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Thread: Reclaiming the right to 3rd vote

   
   
       
  1. #1
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    Reclaiming the right to 3rd vote

    Reclaiming the right to 3rd vote
    Jul 6, 09 2:17pm
    The Coalition for Good Governance (CGG) today hammered home the importance of holding local government elections in the country.

    The reminder comes as the Pakatan Rakyat Selangor government announced its new local councillors today to replace some of those appointed last year who have underperformed.

    Asking if Selangor would lead the way, CGG said by doing so, the state government could show its sensitivity towards the changed political realities in Malaysia.

    CGG chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah said following the March 8, 2008 elections, the newly-elected Selangor state government, like its Pakatan counterparts in other states, had also followed the appointment system.

    However, representatives from non-governmental organisations were also appointed, she added in a press statement.

    "CGG believes that election of local councillors is still relevant and necessary to put into place as it will contribute towards the positive trajectory of greater democracy and accountable governance," she said.

    Maria also reminded the Pakatan parties that during the campaigning period for the last general election, they had individually and collectively promised local council elections in various campaign documents.

    On the same note, CGG also lauded the Selangor state government for taking the first step by commissioning a study on reintroducing local elections.

    The coalition also listed several recommendations for the state governemnt covering three categories, 'long term', 'short term' and 'mmediate'.

    "CGG recommends a multi-stage process of implementation to ensure its (local elections) reinstatement, including immediate and short-term recommendations.

    "CGG has also envisaged preparatory steps which will help pave the way for the long term reinstatement of local government elections at the national level," Maria said.

    Long-term recommendations (before end of the 13th Parliament):


    In the long run, CGG recommended a more comprehensive and thorough reform of local government in Malaysia.

    This, CGG believed, is the role and responsibility of the National Council for Local Government (NCLG). The reforms will have to seriously consider the following issues:

    1. Reforming local government in terms of policies, laws, structures, processes and administration to uphold human rights principles and democratic governance

    2. Synchronising administrative and electoral districting within the existing single member plurality system. This means aligning the electoral boundaries at all three levels of government so that the interests of citizens are served by a local councillor, state assembly person and member of Parliament.

    3. Reviewing alternative electoral systems as opposed to Malaysia's present first-pass-the-post election option.

    4. Introducing elected mayors or presidents

    Maria said CGG recognised that the long term strategy for law reform will take time and, therefore, recommended that a Royal Commission on Local Government be set up to effect a comprehensive review and reform.

    "State governments committed to local democracy can take the lead by collectively pushing this into the agenda of NCLG.

    "This can force the federal government to set in motion the reform of local government so as to better reflect the aspirations and interests of the citizens, instead of merely passing a motion at the state assembly to call upon the federal government to initiate local government elections," she added.

    Short-term recommendations (within the term of the state legislature and executive)

    Maria said state governments should use their powers to effect an 'opt out' of Section 15 of the Local Government Act 1976 (LGA) by evoking the provision under Section 1(4) of the LGA.

    "By utilising the provision of section 1(4) of the LGA, a state government has the discretion to exclude any area within a local authority from the provisions of the LGA, in particular the cessation of local council elections," she added.

    Once the 'opt out' exercise is carried out, Maria said the Local Government Elections Act 1960 (LGEA) can be used to conduct local elections.

    "A state government would need to take some steps to follow up on the 'opt out' process. It would need to enlist the assistance of the Election Commission to administer the local elections in accordance with the provisions of Section 4(1) of the LGEA," she noted.

    Immediate recommendations (within one year)


    Running concurrently with the long-term process and the short-term 'opt-out' exercise, Maria said the Selangor state government should conduct a 'people-oriented selection process' (POSP).

    She said POSP will have the effect of by-passing the EC (in the event that EC chooses not to cooperate) whilst still giving some measure of legitimacy to the wishes of citizens.

    "POSP would operate like an election, whereby candidates are 'nominated' by communities at their constituency levels, and a selection is held.

    "Once selected in this manner, a state government would then proceed to appoint those chosen as councillors for the specified constituency," she said.

    "This method avoids any legal or political disputes with the federal government and EC and can be carried out in the shortest possible time frame, i e within 12 months," she added.

    Maria said the idea of the POSP is for citizens to reclaim their rights to the third vote.

