I think we need to rethink if we should continue to vest law making powers exclusively into the elected representatives (parliament). Following are the points we need to consider –
- There are no educational/professional qualifications required for contesting elections. So the competence of elected representatives to make laws is suspect.
- There are many undesirable elements that get into the parliament. So they may even get undesirable laws passed that serve the interest of the crooked rather than the honest citizen.
- Elected representatives are supposed to reflect the will of the people. Laws are passed with the support of a simple majority of the elected representatives. This means that a significant number of people were not in support of a law so passed. Moreover, it may not be wise even to make a law just because it has support of a very large majority. The reason is that often a law may be required in the longer term public interest and which may be painful for most people in the short term. In such scenario, it may not find support of people and yet, it may be necessary.
So what is a better option?
It may be a better idea to have a panel of experts for each field that should be tasked with law making relating to their field of expertise. This panel can also have some elected representatives but only for voicing what the people think about a proposed law. But the elected representatives should be a minority in the panel and not a majority. These panels can be appointed by a constitutional board in accordance with a clearly laid down set of criteria and evaluation process. This constitutional board can be appointed by a broad based selection committee consisting of elected representatives, again as per a clear set of guidelines and procedures approved by 2/3 majority in the parliament.
This will help depoliticise law making.