Parliamentarians should have compulsory attendance like students!

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While the whole country is battling with the extreme crisis of water, those who actually are at the helm of the issue are nowhere seen. The photo shows a scarce population of parliamentarians in Rajya Sabha while debating on the water crisis in India on June 26, 2019. It is also proof of how serious our lawmakers are about the issues of the nation.

Creating a law which is flawless is next to impossible task. But it is certain that the only way to ensure that the law is ‘good’ is through discussion. In simple terms, exchange of ideas is essential to refine law. But if the attendance in parliament is low or the parliament is continuously disrupted then there is neither room left for debates nor for exchange of ideas. Progressively, laws are passed without much debate and it is reflected in their quality. This practice is not at all good for healthy governance of any nation. Primarily because the law or discussion which was going on doesn’t see enough point of views which are needed to resolve the problem and come up with a solution.

The MPs should be accountable to voters and sensitive towards their issues. Unfortunately, both is not happening. After the candidate becomes a MP, s/he forgets his/her constituency, their voters and even the parliament. So, what is the possible solution?

Here is my solution to this problem- a compulsory 75% attendance in parliament to be eligible to contest elections next term. There is strong need to publicize the attendance of each MP and inform the voters of his/her constituency about their qualitative and quantitative inputs. We need to educate voters that as in schools and colleges, a parliamentarian must maintain a minimum of 75% attendance to be allowed to contest next term’s elections. Can a student at school/ college learn if they start boycotting classes? Can an organization work if employees are on leave every day? Then, why are MP’s indifferent? When we expect students and empoyees to maintain a healthy attendance at their respective workplaces, then why expecting same from legislatures unconcerned?

Along with this, we also need to find ways to access the quality of inputs given by respective parliamentarians. Data analytics could be a useful tool to measure this. As persistent problems often demands exceptional solutions, there could also be a dialogue and debate on alternatives like a digital or virtual parliament.

When a country is in such dearth shortage of water, people are leaving homes in search of water; water table has diminished; taps are running dry, the nation expects that the legislators would spend some of their valuable time at least to discuss the issue and come up with suitable measures.

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