    "Continuing with the appointment system or proposing the setting up of an independent selection committee, be it partisan or non-prtisan, does not help to resolve issues of governance and concerns of political deference as opposed to fulfilling citizens' interests," she added. TheMalaysiaInsider....
    py

  2. #2
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    Re: Reclaiming the right to 3rd vote - If PR drop elected local govt......

    The talk around town is that PR is going to drop elected local government in their Common Policy Platfrom (CPP). If this issue is important to you, write to your local PR representative and make clear your views to them. This is urgent as there is only one day left before the CPP is finalised.

    a-reminder-to-pakatan-rakyat

    1. DAP 2008 Manifesto last section on Democracy and Freedom, point no. 4 calls for “Implement local government elections to ensure accountability and efficiency”.

    2. Haris Ibrahim has made some points here: pakatan-rakyat-convention-return-the-3rd-vote-to-the-rakyat/. Please read the comments section.

    3. On 23rd Feb 2008, in Bukit Damansara, Malaysiakini.tv showed the following leaders representing DAP, PKR and PAS endorsed the People’s Declaration, which includes the return of local government elections:
    DAP: Ronnie Liu,
    PAS: Dr. Siti Mariah,
    PKR: Che’Gu Bard, Wee Choo Keong
    This was a very strong point to gain support in the urban areas and did not have a noticeable effect on the rural areas.

    4. Coalition for Good Government has emphasized the importance of elected local government (ELG): 6th Jul 09 -

    5. PKR activists have spent the past 10 years cajoling and pleading with the voters to give PKR a chance in Mar 2008. They have done that and now apparently, PR is rewarding their faith by going back on their promise of ELG. Imagine the scenario in GE 13. PR are going to make a lot of promises. Will those promises be believed if they cannot implement a simple exercise such as ELG? Worse still, if Najib is successful in destabilizing the Selangor Government and PR is forced to call for State Elections, can they win? However, if the Common Policy Platform includes ELG and PR is forced to go for State Elections, PR have a basis to ask the voters for trust.

    The repercussions on PR abandoning their promise on ELG are going to be very severe. Off hand, I can think of Haris Ibrahim, RPK, the middle class in Ampang Jaya, PJ, Subang Jaya, Shah Alam and Klang. And if an election were to be conducted in Subang Jaya/Kelana Jaya, Hannah Yeoh will win. Any candidate PKR put up in Kelana Jaya will likely lose. The story going round is that the Malay PKR and PAS leaders oppose ELG. If these people are to face the electorate in mixed seats, they will have a big problem.

    It is good to be conscious of the concerns of the Malays about non-Malay domination of the town councils. Are we not promoting multi-racialism where we don’t identify by race?

    Proposal on ELG:
    • Conduct a trial run for 5 towns only – Ampang Jaya, PJ, Subang Jaya, Shah Alam and Klang.
    • Offer 2/3 of the seats plus the mayor/council president for an opinion poll to be canvassed among rate-payers on the town councils rate-payers rolls. Only those who are current in their payment are eligible. The MB agrees to abide by the results of the opinion poll.
    • In the poll, ask the rate-payers whether they want a revamp of the local council administration and cost-reduction. This will give us the leverage to reform the whole system and reduce staffing and overheads.
    • 1/3 of the local council seats will be reserved for direct appointment by PR. This can serve as a safeguard in case the opinion polls produce results that are too skewed towards one race.
    • Conducting such a poll should not cost much, maybe 50k per local council.

    PR must be seen to put in some sincere efforts to re-introduce ELG. Then in a snap poll, they have credibility to talk to the voters. If not, the activists on the ground will be stuck during the next elections.
    py

  3. #3
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    Re: Reclaiming the right to 3rd vote- Pakatan Rakyat vs local elections

    Chin Huat talks sense.

    Pakatan Rakyat vs local elections
    16 Dec 09 : 8.00AM

    By Wong Chin Huat
    editor@thenutgraph.com

    IT is funny to hear my friends in the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) complaining that civil society is pressuring only the opposition coalition to revive local elections and not the Barisan Nasional (BN). It becomes more hilarious now that the PR has reportedly reduced its commitment to merely "strengthening local democracy." One unnamed leader defends it as "a matter of semantics ... about how we are saying it."

    For the record, this is the semantic difference that voters may want to take note of. The DAP's 2008 manifesto called for "[implementing] local government elections", while Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)'s 2008 manifesto called for "[reinstating] with immediate effect local elections."

