Proposals for a better local body government

Is the election season near? I can smell it in the air. All of a sudden, roads that had been in a state of disrepair for ages are getting carpeted. The CCIS website is actually yielding results. The traffic mess in Ramadan isn’t as bad as was initially expected. New signals have been installed. Multiple projects are being inaugurated. Even the readers agree that all these activities have to be support gaining gimmicks.

Maybe the government rightly believes that people in this nation have short term memories. We will forget the problems we had to face during the entire term of Mustafa ‘Kudaal’ as some of the commentors on this blog have named him, and only remember the most recent successes. And it’s not just this particular government. As the elections close in, all elected (and otherwise) leaders step up on not only promising rhetoric but also development activities in their constituencies to lure in gullible voters.

Not saying that the concerned authorities don’t work at all during their entire term, but it surely is no exaggeration to say that the pace of activities genuinely intended for the people’s sake accelerates as the elections draw near. If this is the case, why then, can’t the term the city government is elected for be reduced further so the people benefit the most since the elections would always be around the corner?

One implication of more frequent elections though may be an inevitable increase in violence as political parties grope for power. The only viable solution to eradication of such violence by power hungry parties is holding elections on a non party base. This will have a number of benefits:

1. People who don’t want to be associated with one political faction but are genuinely interested in serving their nations in the capacity of Town or City Nazims may contest elections. Even though independent candidates do run for seats in the present setup, but they have little prospects of winning. Doing away with parties altogether would ensure a level playing field for all.
2. Power will not be concentrated in one political camp as in the time of both Naimatullah Khan and Mustafa Kamal. This will serve to increase the transparency of the city administration.
3. Policies from the previous election term can be continued instead of indulging in apologetic blame games as is the norm.

The Local Body System of government has undoubtedly been a blessing for karachi but these are just some of the measures that can be considered to improve efficiency and increase the transparency of the city administration.

25 Comments so far

  1. kaduna2003 (unregistered) on September 28th, 2007 @ 1:13 am

    The most critical thing is to place term limits for all political offices. No reelections allowed either at party level either.
    That will help get rid of corrupt nawaja , corrupt budnazir and altafa the terrorist. Until these 3 bloodsucker are dispensed with, there really is no hope.


  2. Syed Johny (unregistered) on September 28th, 2007 @ 2:10 am

    well here are my views on ur recommendations!

    1).This might be problem! because finances are needed to run an election campaign,specially in constituency as large as KArachi ! which would clearly limit the field for rich and power hungry people ! who ussually are not concerned with the civic problems faced by avg citizens! cause they themselves do not face it/ or experienced it!

    2) since first option is not feesable! then this solution is also not ! there are other ways of implementing transparencies in the system! Although I will comment that both the Nazims had limited their political activities! for the job !

    3) This has been implemented !

    As for Kundan ! shutup!


  3. kaduna2003 (unregistered) on September 28th, 2007 @ 2:41 am

    @syed
    I presume you were trying to address me when you made the lame attempt to address “kundan”?
    Your gagging techniques may work down in the dungy sewers that you infest, but are of little use in the etherland. Hence, a better use of “shutup” would be on the cretin that you interact with on a daily basis.


  4. JACKnJILL (unregistered) on September 28th, 2007 @ 3:20 am

    …..Mustafa ‘Kudaal’ as some of the commentors on this blog have named him.

    Some one also enlightened us about your screen name,

    SID= stupid + Idiot + dimwit


  5. Reality_Check (unregistered) on September 28th, 2007 @ 7:16 am

    SID What a piece of crap you managed to come up with. Frankly I couldn’t make anything of it. Putting it simply, it can be called as “spin doctoring of the lamest kind”. I guess you are trying to say, “Though things have happened, things have changed for the better but lets not give credit to any body, lets somehow spin it like a Jalebi and let the commentators figure out where it starts and ends.” in other words lets confuse the issue.

    Its no hidden secret that every government in the world tries to roll something out near the elections, you might be surprised but this happens in all the established democracies in the world, tax cuts are announced, influential lobbies are funded, and new foundation stones laid. This is the by product of the wonderful system i.e. democracy, people do get something.

