How the Role of a Parliamentarian as The National Lawmaker is on a Decline?

Updated November 10, 2022

The legislative branch is a branch of government having the power to make laws and it consists of the parliamentarian. So, for the smooth conduction and sustaining the vitality of parliamentary democracy, the role of a parliamentarian is crucial. MPs may raise issues of public importance in parliament and analyze the government’s response to problems being faced by citizens through debates, discussions, or motions.

Reasons for Decline in Quality

i. Anti-defection law imposes a restriction on the right to speech and expression of the legislators as they are expected to compulsorily follow party direction. Defection is defined as either voluntarily giving up the membership of his party or disobeying the directives of the party leadership on a vote in the legislature.

ii. Strengthening of the office of whip has led to a decline in the role of individual representatives.

iii. In today’s politics, money and power matters, those who have money power, and criminal status approach politics because they get easy access in politics unlike people with a fair image and less money power, which has led to an overall decline in the quality of representatives. As per the report of the association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), of the 539 winning candidates, 233 MPs or 43% have criminal charges against them.

iv. Reduction in the parliamentary sitting from 120 days to 65-70 days has led to the decline in the role of a parliamentarian…….

v. Rise in competitive electoral politics without any obstruction has led to the politicization of every issue which affects the objective decision.

vi. Gaining full majority by the ruling party or weak oppositions leave little space for the desire of democratic decision.

vii. Despite lawmakers, party high commands are deciding on policymaking and laws formulation which has led to the decline in the role of a parliamentarian.

Various ways for declination of quality

i.The time spent on debate and discussion of the budget was an average of 136 hours in 1950 which has reduced to 36 hours in the past few decades. This has left the passage of bill and budget with no due diligence and debate and had led to the decline in the role of an individual parliamentarian.

ii. Lack of accountability of the government. In the 16th Lok Sabha, question hour has functioned in Lok Sabha for 77% of the scheduled time, while in Rajya Sabha it has functioned for 47%.

iii. Reduction in the productivity of parliament.

iv. Drastic declination in the number and quality of Private Member’s Bill has also led to the decline in the quality of debates and their outcome.

v. High cost to the public exchequer in the form of wasting taxpayer money.

vi. Delay in Policy-Making leading to the rise of unconstitutional bodies and judicial intervention to fill the legislative gap.

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