    In the 2008, the People's Declaration was initiated by civil society and all the eventual PR coalition partners signed up to it. The Declaration committed "to pass the necessary legislations to provide for local elections."

    In another document which all three parties committed themselves to, the Coalition for Clean and Fair Election's joint communiqué in 2006, they recognised the long-term need to "re-introduce elections for local authorities at city, municipal, district and village levels with an electoral system which is free and fair, and enables Malaysians to participate actively."

    Why is it funny or hilarious to see the PR backpedalling?

    Local elections need PR?


    PR leaders apparently think that local elections need them more than they need local elections. Local elections will need them if they win the next federal election or continue to control the few states they currently govern.

    The PR's fear of local elections could be that autonomously powerful local councillors may defy party bosses. Or, they could be afraid of the "racial composition in major towns" — a euphemism for the perceived dominance of liberals and non-Malay Malaysians in local councils.

    These two reasons, however, are not equivalent to the legal obstacles they claim are hindering their introduction of local elections. If this is the case, then winning federal power will probably only make the PR more reluctant to introduce local democracy. And if that is the case, civil society will have to plead even harder to the PR for some change. That's realpolitik.

    But how sure is the PR that it will win Putrajaya or continue to control the states it currently governs?

    If it loses the next federal election, can it survive as a coalition without local elections? The PR would probably laugh at this question — the cause for local elections has too often been framed as an issue of democracy and good governance, rather than one of realpolitik and the party system.

    PR needs local elections


    The feasibility and survival of the PR, not unlike the BN, lies in both the payoff and prospect of power and inter-ethnic balance.

    Had the parties won far fewer seats in March 2008, even if they subsequently came together, they would probably have split soon after. That was why the Gagasan Rakyat-Angkatan Perpaduan Ummah coalitions lasted for just one parliamentary term.

    Despite winning 43% of the popular vote in 1990, the two coalitions and Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) won only 49 out of 180 parliamentary seats, or 27%. The inter-ethnic/-religious imbalance in the opposition camp — the non-Muslim DAP with 20 seats, Muslim PAS and Semangat 46 with 15, and East Malaysian PBS with 14 — did not help. Soon, PAS and Semangat 46 quarrelled in Kelantan, and the DAP felt betrayed by both PAS's Islamisation agenda and Semangat 46's resurgent Malay nationalism.

    The same fate was repeated with Barisan Alternatif (BA) in 1999. With about 39% of the popular vote, the coalition won only 42 out of 193 parliamentary seats, or 22%. The inter-ethnic/-religious balance was also far from perfect: PAS dominated with 27 seats, the DAP had 10, and Parti Keadilan Nasional failed in its function as the intermediary with a mere five seats. Within two years, the DAP quit the BA to distance itself from PAS's Islamisation agenda and Keadilan's failure to check PAS.

    "Why can't politicians be more farsighted, putting the nation before their party and individual gains?" the idealist in you might ask.

    The short answer is that politicians are mortals like you, not angels. The longer answer is that politicians behave like two different species in legislative and executive roles.

    Legislators — from both sides of the aisle — are normally more combative as their role is to question the government or the opposing camp and expose flaws and errors. By design, they need to only represent a particular geographical or social constituency rather than the entire society, hence their tendency to play to the gallery.


    On the other hand, ministers need to run the country as a team. They need to take on board various interests and therefore be more moderate. Such behavior is in turn rewarded by having greater power than legislators. This explains why certain firebrand politicians mellow after joining government. However, in the Malaysian context, running an almost mono-ethnic state like Terengganu may not require politicians to be more inclusive. And of course, even in multiethnic Selangor, we still find state ministers like Datuk Dr Hasan Ali, who act more like legislative combatants.

    How the PR might perish

    The PR is viable only if the leaders of its component parties have to run multiethnic Malaysia like a responsible government, or have to imagine themselves doing so. Otherwise, it may break up like its predecessors of the last two decades.

    The PR's survival requires one of these three conditions:

    The PR wins federal power or at least survives as a strong federal opposition to offer hopes of future ministership.

    The PR wins enough state governments especially in multiethnic states to promote inclusive and collaborative behaviour.

    The PR controls enough local authorities, especially in multiethnic areas, to cultivate similarly inclusive and collaborative practices.

