Month: July 2012

Repeal second amendment

The original constitution of USA had seven articles and did not have the right to bear arms. Amendments to the constitution added more articles. The Congress on 25 September 1789 proposed to add 12 articles as amendments. Of these first 10 were ratified and came into effect on 15 December 1791.

Second amendment: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

The above amendment has been used by vested interests who are merchants of death to sell arms and ammunition without restriction and without regard to loss of innocent lives. National Rifle Association opposes restrictions on the sale of arms.

Some debate the meaning and purpose of second amendment; whether the right is to an individual or to people as a whole and whether arms can be obtained to kill others. USA in 1789 was not a superpower. It did not have a large army, navy and air force. At that time it may have been necessary to allow people to keep arms to enlist them in the army to fight wars.

The shooting in a theatre in Aurora, near Denver in Colorado, is the latest example of a list of shootings in which murderers used weapons of mass destruction. Then there are examples of murderers who have used guns to kill specific individuals.

People who have lost their near and dear ones in shootings shall try for repeal of second amendment. Shops that sell guns, rifles, pistols, revolvers, bullets and such things shall shut down. Laws requiring background checks and waiting periods have failed to stop murderers from purchasing guns. People who have arms should be asked to register themselves and their arms and ammunitions.

President Pranab

Pranab Mukherjee is the president of India. He could not become prime minister, even caretaker prime minister, home minister and missed becoming president in 2007. There was suspense about his candidature. When during Congress Working Committee meeting he proposed authorising Congress president to nominate candidates for president and vice president he seemed out of equation. Mamata Banerjee and Mulayam Singh Yadav said they did not want him or Hamid Ansari and proposed A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, Manmohan Singh and Somnath Chatterjee. It seemed all over for Pranab Mukherjee but Mulayam Singh Yadav turned around and supported him. JD(U) and Shiv Sena supported Pranab Mukherjee. There was split in Left Front. CPI(M) supported him. CPI abstained. At the end Mamata Banerjee also supported him.

Purno Albert Sangma who lost the election to Pranab Mukherjee is set to challenge his election in court. UPA had granted financial packages to UP and Bihar. There is controversy about the post held by Pranab Mukherjee in Indian Statistical Institute and his two signatures. IAC has begun a campaign for SIT to investigate 15 ministers. Pranab Mukherjee was one of them. Later they covered his picture.

Abhijeet Mukherjee, son of Pranab Mukherjee and an MLA, wants to contest from Jangipur constituency which Pranab Mukherjee represented in Lok Sabha. Next Abhijeet Mukherjee may ask to be made finance minister because Pranab Mukherjee was finance minister and demand to succeed Pranab Mukherjee as president.

Pranab Mukherjee did not want to remain No. 2 in cabinet for long. He could not become No. 1 in cabinet. Becoming president was a consolation prize.

During his last days as finance minister Pranab Mukherjee was unpopular with corporates. Many blamed him for various wrongs. Some said he ran finance ministry as his own and did not allow prime minister to interfere. However not much has changed after Pranab Mukherjee ceased to be finance minister.

House of Lords

House of Lords consists of 26 Anglican bishops (Lords Spiritual), 92 hereditary peers, life peers and peeresses and judges of the Supreme Court of Judicature (Law Lords).

There is talk of reforming House of Lords. On 10 July 2012 David Cameron’s government introduced a bill in House of Commons for reform of House of Lords. Its size was to be reduced from 826 to 450. It will be called Senate and 80% of the members will be elected. The demand for reform is from Liberal Democrats who are in coalition with David Cameron’s Conservatives. More than reform it is replacement of House of Lords with another house.

House of Lords is a unique feature of UK. It is different from upper houses of other countries. Its members are not elected. It is part of British tradition.

House of Lords should remain as it is or should be abolished. Having elected members in House of Lords does not make sense. There is no point in having members elected for one time 15-years terms.

UK is a combination of monarchy, aristocracy and democracy. House of Lords represents aristocracy. If aristocracy is abolished there is no need for another house for democracy.

House of Lords had many powers which were significantly reduced in 1911 and 1949. In 1999 the number of hereditary peers was restricted to 92.

It is strange that UK wants to imitate USA which has Senate. In USA, Senate has two representatives from each state. This is done to protect the influence of small states. Continental Congresses and Congress of the Confederation were single houses. In House of Representatives the number may vary from one to 54. In Senate there is no domination of small states by large states.

There is no need for upper house in legislatures if the members are directly or indirectly elected. One directly elected house is enough. Many times upper house is used to accommodate people who cannot get elected directly.