Building a thriving parliament | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Building a thriving parliament

By Captain Mahmood Al Mahmood

In countries where the parliamentary system of governance is followed, it is a continuing effort to make this process as responsive to people’s needs as possible.

This means tracking how often parliament meets, what is discussed and more importantly, how much preparation MPs bring to the table.

The easiest thing is to think up an idea. But how will the idea fit into the grid of people’s needs and how will resources be raised to implement the idea?

In these times of tight national budgets, it is imperative that these questions are answered with as much clarity as possible. An idea that is backed by a clear action plan and budget will also help to cut down the urge to make bombastic announcements just for the sake of TRPs – those five minutes of popularity which means nothing.

Proposals such as shifting the airport from Muharraq because of noise pollution, for example, got plenty of media attention but the idea had no financial plan to justify it.

There should also be a sense of what is important to national development.

Recently, a debate over a plan to increase salaries and pensions for employees and pensioners, sparked heated argument on social media when Shura Council’s first deputy chairman Jamal Fakhro rightly asked where the funding would come for the income boost suggested by MPs.

Indeed, many agreed with Dr. Fakhro that it was more important to generate jobs for the unemployed.

I would also suggest reviewing the education sector’s alignment with what the market truly needs so that our youth are trained to fit into the employment mosaic.

The golden rule to making democracy work is to always remember to ask questions.

Our system thrives on questions because they push us to find new answers.



Captain Mahmood Al Mahmood is the Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Tribune and the President of the Arab-African Unity Organisation for Relief, Human Rights and Counterterrorism