By Mano Ratwatte
Sri Lanka underwent a Cabinet reshuffle. Without a doubt, this will lead to dynamic growth hitherto unseen since the peaceful revolution of 2015. By 2019 Sri Lanka will be in a position to offer aid to Singapore and India; the economy will grow at a fantastic rate from now onwards and corruption will be non-existent in the near future. For those who like contrasting numbers here are some factoids(only for those who like numbers)
US population is 325.7 Million. Its Federal Government Cabinet consists of the Vice President and The Cabinet includes the Vice President and the heads of 15 executive departments — the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs, as well as the Attorney General. (US government website). In the Cabinet, members do not serve to influence legislative policy to the degree found in a Westminster system; however, each member wields significant influence in matters relating to their executive department. Legislative tasks are the responsibility of the Congress and Senate(many sources).
US is unique in the sense it has delegated a lot of power to the 50 States. Governors are elected and so are the State Legislators. Governors have executive power like Chief Ministers in Sri Lanka and India. But they have very clearly demarcated and defined powers and limitations. It is truly a more autonomous system than what is found in Sri Lanka or India for that matter.
Elections for Governors is democratic. They too follow the Federal government protocols by conducting primaries for each party where a secret ballot by registered Democrats and registered Republicans are held before the state election. These primaries then decide who will represent their party as the candidate for Governor. It is far more democratic (but require a lot of money dumped by special interest groups) than a Party head picking a nominee.
The constitutional and statutory duties of the Governor include: Signing or vetoing bills passed by the Legislature. Serving as commander-in-chief of the state’s military forces(the National Guard). Convening special sessions of the Legislature for specific purposes. The Governor heads the government’s executive branch in each state or territory and, depending on the individual jurisdiction, may have considerable control over government budgeting, the power of appointment of many officials (including many judges), and a considerable role in legislation.
India’s population is 1.324 Billion.
Under Modi, it has 27 Central Government Cabinet Ministers and the Prime Minister who also has many portfolios and also holds portfolios otherwise not assigned to a minister. It has 11 State Ministers with “independent Charge” which I presume means they report directly to the PM and have sole responsibility for a portfolio/s. India then also has 37 other State Ministers. I am not sure what their responsibilities are; perhaps regional political considerations and things like scheduled castes(an India census criteria) are used to give out those? Interestingly there is both a Cabinet Minister and a State minister for Tribal affairs. What are the specific roles of a State minister in contrast to that of a Cabinet minister both in India and Sri Lanka?
Pakistan with a population of 193 Million has approximately 30 Federal Government Cabinet ministers and 18 State ministers.
Bangladesh has a population of 163 Million. The Cabinet is the collective decision-making body of the entire government under the Office of the Prime Minister, composed of the Prime Minister and some 33 Cabinet Ministers, 18 State Ministers and 2 Deputy Ministers(WIKI)
I just wish I were a cabinet minister in Sri Lanka; my measly Teacher’s pension does not allow me to get that BMW X-5; and I cannot become a Walter White from “Breaking Bad”.
Just some numbers y’all; as Mel Blanc used to say “Th-th-th-that’s all, folks”