Elections and floor crossing
ACCORDING to media reports, nine PPP members of the Punjab Assembly changed their loyalties and joined the PML-N. I would like to ask the Sharif brothers why they welcomed turncoat politicians who do not have political ideology and principles, though they have been claiming that they believe in politics of principles.
The politics of horse-trading is the root cause which is affecting the growth of democracy in Pakistan and not allowing a democratic government to be responsive to the needs of the people.
The current politics of turncoats is being practised by such leadership as has no ideology and no way of teaching discipline to party workers.
An honest leader not only gives the manifesto of the party but also teaches workers unity and discipline and looks for such representatives among party workers as are working day and night to strengthen the party.
Luring away candidates of other parties or buying off voters is tantamount to damaging democracy, as well as giving a bad name to democracy and politicians.
As long as the present political system of constituency-based election is in place and is not replaced by a system of proportional representation for electing our parliamentarians, there will be no real democracy meeting the people’s aspirations, as these turncoat politicians have no morality and integrity.
It is now on public record that 55 legislators made false statements regarding their academic qualifications, their degrees are declared fake and a further 19 cannot be verified because of ongoing court cases.
The letters have been sent to the 249 who have not responded yet to a request for the verification of their degrees.
Taken in conjunction with the 70 per cent of elected members who have not paid any taxes or filed any tax returns and do not have a national tax number, unfortunately the majority of rural voters cast their votes on the basis of caste or loyalty to tribe and not on the merit of the candidate. This is exploited by politicians and that is why many people even with a criminal background get elected.
Our politics revolves around personalities and is not based on ideologies or manifestos of parties.
Once a politician switches parties, the leadership of the party left by the political personality starts a campaign to get a new political figure to gain a new vote bank.
I think any mainstream political party should not encourage turncoat politicians by welcoming them in their party because it affects their image as a politician of national status.
Articles 62 & 63
WHILE making sure that Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution are implemented in letter and in spirit, the Election Commission of Pakistan is making concerted efforts.
The commission has decided to consult the State Bank of Pakistan and the Federal Board of Revenue to prevent bank defaulters and tax evaders from contesting the next general election.
Efforts of the Election Commission of Pakistan in this regard needs to be appreciated and we wish the commission implement Articles 62 and 63, especially sub-articles 62 (f) and 63 (n and o), as strictly as possible so that in future (with little amendment to a Greek saying) only an honest person can become the ruler or a ruler to become honest to rule Pakistan.
Integrity and honesty in almost all past rulers was missing which is exactly why democracy could not work in the least bit in Pakistan.