sometimes do not want to actively canvass, resulting in them wasting there time which could have been given to a more worthy male who is willing to spend and come out of the woodwork who can even win. So clients who can win should be entered for the race and not just for quota.

The biggest problem is not including in nomination lists people who desperately want to be entered saying they would win.

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