New Local Government System

2018-09-03T22:27:32+05:00

A new local government system is in talks for the provinces of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). There is no surprise that the government of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) wants to empower the average Pakistani to be able to directly elect a representative from their locality and engage them in a dialogue, which will encourage feedback and improvement in performance. The idea is based on the system currently being practiced in London, where the people elect their own mayor. However, the success of that system is very relevant to the polity it is being implemented on.

Direct elections may engage the voters more in the political setup of the country and will create a pathway of communication and accountability. While that can be taken into consideration, a lot of resources will go into uprooting the system already in place. At the same time, the government needs to get the other provinces where they do not have a majority, also on board with this initiative. At this point, they plan on enforcing it on them but it may be wise to first consult them and hear them out if they have any other suggestions. The Sindh government has already shown its reluctance in the adoption of the new system because they believe that their local body system is already up to the mark. Such contingencies need to be accounted for and planned for.

Any system of governance should be uprooted if it is not working out for the people of the country, however, if the same system can be improved with minor adjustments that should be preferred over introducing radical changes. The reason why that is preferred is that it saves a lot of resources and at the same time, it helps people adjust to the new changes. However, if a new government is trying to implement all policies new, it is bound to face difficulties in terms of its application and also getting other lawmakers on board to make those changes.

At this point in time, what is required is continuity. If every effort is made from scratch, the results might take more than five years to materialise and if by then, someone else is in government, they might turn the tables around and do away with the system completely. A steady government is the requirement of the time and that can be done by getting the majority on board to ensure that the desired results are achieved.

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