As yet another ordinance is passed and then sheepishly taken back by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) following public outcry; one wonders what aversion this government has to the normal democratic process. These string of embarrassing U-turns makes the government look indecisive, reactive and amateurish – three adjectives that represent the bane of good management. The fact that such ineptitude is being displayed regarding the PTI’s primary ideological and electoral agenda – corruption – reflects even more poorly on Imran Khan’s Cabinet. Choosing to rule by unilateral proclamations might be this government’s most egregious mistake yet – especially when the normal procedure solves all their woes quite easily.

How legislation usually works is quite straightforward: the government proposes a law in the parliament, it is criticized, debated, refined and fine-tuned in the eyes of the public, before being put to vote in front of the nation’s representatives. This basic structure is unanimous across democracies of the world, and the reason behind that is quite straightforward as well. This method of dialectic debate ensures that the final version is not only properly vetted and considered, it can be called “the will of the people” – as it represents the aggregate views of the government, the opposition and other interest groups.

With this procedure in place one is forced to question the government’s conduct. If the government will retract passed laws a day later after every whiff of criticism why doesn’t it do the logical thing and sound those criticisms out? If the government has to spend countless hours justifying its pure motives on national television why not have this debate in the parliament beforehand. If public commentators on social media can make the government see the loopholes in its policies why doesn’t the government expose those policies to structured consultation and analysis first?

The PTI has the procedure of lawmaking all jumbled up, it shouldn’t be surprising that it receives so much criticism for it.