RajyaSabha refroms

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by anoop_mig25, Dec 4, 2015.

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Raya sabha reforms : Directly elected members v/s curtailed rights

Poll closed Jan 22, 2016.
  1. Directly elected members just like USA

    8 vote(s)
    80.0%
  2. Curtailed righst like Engalnd/italy

    2 vote(s)
    20.0%
  1. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    In below article Baijayant 'Jay' Panda of BJD talks of reform for RS and gives eg of italy/UK and USA

    http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatime...ck-the-popular-mandate-unparalleled-globally/

    November 26, 2015,times of india blog

    Last month, Italy’s upper house of Parliament, the Senate, voted to drastically reduce its own powers, including its number of members and its power to block constitutional amendments and other key legislation. Though steps like a public referendum and passage by the lower house remain, in all likelihood this heralds the end of a decades-long era of chaotic governance. This ought to interest us in India, accustomed as we are to our version of chaotic governance. However, when finance minister Arun Jaitley mooted a relook at Rajya Sabha’s powers in August, it led to a furore from many quarters. Those objections continue, but in an unthinking, dogmatic way. It is important, and high time, that the issue is examined dispassionately.

    First, let us be clear that democracies are crucially dependent on checks and balances. Thus, there are very good reasons for having a bicameral legislature, with one house representing the popular will of the day, and the other, with a longer perspective, exercising restraint against a potentially hysterical mob mentality.

    But governance in India, like Italy and others earlier, is caught in a logjam of far too many checks and not enough balance. Nowhere else in the world are there as many legislative checks against the popular mandate of the electorate. Joint sessions of Parliament are no solution as they are impractical to convene frequently and cannot pass constitutional amendments. And structuring major legislation as money bills solely to bypass the Rajya Sabha is undesirable.

    It is instructive to consider how other democracies deal with these issues. Take for instance the UK, on whose Westminster model of parliamentary democracy our system is mostly based. Till a century ago, its House of Lords could reject all bills except money bills, just like our Rajya Sabha today. However, in 1911 the Brits amended this, reducing its powers from being able to block legislation to only delay it up to two years. Then in 1949 the House of Lords’ powers were further diluted, so that today, with minor exceptions, all it can do is delay legislation for up to a year.

    To be sure, the House of Lords is an appointed, not elected, body, though there are moves to change that. This is an aspect on which the present debate in India suffers from much confusion. Those frustrated by the Rajya Sabha’s intransigence often assert that it is an unelected house of nominated members, and should not exert so much power.

    Of course, that is a popular misconception: only 12 of the 245 Rajya Sabha members are actually nominated, the others being elected, albeit indirectly from the state assemblies rather than directly from the public. But this is a crucial distinction, which cries out for greater introspection and debate.

    The reality is that the Rajya Sabha’s indirect elections are, indeed, akin to party nominations. This has been reinforced in recent years by two significant developments. The anti-defection law, while doing away with the ills of horse-trading, has had the unintended consequence of making party whips all-encompassing. This, in conjunction with the 2003 amendment that did away with secret voting by MLAs for Rajya Sabha candidates, has all but ensured that only party-nominated candidates win.

    In theory, Rajya Sabha is supposed to represent the interests of states as a whole. But in practice, what it thus represents are the interests of parties, in fact of party leaderships. Other democracies have faced, and resolved, similar problems.

    The most striking example is the US Senate, which the Rajya Sabha resembles in its members’ terms of six years, with one-third retiring every two years. Originally, the US Senate was also indirectly elected from state legislatures, just like the Rajya Sabha today. But in 1913, during the so-called Progressive Era in the US that saw many political reforms, the constitution was amended to make Senators directly elected by the public of each state.

    The effect was dramatic. It broke the hold of party bosses to nominate cronies with no alignment with public interest. And by requiring candidates to seek a plurality of votes all across a state, instead of just cosying up to party bosses, it forced eventual winners to reject fringe concerns in favour of centrist, broad-based campaigns.