    By the way, this blog has been filled with comments by the contributors about the hardships they have been facing due to the development work been done since last couple of years, compounded by the weather and power outages. Also a project like CCIS cannot suddenly pop up from thin air it must have taken more than a year to plan, develop and implement.

    My advice if you want to criticize or not give due credit to a certain party then be open about it, like the other commentators, don’t try to take the hypocritical approach, it stinks.


  6. Reality_Check (unregistered) on September 28th, 2007 @ 7:37 am

    Coming to your 3 golden proposals. This is not how democracies work. Remember the non-party based elections, they didn’t work either, like minded people in any system or country do get together and eventually form a party. Even at municiple level. Its not a one man job, you do need a team. However, here I would commend both Jamaat and MQM for keeping their municipal politics separate from their National politics.

    Those who want to contribute, outside of these established parties have to struggle, find like minded people, go through the grind and carve out a niche for themselves. My dear nothing comes served nicely in a plate, it requires commitment and sacrifice.


  7. Tariq Khanani (unregistered) on September 28th, 2007 @ 8:13 am

    i think u guyz are right, we should appreciate the concerned if thing are getting better. dil ka haal tu uppar wala janta hay. appreciation means a lot and people expect it after doing something right.


  8. MB (unregistered) on September 28th, 2007 @ 10:40 am

    @REALITY is here
    me out !!!


  9. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on September 28th, 2007 @ 12:49 pm

    appreciation COMES only when things are looked with positive aspect.

    again i would say-

    Glass half full or half empty, its our choice how we take it.

    The only best thing we all can do for the local body elections is that is he really from our locality and what credibilty he enjoy within the locality / area and is he a Resident or alien to the people living around.

    That will help us judge who we shall CHOOSE.


  10. closed_minds (unregistered) on September 28th, 2007 @ 2:09 pm

    “@REALITY is here me out !!! -MB”. I would like to remain idealistic and forget about ground realities … Closed_Minds out too!!!!


  11. d0ct0r (unregistered) on September 28th, 2007 @ 3:59 pm

    holding local govt election on non party basis would be like ideal situation but the irony is that even then candidates get associated with political parties and these parties run campaign for these candidates.. my suggestion is to hand over parts of Karachi to these two major parties , jamat and mqm and then let them compete with each other in terms of amount of development work done in those areas and civic problem of residents resolved… both should be handed over eqaul budget and a reasonable tenure… it would be win win situation for karachiites.. both parties working their heart out for betterment of karachi..in the end citizens will themselves judge who is better of the two


  12. Ali K.Chishti (unregistered) on September 28th, 2007 @ 4:46 pm

    I wonder how politics could be kept outside in any form of election. Unfortunately, it’s the political parties which are the motivating factor for the people to come on the Election Day to vote.
    a) Neutrality factor – unfortunately is used as a bargaining-chip in the land of pure where candidates put themselves ‘up for sale’.
    b) The non-groups which win(s) UC or any of the Local Bodies Seats are always welcomed to seat themselves at the opposition benches.
    c) Transparency comes with auditing quarterly and for the record the Haq Parast Group which won majority – has enforced strict quarterly auditing from ‘neutral’ companies.

    MQM led government has done a fairly good job in addressing the developmental side of Karachi by addressing the infrastructure needs and giving confidence to the people of Urban Karachi and Hyderabad .

    Barrister Ali K.Chishti


  13. Reality_Check (unregistered) on September 28th, 2007 @ 8:38 pm

    MB – CLOSED MINDS Come on!! dont do this to me, I am not Akram :-(

    Promise no lengthy posts and no retorts.

    I see a refreshing change in tone and quality of arguments from both sides of the divide. there is less cursing / name calling and more reasoning. look at the DOCTORS post.

    BTW welcome to Chishti Sahib.


