CHITRAL: Senate elections and horse trading have become synonyms in Pakistan. Members of provincial Assemblies love the Senate elections more than their own victory in polls- For obvious reason. The senate elections offers an MPA a chance to sell his/her vote to the highest bidder and in the process pocket several crore rupees, a sum they may not have even seen in their lives.
Now there is a proposal by the government to make the senate elections transparent. The MPAs will now have to cast their vote by a show of hand. Apparently this seems a clean and transparent method of conducting the elections and definitely better than the previous system, but it still has it’s lacunas.
In the mew process the party head will decide whom to award the Senate ticket and that person will be automatically elected in proportion to the MPAs of the party. No cheating by the MPAs can be done here, but the fact that the discretion of choosing the Senator lies with the party head in this system, which again does not seem a fair method.
The best way to overcome the Senate election problem is to publicly auction the senate seats within the designated constituencies and the highest bidder be allotted the seat. This way at least we shall have a hefty amount deposited in the treasury instead of going into the pockets of MPAs or party heads.
As regards the capability of such Senators they cannot do any worse than the traditional lot elected through secret ballot, as there is hardly anything for Senators to do.in Pakistan. .. CN report, 17 Dec 2020