Overseas Pakistanis must be given the Right to Vote... Take Action
PTI is of the considered opinion, in fact a CEC
decision was made sometime ago that we would campaign for the Right of
Overseas Pakistanis to vote in elections in Pakistan. Many Presidents
and Prime Ministers have made this promise whenever they have been
abroad. Even the Supreme Court charged the Election Commission of
Pakistan to look into this issue and devise a plan (in the 90's).
However such a right if given will shake the established corridoors of
power wherein there is a huge reflection of bogus and coercive voting in
maintaining the status quo.
Let me communcite to all of you the
practical side. If somebody wants to vote for his/her constituency he
should be exposed to a political campaign. In many countries such
campaigning would not be allowed for example in the entire Middle East.
Secondly on what basis would you select our constituency. For many it
would be easy and for some city dwellers it would be difficult. For
this reason a far better option is available which would also make a
very good reflection in Pakistan politics.
This option is
Proportional Representation. for those of you intereseted please look
up at the advantages. First-past-the-post system skews the electoral
process wherein there is an inaccurate reflection of party votes
relative to seats gained. Theretically Party A can get 100% seats with
51% of the votes and Party B can get zero seats though it gets 49%
votes. This is an extreme example but every election done in this
format shows that the final result never reflects the vote count. All
major parties in Pakistan (including PPP in its original manifesto) have
at different time proposed proportional representation but as they come
into power they get an advantage through first-past-the-post system and
they do not want to let it go.
Many countries have moved towards
other voting systems including proportional representation and range
voting. The most accurate is range voting but it requires a literate
population (and we have made sure to keep people illiterate).
Pakistanis would easily be able to vote for parties (proportional
representation) and then for the first time in Pakistan this vote will
allow seat allocation on the basis of party vote strength, thereby
balancing the entire politcal edifice.
The High Commission of Pakistan has put up a questionnaire on its website http://www.phclondon.org/votingright/default.asp
fill it out and ask all Overseas Pakistanis to campaign for this issue.
Some of you may remember that we discussed this in our earlier blogs
with an overwhelming demand that we should do something. Now you have
Dr Arif Alvi
Dr Arif Alvi