Will statute feedback make a difference?
KATHMANDU, July 13
How will people’s feedback help the Constituent Assembly improve or review the first draft of new constitution and give people a sense of ownership? Has the CA developed or employed any scientific method for collecting and analysing the feedback? These are two key questions in the minds of people as CA members begin collecting people’s feedback.
The feedback will not provide numeric data making the CA change or review the first draft on the basis of the data, said CA Chairman Subas Chandra Nembang, adding, “The feedback will, however, give a sense of ownership to the people, as thousands of people will participate in this process. It will also help the CA change, modify or improve the contents by analysing the feedback.”
Daman Nath Dhungana, one of the drafters of the 1990’s constitution, said, “I have little hope that the ongoing process will give a sense of ownership to the people and it is just going to be a formality. There is no enthusiasm or excitement among the people as was during the drafting of 1990 constitution.”
Will people’s feedback be incorporated when the political parties themselves are divided? “The CA will look at the qualitative aspect of the feedback, not the quantitative. During the discussion in the CA on the feedback, if CA members think any of the suggestions is appropriate and rational it can be incorporated to change or review the contents of the first draft,” Nembang said.
Since the Committee on Citizen Relations and Public Opinion Collection will have only one day to analyse the feedback and prepare a report, will it be able to do so? “Time is insufficient, but we have to do as much as we can, as the CA has set a deadline,” said panel’s Chairperson Pramila Rana.
Nembang said one-two more days can be adjusted if the panel needed additional time for analysing feedback.
Asked whether the panel has developed any scientific method of collecting feedback, categorising it and making conclusion, Rana said no such method has been developed.
Two officers from the CA Secretariat have been deployed to each district and the government staffers at the district level will work with them, she said. “We have not developed any specific method to collect feedback. We will either pen down their views or record their views by audio-visual means,” Rana said.
Once the feedback is collected, the panel’s 45-member Report Sub-committee headed by Prem Bahadur Giri will divide it into three categories – supporting views on certain contents, opposing views and irrelevant views – before filing its report, which the panel will forward to the CA full House, Rana said.
- It will help give people a sense of ownership of the new statute
- It will CA modify or review contents as people express their views on particular issues
- It will help correct mistakes in the draft
- It will help change CA members’ mindset on particular issues
- It will help create debate on key issues and resolve them
- No scientific method deployed for collecting and analysing feedback
- Difficult to categorise and analyse feedback from thousands of people
- No mandatory provision to include feedback, as CA may or may not incorporate it in the draft
- Feedback report will just show how people reacted on contents of the draft and will not make any recommendations