Some constitutional proposals

30 January 2008

The following PDF document is a compilation of constitutional and legislative proposals for Sri Lanka from several sources: Some constitutional proposals for Sri Lanka

Readers who have read the original APRC majority report may find a few of the proposals familiar while others are wholly unconventional (e.g. the Department of Government Invigilation and the method of electing the Regional Council).

Table of Contents of the document 

1. Explanatory Notes

1.1. The nature of this document
1.2. Principles
1.3. Notes on the Parliament
1.4. Notes on the Executive
1.5. Notes on Regions
1.6. Notes on Regional Governor
1.7. Notes on the Civil Service
1.8. Notes on Revenue
1.9. Notes on the Department of Government Invigilation
1.10. Notes on the Concurrent Exercise of Powers by the Central and Regional Governments

2. Nature of the State

2.1. The Republic
2.2. Language

3. Fundamental Rights & Limits to Government

3.1. Laws
3.2. Life
3.3. Property
3.4. Universal Suffrage
3.5. Religion, Beliefs and Ethnicity
3.6. Freedom of Speech
3.7. Privacy
3.8. Transparency
3.9. Separation of Powers

4. The Legislature

4.1. The Parliament

5. The Executive

5.1. The President

6. The Judiciary

7. Regions
7.1. The Nature of Regions
7.2. Regional Council
7.3. Governor
7.4. Regional Courts

8. Elections

8.1. Conduction of elections

9. The Police

9.1. The Police Commission
9.2. Regional Police
9.3. The Central Police Agency

10. Taxation

10.1. Collection of Taxes

11. The Civil Service

11.1. Appointments

12. The Department of Government Invigilation

12.1. Purpose
12.2. Appointments
12.3. The Office of Records
12.4. The Auditor’s Office
12.5. The Office of Public Evaluations
12.6. The Office of Investigations
12.7. The Office of Prosecution
12.8. The Office of Operations

13. A Partial Legislative Program for the First Administration

13.1. Departments
13.2. Need based subsidies
13.3. Motor traffic
13.4. Littering
13.5. School accreditation
13.6. School maintenance and funding
13.7. Tax voting
13.8. Crime

14. Concerns Pertaining to the Proposals

Note that this is not a final document and that implementation details (especially numbers) may vary depending on practicality and conditions prevailing. Authors do not expect some proposals to be politically feasible in the near future.


Politicization and personal choice

23 January 2008

An excerpt from this article.

I like the Lexus LS 460. I also like Dell computers. Many other people have a different set of preferences. Some might prefer a Cadillac and an HP computer while others prefer a Chrysler and IBM computer. With these strong preferences for particular cars and computers, we never see people arguing or fighting in an effort to impose their preferences for cars and computers on other people. There’s car and computer peace. Why? You buy the car and computer that you want; I do likewise and we remain friends.

There’s absolutely no reason for car and computer choices to remain peaceful. Suppose our car and computer choices were made in the political arena through representative democracy or through a plebiscite where majority ruled. We would decide collectively whether our cars would be Lexuses or Cadillacs or Chryslers. We also would decide collectively whether our computer would be a Dell or HP or IBM computer.

I guarantee you there would be nasty, bitter conflict between otherwise peaceful car and computer buyers… How would you broker a peace with these parties in conflict? If you’re not a tyrant, I’m betting you’d say, “Take the decision out of the political arena and let people buy whatever car and computer they wish.”

The principle applies to most choices that don’t involve the government in its TRADITIONAL roles (justice and defense). The way to minimize conflicts is to allow for PERSONAL choice instead of group choices.