In theory, there are two basic methods of voting, namely secret ballot and open ballot, although in practice modern democracies prefer secret ballot for the purpose of safeguarding the sanctity of individual freedom of choice, as basic right of a voter. The government of Pakistan has announced restriction on the method of secret ballot while replacing it with open ballot in the upcoming senate election, justifying the proposal as a technique of relieving the senate election from horse trading resulting from bribery and corruption.
It is still quite contradictory to the utopia of corruption-free system of government absent in Pakistan, keeping in view that Pakistan follows bicameral legislature amidst scarcity of financial resources, with upper house called senate representing a wider and multiple range of sections in society assigned with duty of providing a more sober second thought compared to public-driven popularly elected lower house – National Assembly. To create the upper chamber may have been a sensible decision at the time of independence or later, witnessing serious economic crisis, financial discrepancies, deterioration in business and national enterprises, bicameralism could easily be termed as extravagance today.
Its functionality has been eroded to nothing with little prospect for change, despite empty speeches and useless promises. It seems absurd to imagine the Senate should take up even an hour of serious discussion, as most of the senate members have been bestowed with a membership in relation to their wealthy connections, which is an outright negation of competence, while on the other hand it is a complete waste of finances spent on the senate sessions, wages, and protocols. Upper chamber has become a repository of political cronies, former political personalities, business tycoons and many other depressingly unserious characters. Today it serves no real purpose other than to bring itself into disrepute. From a practical perspective, Pakistan already has a unicameral legislature. Why not make it official? – On a daily basis evidence piles up that reveals our upper house to be neither useful nor necessary.
While talking about state over-spending, misuse of financial resources, one cannot overlook such many unnecessary offices enjoying the royal treatment as free-ride. Conspicuous out of these is the office of provincial governor, who is practically “Queen” of the Westminster parliament in Pakistan, served with pampering accessories at his very own provincial “Buckingham” palace.
Have any other countries/territories ever abolished their senate?
And the answer is a YES! Following are the countries that have redesigned the composition of their legislatures and have moved to unicameralism, keeping in view the larger good of the state. Nevertheless, countries stated below are financially capable to entertain bicameralism with ease compared to Pakistan’s crippled economic position. It is quite ludicrous to justify a system merely because it was proposed by the ancestors or because it has not been opposed by some one before. In the nutshell, Pakistan’s senate is a highly undemocratic institution and a total burden on an already feeble state of economy.
Nebraska (United States)
many other local, and national states
How can I help?
Write to your MP. Let them know that the Senate is an unnecessary institution. You would rather see the money spent elsewhere or returned to your pocket.