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4/23/2007

A council of elders

Dharmendra Yadav wrote about the need for a council of elders to act as a check to Parliament amidst the controversial ministerial pay rise. The thought behind this call is simple, there is a need to check Parliament when controversial or untenable bills or issues are raised and passed. The need for a neutral and counterbalancing voice is obviously felt by many except the govt. This is natural as the govt would think that it is the best and, being voted to power by the people, is supreme and has the mandate to do what it thinks is right. And it will not submit to another group to check on its power and actions. Such a call is at best a mental exercise as it will never be implemented by any party in power. Who would want to share power or have their hands tied? Which party will be brave enough, generous enough, to want to do this knowing that it is for the good of the future of the country?

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

However, we could have a council of elders made up of old retired PAP MPs. In such a scenario, the facade would be a form of checks and balances but in theory it would be exactly the same. Why not??

Anonymous said...

Shit! Do we have to pay these PAP elders too?!

Matilah_Singapura said...

Once a council of elders proves to be an "impediment" to the government, they will be rounded up and thrown in jail for sedition.

Anonymous said...

Say you have a council of elders, who would be responsible to nominate and select them to this council? I guess they will be selected from the "experience" ex-PAP MPs. Are we going to have yet another bunch of "yes-men"? to be paid millions? What checks and balances will that be? Redbean, I think that your idea sucks!!!

Leo said...

The idea of checks and balances comes from the American adversarial system of government and court proceedings. Under that system, for every proposal, there is a counter-proposal. For every proponent, there should be an opponent.

But checks and balances can be quite expensive in terms of duplicated efforts, and time. I won't repeat the other comments about effectiveness, perceived independence of the council, and of course, costs.

redbean said...

hi leo,

welcome to the blog.

there are many preconditions in order that such a system become effective. and there are costs involved, cumbersome at times. the american founding fathers saw the problems of unchecked power and had wisely ensured that powers will be checked under their constitution. we ignore such wisdom at our own peril.

anyone who claims that there are wise and impartial men who can wield power without being corrupted by power must be from woodbridge.

if there is going to be a council of elders, they must be people who are politically neutral, or the combination of the council should be fairly balance. and the elders should not ask for millions to keep pace with their talented status.

the council should at best be paid an honourarium, maybe a token sum, to fulfil our self fulfilling prophecy that no one will work for free. membership in the council is an honour with heavy responsibility.

if the council of elders is going to be heavily coloured and cost another bomb, better don't even think about it. anyway, it is wishful thinking.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Where did the idea come from: that a bunch of OLD FARTS with colostomy bags, hip replacements, quadruple bypasses, mastectomies and on-going chemotherapy—or folks heading in that general direction... know "best" especially for the future fiery young (yes, there are a few) in the country?

If I were a young person I would shudder at the idea of a bunch of old windbags trying to control my life.

I would probably lobby the government to PUT THEM these flatulent frauds in jail for sedition, treason and child cruely!

To you kay-poh, meddling, bitter Old Bastards and Old Slags out there:

Go quietly and die gracefully—everyone needs to do just that, for none of us are immortal or have "omniscient" intelligence. Everyone has a turn and gets a chance in this life to "have a go"—you've had your turn, now it is someone else's turn—so concern yourself with your own and only your own salvation in your twilight years, and leave others the fuck alone!

Please don't interfere. Young people want to ENJOY themselves. They have lots of time to make their own mistakes, and perhaps (no guarantee) learn from them.

Anonymous said...

If it is going to be another bunch of so called 'qualified people' selected by a 'selected committee' like the presidential candidates, I say, forget it. Its like the right hand checking the left hand.

redbean said...

wow, matilah's monday afternoon sermon.

don't worry young man. no letter writer can influence anything. the paper is just filling out some space lah. let other people share their thoughts lah.

the govt has a lot of checks and balances in place. no need any outsider to check them lah. as long as we pay good money and bring in good men at their price, we will be safe.

Anonymous said...

lol.from what i had read, i think it is still a one way ticket to arm-a-god-den.