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Monday, August 23, 2004

Downsizing Themselves 

Never say never: sometimes lawmakers vote themselves out of jobs (or at least make keeping their jobs much, much harder). The BBC is reporting the latest case of politicians voting against their own self-interest:
Lawmakers in Taiwan's parliament have voted to halve the number of seats in the country's legislature in an effort to make it more efficient. The move still has to be confirmed by further votes, but if it passes it should come into effect in three years.

The changes were proposed by President Chen Shui-bian's party and were passed overwhelmingly, thanks in part to clear public support for the reforms. The proposals are part of a wider bill on constitutional change.

It is a bit like turkeys voting for Christmas. Taiwan's lawmakers have agreed to reduce the number of seats in their parliament from 225 to 113.

The change was pushed through by President Chen's party, the DPP, and the opposition nationalist KMT - the biggest parties in parliament.

These parties might stand to gain if fewer seats are contested, as the smaller parties or independents could find it harder to win enough support to get their candidates elected.

But in the end, even the smaller parties supported the moves to downsize the legislature, unwilling to be painted as anti-reform.

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