PILDAT kicks off survey on quality of democracy | Pakistan Today

PILDAT kicks off survey on quality of democracy

In order to get the opinion of a cross-section of society on the performance of democracy in 2011, including MPs, academics, the media and citizens groups, Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT) Thursday kicked off a national workshop ‘Assessment of the Quality of Democracy in 2011’.
The Democracy Assessment Group convened by PILDAT led the workshop. The PILDAT began its assessment of the quality of democracy in Pakistan in year 2011 through facilitating a national dialogue held here. The organisation is using an international framework for the assessment of the Quality of Democracy that has been developed by the International IDEA. PILDAT Executive Director Ahmed Bilal Mehboob said on the occasion that PILDAT had been assessing the quality of democracy in Pakistan and had earlier prepared a report on mid-term assessment of the quality of democracy in Pakistan in September 2010. Javed Jabbar, who coordinated the discussion at the workshop, said the quality of democracy in September 2010 had received a score of 45% and the scores for 2011 would be available after the completion of the January 2012 report. He termed the initiative as a collective exercise by the Democracy Assessment Group to review democracy in 2011.
The list included positive aspects of quality of democracy in 2011, as the public support for democracy, emergence of PTI as a 3rd force, demonstration of wider public interest and participation of youth in politics, formation of full-time Election Commission by bipartisan committee, electoral reforms, independence of media and independence of the Supreme Court. The negative aspects, in views of the group, were poor quality of governance, corruption, deterioration of civil-military relations, poor quality of leadership, hereditary politics, weak parliamentary performance, a weak foreign policy and deteriorating public services. PPP Information Secretary Qamar Zaman Kaira said a democracy could not sustain itself by merely passing laws. “When we talk of democracy we should have some context in mind especially our context. The government, parliament and political parties are not the only thing, forming a democracy. The issues of federal-province relations are centuries old. We have historically tried to govern the country with a centrist approach,” observed Kaira.
He said the Constitution of 1973 was consensus-oriented but repeated martial laws afterwards destroyed the federation and political parties. The present parliament had brought the 18th Amendment which at least defined the federation again. The government at least tried to define the federal-province relations, he said, adding that the government might not be able to perform as good as the democracy in Britain since both countries had different history.



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