From the last PE, there are two issues that the govt needs to address.
is the public's understanding of the role of the EP. Until the
public's understanding is aligned to the actual legal role and
responsibilities, any tweaking of the qualifying criteria will be seen
as rigging the rules to exclude some candidates.
Educating the public on the role of the EP would be a major
campaign, and in the absence of a viable "role model" for an EP, voters
will adopt Presidential "models" that they know. Like POTUS.
second issue is the perceived elitism of the qualifying criteria, or
the perceived "racism" of the criteria, or (as mentioned in the first
issue) the perceived nepotism - the EP is from a list of "approved"
candidates vetted by the ruling party. There is an inherent
contradiction is asserting that we want minorities to have a chance to
be represented by the EP, while at the same time raising the criteria.
criteria like having been a Minister, or Speaker lays the candidates'
impartiality open to suspicion. By definition, these posts are conferred
onto them by the ruling party.
Appointed posts like the Chief Justice, is not much better in terms of perceived affiliation to the ruling party.
Secretaries are arguably more defensible as impartial, but here is the
interesting thing: there are no minorities among the ranks of current
The fundamental premise of Democracy
is that the will of the people should carry the day. And the assumption
is that while individuals' opinions may differ, the majority's opinion
is valid, if not correct.
I would suggest the
issue of the criteria for candidacy of the EP is a secondary issue. The
larger problem is the people's understanding of the role and
responsibility of the EP. The greatest hindrance to democracy is a lack
of understanding. That is the lesson of Brexit. And the lesson of recently concluded US Presidential Election.
such, I would suggest NOT amending or updating the qualifying criteria,
which would be seen by the conspiracy theorists as the ruling party
trying to exclude those not "approved" by the ruling party.
the roles and responsibilities of the EP until most people get it, and
can easily debunk any conspiracy theorist's fantasy about the EP being a
second power centre.
At the same time, announce
that after due consideration, it was decided that the qualifying
criteria will not be "updated" because the criteria are a guideline, a
"minimum standard", and in a democracy, the will of the people is
paramount, and the people should be trusted to elect the best candidate
with minimal "guidance".
But... never mind.
As usual, I thought about this too long and the decision has already been made.