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Limit Affirmative Action

By Vision Reporter

Added 20th November 2001 03:00 AM

PARLIAMENT IS due to review special interest group representation in the Legislature in 2006.

PARLIAMENT IS due to review special interest group representation in the Legislature in 2006.

PARLIAMENT IS due to review special interest group representation in the Legislature in 2006. Groups currently represented include the Army, women, people with physical disabilities, the youth, and workers, and the Constitution gives Parliament latitude to determine others as may be deemed necessary. It is an enlightened clause in the Constitution that provides for the status of special interest groups to be reviewed regularly. The year 2006 will be the first time since the 1995 Constitution took effect, but subsequent to that reviews will be every five years. The special interest groups, except the Army MPs, broadly represent the political epitome of affirmative action. The groups were chosen principally because they represent the marginalised of society, who needed to get a political voice to advance their cause. There are other forms too of affirmative action, like the special entry grade for women in state universities. By nature, affirmative action is transitory, since it aims at correcting imbalances. It is assumed that after some time the benefiting group would have made up ground on the rest of society. So once this time comes, the action should cease. There can always be a temptation to carry on affirmative action in perpetuity. This is not only unfair because in the end it becomes reverse discrimination against those who are purportedly advantaged, but it can also be counterproductive by encouraging laziness and lack of endeavour among the beneficiaries. It is for these reasons that affirmative action should be limited, though analysis must be done to ascertain whether the desired effect has been realised. Ends

Limit Affirmative Action

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