How the Tamil MP’s performed in the Parliament last session.

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Chandrakumar Murugesu

Member of Parliament (MP)
from the Jaffna district  Icon_am  Rank #35 Compare 

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R. Sampanthan

Member of Parliament (MP)
from the Trincomalee district Icon_1itak  Rank #43 Compare  

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S. Sritharan

Member of Parliament (MP)
from the Jaffna district Icon_1itak  Rank #45 Compare 

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M.A. Sumanthiran

Member of Parliament (MP)
From National list  Icon_1itak  Rank #48 Compare

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Velayudam Karupaiyah

State Minister – Plantation Industries

Icon_unp  Rank #51 Compare

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Pakkiyaselvam Ariyanethran

Member of Parliament (MP)
from the Batticaloa district Icon_1itak  Rank #58 Compare 

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J. Sri Ranga

Member of Parliament (MP)
from the Nuwara Eliya district 100x100  Rank #79 Compare

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Douglas Devananda

Member of Parliament (MP)
from the Jaffna district Icon_am  Rank #83 Compare

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Suresh Premachandran

Member of Parliament (MP)
from the Jaffna district Icon_1itak  Rank #98 Compare

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Ponnambalam Selvarasa

Member of Parliament (MP)
from the Batticaloa district Icon_1itak  Rank #101 Compare  

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S. Yogeswaran

Member of Parliament (MP)
from the Batticaloa district Icon_1itak  Rank #103 Compare

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Eswarapatham Saravanabavan

Member of Parliament (MP)
from the Jaffna district Icon_1itak  Rank #106 Compare  

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Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan

Member of Parliament (MP)
From National list  Icon_slfp  Rank #112 Compare 

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D.M. Swaminathan

Minister – Resettlement, Reconstruction and Hindu Religious Affairs
From National listIcon_unpRank #115 Compare

Thumb_002Selvam Adaikkalanathan

Member of Parliament (MP)
from the Vanni district Icon_1itak  Rank #122 Compare 

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Mavai Senathirajah

Member of Parliament (MP)
from the Jaffna district Icon_1itak  Rank #124 Compare 

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P. Rajathurai

Member of Parliament (MP)
from the Nuwara Eliya district Icon_slfp  Rank #134 Compare

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Appadurai Vinayagamoorthy

Member of Parliament (MP)
from the Jaffna district Icon_congress  Rank #140 Compare 

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Sivasakthy Ananthan

Member of Parliament (MP)
from the Vanni district Icon_eprlf  Rank #145 Compare 

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Silvastrie Devananda Alantin

Member of Parliament (MP)
from the Jaffna district Icon_am  Rank #149 Compare

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Prabha Ganesan

Member of Parliament (MP)
from the Colombo district 100x100  Rank #164 Compare 

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Vijayakala Maheswaran

Deputy Minister – Women’s Affairs
from the Jaffna district Icon_unp  Rank #165 Compare

 

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S. Vino

Member of Parliament (MP)
from the Vanni district Icon_1itak  Rank #166 Compare 

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Muthu Sivalingam

Member of Parliament (MP)
From National list Icon_congress  Rank #182 Compare 

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Arumugan Thondaman

Member of Parliament (MP)
from the Nuwara Eliya district Icon_congress  Rank #209 Compare  

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P.H. Piyasena

Member of Parliament (MP)
from the Ampara district Icon_1itak  Rank #227 Compare 

202 ex-MPs re-contesting, but how have they performed?

The use of data analysis to make a business decision is a key tool for a CEO. Similarly, data can help inform citizens when they cast their vote at an election. Contesting the upcoming elections are 202 MPs from the last Parliament. Using the Manthri.lk dataset, which comprises more than 28,000 Hansard records between May 2012 and June 2015, a wealth of new perspectives emerges. This information, in addition to MP voting records, can be found on the new Manthri.lk Election Homepage. Here are a few key highlights.

Constituents under-represented
Of the 202, MPs, 30% have never filed a public petition in Parliament on behalf of a constituent. A further 13% have only done so once. Therefore 43% have neglected the practice of petitioning for their constituents, which according to a former secretary general of Parliament is supposed to “enable a citizen to bring to the notice of Parliament the flaws in the administrative machinery of the Government”. MPs must justify this lack of constituent representation.

Blinkered ministerial oversight
Similarly, consultative committees of parliament exist for every ministry with the objective of MPs providing oversight and inquiry. This system envisages feedback through recommendations, which in turn will enrich legislation. Every MP is assigned to a series of consultative committees. However, analysing the minutes of these committee meetings, which have been publicly reported (stemming from an initiative of Manthri.lk) for the seven months between May and November 2014, exposes some harsh realities.

Some 33% of MPs have never raised a single action point in their committees. A further 45% average less than one action point per month. This inactivity of 78% of MPs illustrates a paralysis within the committee system, which requires urgent attention. MPs must not only start playing a more active role, but they must also refocus on the legislative function envisaged for the committees. The burning question is whether MPs in the new Parliament will strive to remedy these performance shortfalls.

Better behaved than expected
On a more promising note, 37% of re-contesting MPs have never been disruptive in Parliament and a further 14% have been rarely disruptive. This includes being disruptive during debates or using a procedure known as a point of order in an improper manner to disrupt. This clarifies a misconception that the majority of MPs are disruptive. Far from it, many behave within the standing orders (rules) of Parliament. It, however, only takes a few misbehavers, coupled with a lenient Speaker, to make Parliament dysfunctional.

As these data points would suggest, there is a lot of information that can be ascertained about MPs’ parliamentary performance. Every re-contesting MP has a report card on Manthri.lk, which highlights these interesting facts.

Do you feel a data driven parliamentary analysis of MP actions should underpin a citizen’s vote? Or does it miss the core essence of an MP working within his or her constituency? Share your thoughts and questions at www.manthri.lk/en/blog; over Twitter @manthrilk, or by text to the manthri.lk hotline: 071-4639882.

-Asoka Obeyesekere (@asokao), Governance Consultant, Verité Research