Increasing the number of MPs from 225 to 255 is unnecessary – a colossal waste of taxpayer funds
Posted on May 3rd, 2015

Sri Lanka Support Group

After the introduction of provincial governments through the 13th amendment in 1987 (addition of an entirely new layer of government), Sri Lanka today is considered one of the highest governed countries in the world.

There were 168 MPs in the parliament in 1977 (with zero national list MPs), by 1989 the number had increased to 225 (with 29 national list MPs -17% of parliamentarians). The increase happened without a referendum. Now, leaders of all major political parties appear to have agreed to increase the number of parliamentarians to 255.

It appears all the new 30 parliamentarians will be national list MPs (not elected by the voters at an election). This amounts to 23% of all MPs of the parliament.

These MPs would be appointed to the parliament at the whim and fancy of the respective party leaders. The people (voters) will have nothing to do with their appointments. Until these people are appointed, people would not even know who they would be.

Given that there are number of MPs who are currently in the parliament who would be unable to win a seat at a popular election; they will rely on the new (‘chit’) system to remain in the parliament. This will give them the chance to remain in the parliament until they are feeble or they die. The new system seems designed to look after friends/cronies of the leaders of the political parties, rather than electing representatives that people like.

It is unlikely that the introduction of more MPs to the parliament (30) will help to increase the country’s economy and eradicate extreme poverty. Judging by the performance of most current national list MPs, it is not unfair to assume that most of the future national list MPs would also be useless to the country. It will be a huge burden to the taxpayers to maintain them . Given that each MP needs to be provided with private accommodation, vehicles, body guards and staff, high salaries, subsidized food at the parliament, foreign trips and lots of other perks including a handsome pension after just  5 years in the parliament; this aspect of the proposed 20th amendment to the Constitution will not provide the country any benefit; but to a very lucky few individuals. Needless to say, it will be a huge financial drain on the innocent people – a country that is heavily debt ridden and laced with huge unemployment.

The new system will make the country poorer and more corrupt.

Appointing MPs to the parliament by way of a ‘chit’ system is contrary to the principle of representative democracy. A cardinal principle of modern democracy is that the voter should be able to elect their representatives by way of popular ballot.

Sri Lanka and Australia have almost the same population (20 and 23 million respectively); but Australia is 116 times bigger than Sri Lanka. In vast Australia, there are only 150 MPs in the House of Representatives (Sri Lanka has 225 and soon to be 255). Even in giant India (1.25 billion people), there are only 545 MPs in Lok Sabha.

Australia has 5 state governments (as opposed to Sri Lanka’s 9 provincial governments). In Australia, each State has more than 1 million people, except Tasmania, which is bigger in landmass than Sri Lanka. In some provinces of Sri Lanka, the total voter population is less than ½ million. It is somewhat of a joke to have separate governments for these provinces. It is stated they are due to receive land rights and police powers!

The increase in the number of legislatures from 225 to 255 seems to be entirely a decision by the current MPs of the parliament; the concept has not been ratified by the people. This is a matter so crucial to every citizen of the country, it should be referred to them at a referendum, to obtain their consent. No doubt, people would reject the proposition wholesale at a referendum.

 

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2 Responses to “Increasing the number of MPs from 225 to 255 is unnecessary – a colossal waste of taxpayer funds”

  1. Christie Says:

    Namaste: Indian Empire wants to divide us more and more. Jai Hind

  2. AnuD Says:

    that is to empower minorities and minority political parties. So, If TNA register as one political party, that will be very strong. On the other hand, now, Indian Tamils want more representation in the parliament.

    Ranil and Mangala, most probably CBK too, want to Screw up sinhala buddhists really good.

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