    India needs to choose one of two paths to break its systemic legislative gridlock. Emulating the UK or Italy would leave the Rajya Sabha electoral process intact, but reduce its powers. It would still have the ability to slow down the passage of bills, to ensure that those who win elections don’t ride roughshod over the losers. But it would no longer have the power to indefinitely block legislation, thus ensuring that those who lose elections don’t have a veto either.

    Pursuing the American example would leave the Rajya Sabha’s veto powers intact, but make election to it direct, by the public. That would make its members’ agendas much less insular, and more broadly aligned with public interest.

    For either to happen will require sustained championing by political leaders, much as US President Theodore Roosevelt did a century ago or Italian PM Matteo Renzi has in the past two years. As in such reforms elsewhere, this would need, and deserve, support from the opposition too; at least from those who hope to govern someday.

    The writer is a BJD Lok Sabha MP. Views are personal.

    ***********************************************************************************************************************************
    My personel view is that RS rights should curtailed for passing bills/laws (just like italy/Engalnd) instead of directly appointing members of RS.reason begin Even if members of RS are directly elected as that of USA,RS members would be still be toying party lines instead of independent line

    Also i want RS to made of professionals like engineers , doctors etc etc

    Whats is DIF`ians views
     
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  3. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Sadli there is not debate in this thread when there should had been one
     
  4. Compersion

    Compersion Senior Member Senior Member

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    Sure there is a need for reform but not major. Rajya sabha plays a important role in not making one be too powerful. Also it is a balance and check and representative of the country and its structure. I am not saying current government is to be feared but the rajya sabha allows balance and checks. If the current government has enough support over TIME the rajya sabha would be likewise.

    Some will say and mention if arvind kejriwal became pm and he asked for rajya sabha dominance ... Some will say his elections was a one off. Not always all people electoral voice is suspreme and correct. Tomorrow might be different.

    Time is critical and our forefathers were right in the role and importance of rajya sabha. The UK reform of lords is funny enough make it similar to ours. One might say UK becoming a republic like us.

    Further rajya sabha allows continuation of government even when lok sabha is not conclusive. Also finally from recent it allows people like manomohan Singh to be pm and some others also to be important ministers.

    1. 12 directed selected needs to be more systematic and "professional" and not "rakhe" actress types ... Make it clear. Too subjective.

    2. Ex-pms be given a seat by default. This for national security and also professionalisim for successors. It might be funny to some by seeing manmohan Singh in rajya sabha has significant importance ... A narendra modi when speaking in parliament has a ex-pm who knows the inside of goi crown jewels available . but why only manmohan Singh . must be all ex-pms. It means narendra modi be given rajya sabha after he decides to step down and next person steps in.

    3. Also 3 seats (1 for each branch) given to armed forces (nominated within armed forces). Their voice is right now through defence minister. When it can be through fora and it would have been good to see such for example in orop and others.

    Added:

    The 2 seats to Anglo in lok sabha also needs reform. Why Anglo indian ...
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2015
  5. prasadr14

    prasadr14 Regular Member

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    What's stopping BJP from calling joint session and trying to pass few bills?

    If Congees are blatantly stopping parliament to function, why can't BJP use any loop hole to pass the laws?

    Am I missing something here or can Joint session only be called in certain circumstances?
     
  6. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    BJP main cocern is too get GST passes for which joint session cannot be called
     
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  7. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    @Compersion havent you went from article ..

    It too much of check and less of balance now

    between i everyday see congress P J kurien preceeding over RS then chairmen VP hamind ansari ?? why

    P J Kurein always adajourns RS within mins , why not ask gov of day whether to adjourn RS or not

    Better to have RS powers crtailed in blocking bill as they are not directely elelcted by people.

    What if tomrrow BJP number increased in RS and gov is of congrees and in that situation congress wont get any bill passed wont any congres functionary complanied about tranny of unelected ???

    any gov can get any of imp person to get elected in our country in LS.

    better to have US type where cabinet minister has not be elected.
     
  8. prasadr14

    prasadr14 Regular Member

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    I thought u can use joint session even for bills like GST..
     
  9. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    first for joint session bill has to rejected by one of house which is not in present case.GST has yet to be introduce in RS and get failed

    why bjp has not introduced GST in RS i donot know .

