Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A great opportunity to clean up – Provincial Council Candidates

The principal political parties are now in the middle of interviewing candidates for the elections to be held for three of the provincial councils in September. It is usually those who are successful at these elections, that go on to the general election list of candidates and is a proving point to show that they in fact have a vote base from which to build.

The first stage is passing the interview to receive nominations from the party of your choice. I believe there is a huge responsibility on the interview panel to permit only people of high standing and reputation to their list of candidates and desist from putting people of ill repute on the list, even though, knowing the caliber of our voting public, a person’s past is not a liability when it comes to elections. Most often those with a criminal record have acted in a Robin Hood or Saradial like manner towards a section of the people, that have endeared them to the public and therefore guarantees their vote in spite of their rather dubious past.

I will no doubt expect to see these characters on the list, as the party or the Interview Board does not yet have an ability to yank out these people as they are either frightened or are compelled to include people of ill repute thereby destroying the faith we have for the institution of the PC.

All institutions that promote good governance and all bodies representing senior people be it retired academics, retired diplomats, or retired parliamentarians have begged for a change to saner politics. However a government which has already proved to be harboring criminals for their dirty work, is hardly likely to want to change their colors, even if other parties do. They have made it their signature of rule, for every crime under the criminal code to be protected as long as the perpetrator is one of theirs. It is in this climate that we find ourselves in today, and appeal for good sense to prevail. I am not too sure how it will pan out if only all parties other than the government side field good candidates, and the government field their elements. Let us hope the voter has the sense to judge between the two and not be sucked in by the last Rs2000 note given to them to vote for the Govt. thug, whose ill gotten gains are easy to distribute amongst a hapless public.

Often the whole candidate list of a party can be discarded if the information included on one person is false, however the law does not apply equally here as was shown in the past. The Govt side does it with impunity and one small error on the oppositions part will make their list null and void making a joke of the whole process before even elections are held! let alone counted. The General Secretary of the Party must take a stand on ensuring the information is accurate as otherwise the whole list can be invalidated, making the whole election a non event.

It is noteworthy that at the moment even the UNP Working Committee has not given its authorization for the Election, and that will be done on Wednesday evening. It is possible a remote one at that they do not wish to contest, thereby putting a spanner in the works big time.

I do not wish to see that happen, as despite the incredible odds, and the use of illegal activities the government will do its best to sweep the board, making it even more important the people take a stand by a huge majority so the result cannot be substantially altered.

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