    Without local elections, the second and third alternatives are collapsed into one. Thus, when the PR lost Perak, it also lost Ipoh, Taiping, Kuala Kangsar, Kampar and all the other towns.

    Introducing local elections, like buying insurance, spreads the political risk. If PR-held states manage to introduce local elections, the coalition does run the risk of losing some local councils to the BN. But there will then be tremendous pressure for BN-held states to also introduce local elections, which might inadvertently offer the PR the opportunity to make inroads.

    In contrast, resisting local elections is, in effect, political gambling — betting that the PR will emerge victorious in the winner-takes-all game.

    Why is the PR's resistance to local elections hilarious? Because their arrogance today will not win them any sympathy if they get thrown out of Umno's electoral one-party casino tomorrow. The Nut Graph....
    py

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    Re: Reclaiming the right to 3rd vote: Anwar denies Pakatan at odds over issue

    Anwar denies Pakatan at odds over local council polls

    Rahmah Ghazali, Dec 16, 09

    Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim today brushed aside speculations that Pakatan Rakyat component party leaders were divided on local council elections, especially with objections coming largely from his own party PKR.

    However he admitted that there was a strong difference of opinion among the leaders on the issue, despite Pakatan's promise in its 2008 elections manifesto to spread democracy through local council elections should it wrest federal power.

    "There was a strong difference of opinion but then we have to agree on a consensus, only then we could go through everything," he told reporters in Parliament.

    Anwar, who is also PKR's de facto leader, revealed that he had a three-hour meeting with all Pakatan leaders in Parliament building today to finalise Pakatan's common policy which will be unveiled at its convention this Saturday.

    In the meeting, he said, the issue of local council elections was also among the matters discussed but the leaders managed to come up with a "clear and strong" final draft of a policy. Malaysiakini. Subscription required.
    py

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    Re: Reclaiming 3rd vote - Can PR tell us what happened to the promise.

    Can Pakatan Rakyat tell us what happened to this promise?
    NO HOLDS BARRED

    Friday, 18 December 2009 Super Admin

    In a few hours time, the Pakatan Rakyat delegates will be sitting down for their first conference. Malaysia Today has been told that local government elections is no longer Pakatan Rakyat’s agenda. This is a betrayal and a departure from the promise made during the March 2008 general election campaign. Malaysia Today would like to remind Pakatan Rakyat what was agreed in March 2008 and in Melaka in July that same year.


    NO HOLDS BARRED

    Raja Petra Kamarudin

    Conference on the Roadmap to Local Government Elections


    A conference on the Roadmap to Local Government Elections was jointly organized by the Malacca Bar Committee in cooperation with the Civil Society Initiative for Parliamentary Reform (CSI-Parliament) and the Centre for Policy Initiatives (CPI) on July 26th, 2008 at King’s Hotel. The aim of this conference was to serve as a platform to propel practical but exciting development options to hold elections in local government and to encourage further collaboration between the federal administration and local authorities in regards to civil society advocacy. The outcome of this conference will form the basis for wider public consultation and it is the fervent wish of the organisers that it would ignite institutional reform towards a democratic system of locally elected representatives....


    ....Participants at the one-day conference adopted the following resolutions:

    1. the restoration of local elections constitutes an important step forward in reviving democracy, improving the standard of governance and checking the scourge of corruption, excesses and mismanagement presently plaguing the urban population in Malaysia;

    2. the restoration of local elections lies clearly within the jurisdiction of the state government, as provided for by the Article 113(4) and Item 4, List II, Schedule 9 in the Federal Constitution. State governments, especially the Pakatan Rakyat ones which have made election promises on reviving local elections, should take immediate steps to formulate state laws to such effect;

    3. the Federal Government should, at the same time, initiate consultations with the general public and hold negotiations with the state governments to formulate a comprehensive plan to have local elections that are clean, free, fair and representative.
    Malaysiatoday....
    py

  6. #6
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    Re: Reclaiming the right to 3rd vote

    Earlier, when opening the convention, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng admitted that the party had to compromise on its commitment to restore local elections.

    This is bullshit. Ronnie Liu, himself, is clearly against local elections. Read the interview we had with him in June 2008 here:
    http://tindakmalaysia.com/tm_forums2...pic,149.0.html

    Hannah Yeoh is sincere and has been very consistent on the issue. The rest are just a bunch of hypocrites. And you can include PKR and PAS inside.