    My be some one in modi cabinet is chasing mirage

    or gov is not interested in passing gst

    on what i hear counter point is that gst is an constitional bill for which joint session cant be called
     
  10. VIP

    VIP Ultra Nationalist Senior Member

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    It's a constitutional amendment bill, which I think can't be passed by joint session.
     
  11. VIP

    VIP Ultra Nationalist Senior Member

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    GST bill is important for economical revival of India, it shouldn't be seen as a goal of a particular party. Government has passed the bill in LS but it wants all the political parties onboard because if some major party doesn't support, it will hamper the growth of the state which is ruled by that particular party as it will disobey or get some court order against the bill plus non-compliance with central govt is also seen. Center-state fight is not a good thing in such particular case. If congress comes on board, there will be very less chances of clash in future and system can go smoothly in favor of economy. Govt showed the commitment towards bill by passing it in LS, it can do same by amending some of bills clause to get everyone onboard before going into RS where govt doesn't have majority.
     
  12. VIP

    VIP Ultra Nationalist Senior Member

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    RS is important as pointed out by many over here but it has lost its purpose, political parties have overtaken the RS by fielding useless candidates who works for the party only instead of country. It needs reforms.

    1. Direct election won't help, as it would be another LS. We can put criteria for candidates like not a member of any political party but that would also have its own flaws.
    2. Limiting powers of RS would defeat its original purpose but this option can be thought as RS is already compromised by political parties.
     
  13. Compersion

    Compersion Senior Member Senior Member

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    Our system is based on parliamentary system and UK. will split discussion to two parameters:

    1) Rajya Sabha performance.
    2) Rajya Sabha elected method.

    with that:

    The first part i have tackled and would only like to add:

    you will see in the next year congress seats being reduced because of their unrepresentative numbers in states. you will see bjp increase its seats and also other parties. the current problem is not reform. is it the tactics by political party. IF BJP really wanted they can pass the GST now and do it by discussing with congress and others and it is a financial bill where rajya sabha only has delay remedy. Is it the BJP they are seeing that in a few months the numbers of Congress and others will change in rajya sabha and the dynamics will also. Are they being political wise ... read between the lines. It is clever play and also Congress are knowing many of its members will leave rajya sabha not far away and are want to leave on a "high note".

    that is the point. you also do not want sudden dominance because the peoples views can be over changed suddenly also. that is democracy and for rajya sabha the representation is from all over india. the lok sabha represents the vote on general election but rajya sabha represents the vote on people in states and some other sections (e.g. 12 seats etc etc).

    is it because we are wondering how some of the members are in rajya sabha ...

    i think that the label that rajya sabha is unelected is wrong. since the choice of rajya sabha members is done by a formula calculated by numbers that are at source determined by a electoral mechanism. the people voted in the states and the parties are the ones that get the numbers who are able to choose. it is supposed to be a competitive approach. i think the influence was from UK but we wanted something better. is it we ought to have looked at USA for the solution (more on that later). but our parliamentary system is the reason where the states get represented appropriately. it means more representation.

    Even you look at the USA there are many times where President is Democrat but the House is Republican and also Senate is Democrat. It is the same issue. but that is generated differently.

    For the second part:

    I think that is what you are trying to say:

    The current elected method of choosing the rajya sabha members is flawed. It is supposed to be a contest but it ends up being a nomination. You get people of strange variety:

    A possible dramatic change to Rajya Sabha would be like they do in USA where the members are directly elected by people in the state. That is possible and might be a good idea. Since the views of the states will generally be represented. but the problem with this idea is that rajya sabha seats can be different to the composition that is in the states. for example a person that is more popular will not always be from the same party in power in the state. This would make a potential problem where Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and State assembly is all different. The Rajya Sabha is the representative of the country by the State assemblies that is significant and important. In conclusion i think the current system is fine. If the BJP has all and many states under its leadership they will see more seats in Rajya Sabha. It shows that local state politics is important and also country wide politics. It is what our forefathers wanted. The nomination and selection of rajya sabha members that way it is done is fine. I think one can make qualifications (for example criminal) and even standards (for example age) but that can be done easily and by law. i would still like to see reform of the 12 seats and also ex-pm and even armed forces in the body.

