Individual Parliamentarian’s role as the national lawmaker is on a decline, which in turn, has adversely impacted the quality of debates and their outcome. Discuss.

The Parliament is the temple of democracy. The parliamentarians debate various challenges haunting the country and frames laws for the peace and to fuel the growth engine.

Why the role of Individual Parliamentarians is on Decline?

Anti-Defection Law

The law which was brought in to arrest the tendency of Aaya Raam and Gaya Raam has become a tool to curb the freedom of speech and expression. Often the difference of opinion among the ruling party is viewed as dissent. As a result, Parliament is being reduced to a role of approving chamber of the proposal of the executive rather than debating and scrutinising.

Increasing Role of Money Power and Muscle Power

The increasing role of money power and muscle power in elections has resulted in poor quality parliamentarians entering the Parliament. As a resulted the law-making has now been delegated to the executive.

Inherent Bias of Speaker

The inherent bias of Speaker towards treasury benches has reduced the role of opposition in holding the government accountable.  The views of opposition are rarely heard and their tactics have turned to largely symbolic.

Reduced Duration of Parliamentary Sitting

As the economy is growing and the ambit of globalisation is expanding, the law-making has become a complex phenomenon. On the contrary, the duration of parliamentary sitting is declining resulting in less time for the disposal of the business.

Politicisation

Competitive politics wherein the political parties try to score some brownie points even at the cost of national interest is resulting in politicisation of every issue. As the result the political parties are attempting to put the thinks in black and white while the reality is in grey.

Declined Quality of Debates

As a result of the reasons mentioned above the parliament has become a theatre of political parties where each one is engaging in politics rather than indulging in law-making and scrutinising.

Hence in reality the role of lawmaking has been delegated to the bureaucracy and the parliamentarians are reduced to role of approving authority. Further complexity of issues, the inability of the parliamentarians to comprehend the complexity along with less time at disposal has deteriorated the parliamentary outcomes.

How to uphold parliamentary soverignity?

  • Checking the role of money power and muscle power in elections by strengthening Election Commission and giving statutory recognition to the model code of conduct.
  • Rather than government-driven parliamentary agenda, the opposition must be given greater say in setting the agenda of sessions.
  • Making it mandatory through statutory backing to hold the parliamentary sitting for duration of 120 days.
  • Making it mandatory for parliamentary committees to scrutinise the bill after their introduction in parliament.

Published: October 11, 2019 | Modified:December 1, 2019

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