    DAP rep wants Pakatan to restore local election
    By Adib Zalkapli

    SHAH ALAM, Dec 19 – DAP’s Hannah Yeoh (pic) emerged as the only speaker that critically debated the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) common policy framework, urging the coalition to restore local government elections.

    “The local governments collect millions in tax revenue every year, but the public has no say in electing their members,” said Yeoh at the PR’s inaugural convention here.

    “Local election will also improve the quality of local councillors, the best candidate will win,” she declared. TheMalaysiaInsider....
    py

  7. #7
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    Re: Reclaiming the right to 3rd vote - CGG Paper on Local Govt Elections

    I wrote this at Charles Santiago's Facebook:

    You can PM me if you want a pdf copy of CGG's paper referenced below.

    Coalition for Good Government has produced a paper commissioned by the Selangor Govt: An Advocacy Paper
    BRING BACK LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS



    It states among many other things: A 2-party state begins with elected local govt. CGG estimates that it will cost less than RM 4 million to run a local election for 12 councils. I estimate that my method of sending out postal ballots to the rate-payers only should cost only RM 50k per council. For 5 towns/cities, it's only RM 250k.

    The only issue is political will and sincerity of Pakatan Rakyat. Better to put them to the test now before we consider them for Federal Govt.

    The 2 points to consider are:

    1. Sincerity of PR
    2. Moving to a 2-party state through elected local govt.

    Go and ask your ADUN: Where do they stand?
    Will they support local govt elections if it is put to the vote in the State Assembly.

    It's time for them to walk the talk.
    py

  8. #8
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    Re: Reclaiming the right to 3rd vote- DAP did not agree to drop local govt elect

    Now the spin starts. Cut the crap. Just hold an opinion poll. If Lim Guan Eng doesn't know how to do it, let us help him.

    DAP Did Not Agree To Any PR Manifesto Scrapping Local Government Elections
    LETTERS/SURAT

    Tuesday, 29 December 2009 Super Admin

    DAP Did Not Agree To Any Pakatan Rakyat Manifesto Scrapping Local Government Elections But Will Amend Federal Laws To Allow Local Government Democracy And Restore The 3rd Vote.


    I am directed to correct the report in The Star on 27.12.2009 which misquoted DAP Secretary-General and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng as saying that DAP had agreed to the scrapping of local government elections following objections from other component parties in PR. The erroneous report is as follows:-

    "DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng recently said Pakatan parties were not against the idea of local council elections but had reached “an understanding” that the measure advocated now was to build up transparent local authorities to serve the people well. Lim said the decision to scrap the idea of local council elections saw strong views from all parties concerned but the issue was ironed out by way of a consensus."

    At no time did Lim say that the DAP had agreed to the scrapping of local government elections. What Lim had said was that DAP had agreed to the other parties' request for the term "local government elections" be replaced by the term "strengthening local government democracy". Strengthening local government democracy was clearly spelt out as including local government elections. This was clearly stated in Lim's speech:- Malaysiatoday....
    py

  9. #9
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    Re: Reclaiming the right to 3rd vote -PR must make clear its plan on council ele

    PR must make clear its plan on council elections
    16 Dec 09 : 8.10PM

    By the Coalition for Good Governance
    editor@thenutgraph.com

    THE Coalition for Good Governance (CGG) is concerned by the article Pakatan tones down electoral reforms, published on The Malaysian Insider on 15 Dec 2009. According to the report, the Pakatan Rakyat (PR), in its coming national convention, may not include local council elections in its Common Policy Framework.

    The CGG would like to remind member parties of the Pakatan Rakyat of the commitments made to the rakyat at various platforms prior to and during 2008 general election. They include:

    PKR's Manifesto 2008 promised in item nine of its vision for a constitutional state to "reinstate with immediate effect local elections for municipal and local councils to create greater accountability at every level of government."

    The DAP, both through its campaign on The Third Vote: Restore Local Government Elections and its 2008 Election Manifesto, reiterated its call to "implement local government elections to ensure accountability and efficiency."

    The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih), whose membership include all three Pakatan Rakyat component parties, also promised "the need to re-introduce elections for local authorities at city, municipal, district and village levels, with an electoral system which is free and fair, and enables Malaysians to participate actively."

    The People's Declaration, which all three Pakatan Rakyat component parties endorsed during the 2008 elections, also upheld the principle of local elections. The Nut Graph....
    py

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