Sunday, October 21, 2012
Abolishing the Executive Presidency is just a pipe dream
It was obvious that the Mahinda Chinthanaya included the abolition of the Executive Presidency as part of its main themes, as it was a politically popular move, crafted to get votes and nothing else. Once in power the Govt. had NO intention of doing so. So it must be said of anyone else in the opposition making it a plank of their cry. Whilst SF appears to make it one of his main aims, we know from practice the utterings of SF during the last Presidential Election, of nothing but dictatorial promises, that could not be further from the theme set forth above.
So it is with this recent rally, which was staged for the abolition as one of its main aims. These people are barking up the wrong tree here. It requires consensus amongst many parties for a near unanimous vote. It is unlikely to happen. It is completely within the power of the current incumbent so to do, however he shows not the slightest inclination to do so, enjoying the near dictatorial powers to do as he pleases.
It is another question if he feels fallible enough to do so when his life span runs out and he greedily does not wish another incumbent to have the level of power he does. I somehow doubt that age will change the stance, as then it is dynastic politics he will be aiming for.
It is one thing to know what is good, what is needed and what can have a positive impact on the political future of this country, but it is a wholly different concept to believe it is possible and doable under the present system. People now wish for the old pre 1972 constitution with a dual chamber, the senate and the first past the post. We have gone through the whole circle and found ourselves with more than we bargained for, as we made huge assumptions about the sincerity of our politicians and the honesty of those in elected office. We were hugely mistaken about both and we have got the system that we can least justify using a common sense approach.
The only ray of hope lies in a UNP manifesto, which if it includes the abolition of the Executive Presidency, it will in fact be attempted, and it will only be parliament that will ultimately decide, once it is put for a free vote and hopefully secret ballot of MPs. There is hope yet, but the current set of rascals who claim to take the moral high ground are the least likely to carry it through. The people of Sri Lanka on the other hand may prefer a strong leader, if they believe that a change will permit coalition and indecision.