Observations, deductions and feelings fueled by tequila, tea and tobacco

Nuke deal in parliament

In Nation on July 27, 2006 at 17:43

Just saw the latest headlines on TV:

1. US Congress approves India-US Nuclear Deal
2. CPM and SP demand a resolution on the deal to be presented in parliament.

I am no left sympathiser. Nor am I a great fan of the US. However, this one thing does irk me – when the executive goes ahead and signs a deal as a representative of the nation, why isn’t it placed before the parliament to get its approval. It does seem pretty fair. If the deal has ramifications only for your government or people connected to it, such as those related to short-mid term policy measures and CBMs etc, then its perfectly fine for the government to sign-it-shut-it-forget-it. However, if the agreement is an ever lasting one – the likes of kyoto, wto or the nuke deal – affecting till decades after it has been signed, I firmly believe it should be ratified by the complete parliament instead of being approved by the council of ministers so as to gain multiparty approval for the motion. And the issue is all the more important for the government system of date – coalitions – considering that they are bound together on criteria of conditional support and common enemies than those single party majority governments we had in the past.

The ‘cabinet approval for deals’ phenomenan dates to that past of single party governments and needs changes to make its democracity up-to-date. The best alternative, in my opinion, is that of getting these agreements ratified by both houses of parliament (a la US) before giving legal sanctity to the signature put on the document signed.

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