    But sometimes i look at how some of the bills have been drafted like the Judiciary Appointment Commission bill it is not a good sight. But again there have been improvements like the Land Registration and others.

    Does BJP have the foresight to do such reforms and big takeaways. The Judiciary Appointment Commission bill was such a wonderful opportunity that was damaged by amateur drafting.

    There will be a talk in near future of making women have more representation.


    What you say about having more professional and qualified ministers i agree. We ought to see ministers that are more qualified because we are relying on PM to select from elected members that are elected because of their popularity and not really performance in a ministry.
     
  14. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    kindly look at article by BJD mp Panda

    word wide most UP house are reducing their power

    Now it should be upto us what kind of RS we want to see

    we want on lines of USA where representative are directly elected or on lines of UK/Italy where RS can not block bill for unlimited amount of time
     
  15. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    USA has limited number of repesenatative 2 for each state (might be exception)

    And gST is not faince bill which can not be blocked by RS members

    In past fiance minister had just floated this idea and was critised by CPI(M) RS MP sitram yechruy and and then our minister lacked ball so idea was dropped

    if u see has BJP agreed to most of congrees demands on GST but it is still blocked in RS where congress has majority first in name of intolerance and now in name of vendantta
     
  16. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Off topic but germany has both a combination of proportional representation and a first-past-the-post system for their election in lower house bit a complicated one but still running
     
  17. VIP

    VIP Ultra Nationalist Senior Member

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    I have read the article and commenting based on poll, I'm not sure what should be done if the choices are only 2. I would lean for 2nd choice - Limited power to RS instead of direct election.
     
  18. Compersion

    Compersion Senior Member Senior Member

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    The GST going to happen and it will. it is only about timing. Also not sure that it is such a important bill - sure it will make things better but we need to do a lot more. Simple things can be done - Land Registration act is good but we need to think more up-to-date and use of technology and electronic measures for registration and not paper documents (this will be like your property all over india is done electronically) this will help in sale and purchase and also reduce black money because transactions done clearly and also less disputes you know who you are buying from. There are other examples like this. The question is forget GST even simple stuff like that can BJP do that now. The answer is they are waiting it seems for 2016 ... i really wish they are and this is a political maneuver. The way Sonia Gandhi sat in the PM office recently with Manmohan Singh makes it assume it is.

    [​IMG]

    (You can see the Sardar Ji knowing what is really happening - he is not a stupid - but does the lady know).

    Also:

    You look at the composition of RS in 2016 and compare it with 2015 what will you notice.

    The congress blocking the RS has nothing to do with Rajya Sabha reforms. It is a political tactic and also the
    BJP is politically positioning it self. The BJP is making sure the Congress is being shown to be blocking progress for certain agenda. The Congress is making use of its numbers before that also finish.

    Is this all too clever and simple ...
     
  19. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    BJP would gain 2016 granted but not enough to pass gst without help of congress.
    had that been case they would not set roll out date of gst to be april1 2016

    it had read somewhere that congress/rahul strategy is puss gst till 2017 so that because of gst pricess would initially rise and that way bjp could be countered in 2019and win after that gst gain would start coming and congress can easily claim that it because of their woking

    Even now congress is finding one excuess or another to satll RS

    And its because its have its chairperson , had any bjp or allies as it members BJP might have tabiled bill in RS and it might got have passed through voice vote
     
  20. Compersion

    Compersion Senior Member Senior Member

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    How many seats does bjp need in Rajya sabha to pass gst from others in :

    1) 2015
    2) 2016

    You assume that congress is only other party that bjp needs to get the measures through.

    You forget the others but why ...
     
  21. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    2/3 to passes which they are not going to get even by 2019

    which others you are takling about

    TMC which says support but when it comes to walk the talk they citie stupid issues in RS and start jumping in well of house

    JD(U) same way as TMC now that they have won GST .

    all they are not doing now is because congrees is doing same , when congress would start this party would start
     

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