Inequitable Resource-Sharing: A Threat to Democratic Governance.

Remarks by Azmin Ali at Workshop D, 59th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference, 4th September 2013, Johannesburg, South Africa.

 Introduction

Among the key foundations of democratic governance are transparency in decision-making processes and accountability for acts done by the Executive. In democracies with true separation of powers, resource-sharing therefore becomes essential for democratic governance. This is because of the information-rich environment created from the dynamics of power play between the Executive and Parliament.

As one branch can investigate the other, rivalry may arise. Each may try to outdo the other by selectively publicizing information favorable to its interests and causes.

There is the danger of misleading information or even “smear” campaigns targeted at political rivals, and advancing personal agenda.

But overall, more transparency will benefit the electorate who can make an informed judgment. Key issue therefore is for what purpose and in what manner the information is disseminated.