  14. Murtaza (unregistered) on September 28th, 2007 @ 11:35 pm

    is it election time on KMB too…all sides are behaving themselves :)


  15. Tariq Khanani (unregistered) on September 29th, 2007 @ 12:06 am

    good news doctor u r now certified quality commentor by reality. congrats


  16. Mohammed Faysal (unregistered) on September 29th, 2007 @ 1:36 am

    I think this is not right, working at the end of the period so that you should be elected for next 5 yrs. this is not right, even though if they wont be getting any votes they will force people to give votes in their way because by hook or by crook MQM always want itself to be elected so that they could torcher the people of karachi, because they are always hungry to kill people(A TRUTH). and talking abt Naimat Ullah i saw some good work, the work which was not done at the end of the period, if you take Super Highway from Aisha Manzil to Water Pump, that road is not made by quality, if there would be some rains the road will be washed up, and it happened some sides of the roads were drowned, CCIS, this thing does not works, i submitted my complains 4 times but nothing happened!!!!! so what i think is this is all wrong only to make people fool!!!!!!


  17. Mohammed Faysal (unregistered) on September 29th, 2007 @ 1:39 am

    I think this is not right, working at the end of the period so that you should be elected for next 5 yrs. this is not right, even though if they wont be getting any votes they will force people to give votes in their way because by hook or by crook MQM always want itself to be elected so that they could torcher the people of karachi, because they are always hungry to kill people(A TRUTH). and talking abt Naimat Ullah i saw some good work, the work which was not done at the end of the period, if you take Super Highway from Aisha Manzil to Water Pump, that road is not made by quality, if there would be some rains the road will be washed up, and it happened some sides of the roads were drowned, CCIS, this thing does not works, i submitted my complains 4 times but nothing happened!!!!! so what i think is this is all wrong only to make people fool!!!!!!


  18. closed_minds (unregistered) on September 29th, 2007 @ 4:14 am

    “MB – CLOSED MINDS Come on!! dont do this to me”. Reality_Check, my comments were meant for the other party. You do a good job by providing comments/facts which some ppl simply just dont want to know :)

    Non-party based local elections is a good idea but in a country were voter turnout has been going down with every election (last one was may be around 29%), do you guys think that a common man will go out to cast his/her vote or prefer to enjoy the holiday at home? Now at least the party workers and diehard followers go out and vote (and sometimes cast multiple votes).


  19. Reality_Check (unregistered) on September 29th, 2007 @ 10:48 am

    CLOSED_MINDS you are absolutely right about public apathy towards elections. Unless the political parties come up with some innovative ideas like holding concerts or doing magic shows or arranging cat walks at the polling stations to attract the voters, people would rather stay at home.

    BTW thanks, I am relieved :)


  20. Tariq Khanani (unregistered) on September 29th, 2007 @ 10:52 pm

    so finally reality is really relieved, did u take the laxative for that?


  21. Tariq Khanani (unregistered) on September 29th, 2007 @ 11:25 pm

    so finally reality is really relieved, did u take the laxative for that?


  22. Reality_Check (unregistered) on September 30th, 2007 @ 10:51 am

    TARIQ I’ll take this one, but now you better watch out :)


  23. Tariq Khanani (unregistered) on September 30th, 2007 @ 3:35 pm

    @reality
    i am glad u did take it


  24. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on October 1st, 2007 @ 12:14 am

    somehow, sense & sensibility fizz out on many of the topics, when comments divert and become more of personal flaming, why is that :D ?

    and as far as comments from Barrister saheb, Respectfully SIR – YOU ARE WRONG on all the 3 points.

    Ask yourself – Would you qualify to contest the local body polls as a free independent candidate – you know the answer and that would Negate all 3 points you mentioned.
    – – –
    Let me confess I have been very selfish all these years, my priority is always welfare and betterment of my own neighborhood, be it MQM, PPP, JAMAT – so far Alhamdo Lillah my neighborhood is in little better shape then other surroundings which are predominently 100% biased one way or the other.

    and yet key people from all 3 of above know our neighborhood as hard core Give & Take people.

    Why is that we cannot elect and vote for a person who is accessible and from ‘among us’ no matter which party is linked to him. Unless he wish to move out from locality after getting elected.

    Like Nafees Siddiqi did in 1980’s when he was next door neighbor to my parents house. He moved to Clifton in less then 21 days after he was elected MPA and never showed up., thereafter.


  25. (unregistered) on October 2nd, 2007 @ 9:55 am

    MQM looking forward to an other General Naseerullah Babar.



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