Fixed term election?

The other day, an old lady patient of mine surprised me with a question after the consultation is over.

She asked: Why is there no election yet?

This is a 70plus years old lady who is a typical housewife, talking about her illness and her family on most of her visits , and I have not heard her talk politics or comment on social problems all this while.

So I ventured to answered her: There are simply too many problems out there for the governing party to feel safe/confident to call an election.

I am curious to know how this group of over 70s feel, and so I followed up my answer with a question of how she viewed the whole situation. In the past, there were some in this gorup who would vote the incumbents for stability.

She said that she would not support the ruling party as there were so many things wrong.  This was despite of all the goodies given. She said she has taken the RM500 under BR1M, which was public money and it would be stupid for anyone not to take it. But she said that she would not be swayed by this money since this money did not belong to the government but came from the people originally.

I told her that another round of RM500 would be coming, and she was incredulous. She was worried that some of the people might be swayed by the money and thus continue to vote for this ‘bad’ party (that was her words used).

I told her about Bersih 3.0 and that most people in the cities would not be swayed.

I finally told her that Parliament will automatically be dissolved on 28th April 2013, and within 60 days of dissolution, there must be an election, which means that the much anticipated GE will have to be held within the next 12 months, like it or not.

She seemed relieved  and mentioned that this might be the last time she is voting as she is old . I have to reaasure that her health is alright, and that she has many years to go on if she continues to lead a careful and active lifestyle.

Thus ended this conversation which has given me much food for thought.

The hottest topic since the last 2 years was the pending GE. But for 24 months, we have heard the sounds of wlking on the stairs but have not seen anyone coming down the stairs, so to speak.

Because of the uncertainty, so much politics were played, so many so-called elections budgets have been tabled, giving many handouts which do not necessarily help the economy.

Each round when there were handouts or goodies being dispensed, there were rumours that election would be called.

This creates an uncertainty not only in the business sector, but in the stock market, in the investment milieu, and the planning of many of activities, and the list goes on.

The flexible election date is a feature of the Westminster system, and it gives the incumbents an advantage. the incumbents can call an election at a time most favourbale to them. Like stock markets, governing party’s fortune changes, and it cahnges rapidly depending on the policies implemented, the economic factors, and the mood of the electorate which can be greatly influenced by peer pressure. The latter is a result of many factors, among which are  the spin stories and the media influence.

I must say that I agree with Minister Nazri in his proposal that there should be a fixed 5 year term for Parliament.

It will enable proper planning, less politicking (once in 5 years unlike now, politicking starts 2 years from the lasy election), less wastage of money in the forms of election budgets. It would enable more governing, more stable business, stock market and investment milieu.

With the fixed term, voters can also plan their activities. Just take me as an example. Few months ago, when I got news that my daughter-in-law is expecting  in May, I was hesitant to buy a ticket to visit my son in May-june period, as there were rumours that there would be an election in June. But after analysing all the available info, I decided that there was just too much of outstanding issues for PM to call an election , so I went ahead and booked our tickets (My wife went over with me)in March. Even then, I wasn’t 100% sure that election would not be called in the school holidays in early June.. My vote may not mean anything (since my area PJ Utara was won by Tony Phua by a huge margin and I expect this margin to widen)  but I just want to do my civil duty as a citizen.


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. CYC
    Jun 22, 2012 @ 18:15:27

    Agree, this is a better method that could do away all uncertainty on the GE date.


  2. butthead
    Jun 22, 2012 @ 20:59:14

    Take what Nazri says for just a tiny pinch of salt only.

    With the state of Malaysian politics at this juncture, rakyat should, in legitimacy, be given the right to demand for an election (thru their reps) as in the depths od decadence the country is in now !

    With its good intention a fixed system would only work best in a democratically mature society. With so many fcuk face hangers on now in Malaysia some might wish the idea never crossed their minds


  3. AcHoo!
    Jun 22, 2012 @ 21:14:21

    What happens when some MPs get fed up with corruption and power abuses and decide to dump their president and their party? Does that means the incumbent can continue with his wrong doing and the people wait the full term?


  4. WildCard
    Jun 24, 2012 @ 00:43:56

    Fixed term election needs its own support elements such as impeachment or recall. One governor of California was recalled before his term up because he performed poorly. Two Presidents innUS history were impeached, one resigned before he was fired, one was forgiven. It is hard to imagine Malaysian impeaching their PM or recall their state Mentri Besar or Chief Minister!
    Fixed term election system will be more threatening to those like to cling to power.
    What Nazri said about fixed term election can also imply turning Malaysia into a Republic!


  5. klm
    Jun 24, 2012 @ 00:46:40

    Nah! Ah Jib would not dare call for election. He has so many issues that he cannot fix. He will drag it until end of term. In the mean time, he will grab as much as he or to be more specific, fat mama, can.


  6. looes74
    Jun 25, 2012 @ 14:28:48

    Well Hsu, we can’t simply whack fellas for the sack of whacking fellas. However, I believe he got ulterior motives. Seriously speaking whether it’s fixed term or not, the most important thing is having level playing field.

    That’s what Bersih 3.0 all about


  7. Dr Hsu
    Jun 26, 2012 @ 09:39:45

    You have got the gist of the matter, and hit the nail right on its head.


  8. A true Malaysian
    Jun 26, 2012 @ 09:47:58

    I told you so, didn’t I?

    Only in Malaysia things like this can be made ‘prerogative’ of one person. The next thing that person will do is acting like a king, if not God.

    We have the infamous one in that old horse. He is still thinking he has the ‘prerogagtive’ to many things. Deciding when is the 13th GE is just one of the many. If he can, he wants to have the ‘prerogative’ to decide the winners of 13th GE.

    Ask yourselves, you want them to have their hands in these? In fact, this ‘prerogative’ thing is what they think they have in big brother, if not a certain race or religion. So?

    Vote ABU so that these ‘prerogatives’ end. It’s in our hands to make this a reality.


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