Sunday, August 09, 2015

How should we vote?

Indi had written something urging citizens to vote for good people.  Just before the last election I did an assessment of the candidates.

What we have now is something of a re-run of the same issues but with the advantage of having a short track record of the Sirisena administration to compare against Mahinda.  

Looking back at the past few months the worst fear of the Sirisena candidacy - that there would be continued dictatorial rule under a new face has not been realised. Sirisena has not abused the powers of the presidency and some powers were curtailed - despite the best attempts of the Rajapaksa camp to stymie these efforts.

While there have been problems, there is an improvement in the rule of law and governance. Sure, things are not perfect but on the whole thing have been better. Even the notorious Mervyn Silva is quiet.

In stark contrast to the presidential poll, this campaign has been the most peaceful and by all accounts the fairest in a couple of decades. The elections commissioner is asserting his independence and the candidates seem to be abiding by rules, for the most part.

At the end of the day, this is what we really need as the foundation of society: a state run on a system of law, not one run on the whims of a handful of people.

Society also seems far more peaceful; just over a  year ago we had violence in Aluthgama, but since January things have been quiet and restrictions on freedom of expression have abated. In contrast, the Mahinda campaign is playing on fear of minorities and threatens to turn the clock back.

Of course there is a great deal more to be done and the current Government is not without its flaws, but at least we are moving in the right direction.

They say the first thing to do when you are in a hole is to stop digging. The Sirisena administration may not have done a lot but least they have stopped excavating.

The Rajapaksa camp is busy organising spades, mammoties and backhoes to get back to what they know best.

The choice now is fairly clear.