Shenali D Waduge
Sri Lanka is going through a decisive period in its democratic history. This requires everyone to review the way government and governance are structured and look for ways to adopt a system that benefits us.
The PRESIDENT will be the Head of State and Head of Parliament. There will be no prime minister. Instead of MPs being elected and given portfolios, the proposed new system will have thematic ministries to which candidates can stand to compete and be elected based on their knowledge and expertise. There is no partisan politics because the candidates are only elected on their merit and not because of the political party to which they belong. This proposal aspires to end divisive politics and focus on getting the best out of departments by people who are experts in this area for which taxpayers are paying.
ex: Ministry of Education and Teacher Training – anyone qualified in the field of teacher education/training can stand for election to this key ministry from which 1 of 9 members will be selected at the Cabinet rank
- MINISTRY OF DEFENSE & NATIONAL SECURITY & LAND-SEA-AIR SOVEREIGNTY
- MINISTRY OF FINANCE
- MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
- MINISTRY OF BUDDHASANA & RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS, CULTURE & HERITAGE
- MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TEACHER TRAINING
- DEPARTMENT OF ABORIGINAL HEALTH AND MEDICINE
- MINISTRY OF LAW AND PUBLIC ORDER, PUBLIC SECURITY AND JUSTICE
- MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
- MINISTRY OF MASS MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS
- MINISTRY OF CIVIL AVIATION,
- MINISTRY OF ROADS, TRANSPORT, ROADS
- MINISTRY OF RAILWAYS
- MINISTRY OF NAVIGATION AND PORT
- MINISTRY OF SMALL INDUSTRY, INDUSTRIES & TRADE & TRADE
- MINISTRY OF POWER AND ENERGY
- MINISTRY OF SPORTS AND YOUTH
- MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT AND FORESTS
- MINISTRY OF SCIENCE, INFORMATION AND TECHNOLOGY
- MINISTRY OF TOURISM
- MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND LIVESTOCK AND IRRIGATION AND WATER SUPPLY
- MINISTRY OF HOUSING & PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT
- MINISTRY OF SKILLS/PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP
- MINISTRY OF RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT & INNOVATION
- MINISTRY OF INVESTMENT POLICY AND IMPLEMENTATION
- MINISTRY OF THE OMBUDSMAN FOR PUBLIC COMPLAINTS AND COMPLAINTS FROM PUBLIC SERVANTS
CONTEST QUALIFICATIONS TO BE ELECTED TO EACH MINISTRY
- A list of qualifications and experience to decide for anyone wishing to compete for each ministry.
- People will vote for 9 people for each ministry (Total Parliament 225)
- The head of each ministry will become a member of the cabinet headed by the president. (Cabinet will be 25+1) – decisions must have 2/3 majority
- It is not necessary to have a Prime Minister
The above new system must deviate from the party policy which is
- Ending the culture of divisive politics – Divisive politics is unproductive for the Nation
- Unnecessary expenditure for campaign funds leading to corruption as candidates have to depend on funds from the people for their campaign and after coming to power they repay in more ways than the funds granted.
- People will elect candidates based on their abilities and qualifications.
The selection of these departments will be solely based on the candidates’ expertise in a particular area so that they are aware and knowledgeable to make decisions on the subject. Candidates must be at least 25 years old. There is no age limit as it is up to voters to decide who they choose. The minimum age is given because 25 years generally allows to obtain a basic diploma.
If a candidate who has only O/L or only A/L applies but has a wealth of experience despite lacking basic qualifications, it is up to the voters to decide their vote. Candidates will campaign based on why they should be elected to the ministry and not because their political party nominated them as before. It is important for people to realize that despite having no A/L or only O/L, a person can gain knowledge and expertise in other ways and deserves a chance to apply their specialist knowledge.
9 experts for each ministry will prepare the policy framework for Sri Lanka vis-à-vis their ministry.
They will work for 5 years. There are no restrictions on the number of times a candidate can stand for election to a particular ministry – it is the democratic right of the candidate to contest and it is the democratic right of the voters to elect him or reject it.
So in every election we will only see experts come forward to challenge and they will be elected and prepare policies and implement the best solution for Sri Lanka.
You are welcome to comment on the new system above taking into consideration that the current system where we choose 225 appointees through their political parties are given portfolios they have no idea about and therefore they are unable to make important decisions or have to rely on others to make their decisions.
It is better that we give importance to the ministry and that we elect qualified people to be members of this ministry.
When people don’t think about their political party and their divisive politics and focus on the ministry in question and given that it is an area of particular interest to them, we are likely to get better results for the benefit of all. This proposal is unlikely to please politicians and those who prosper from politicians, but if we are considering system change, we must look for a productive new way to move the country forward.
Shenali D Waduge