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/ Opinion/ EditorialsLocal legislators to the foreUpdated: 2014-01-17 07:39( China Daily)Comments Print Mail Large Medium  SmallThe scrutiny of the proposed ordinance on air pollution prevention by Beijing municipal peoples congress is hardly newsy, because the deteriorating air quality in the city deserves to be a legislative priority and, more importantly, a legislative response to the issue of outstanding public concern is overdue.
Yet the coming event of the current legislature session is more than newsy, because for “the first time after 13 years” the peoples congress would exercise “legislative power”, as the local media put it.
The 700-strong legislature, which convenes every year, has not wielded full-session legislative authority for 13 years. All local legislations of the city, big and small, had been examined and approved by the 70 or so members of its standing committee since the 2001 annual session, which passed a regulation on the making of local statutes.
The reason? Schedules of the full sessions are too tight to allow discussions on legislative bills, which usually turn out to be prolonged processes. Such annual sessions are dedicated to work reports of the legislative, judicial and administrative arms of the local government, as well as elections. No law was broken, though. And thats why the practice could continue for years.
But the absence of peoples delegates in the discourse and lawmaking on major local affairs is against the ideals and principles of our representative democracy. It compromises the elected representatives right to participate in core legislative procedures.
That some major local decrees have been found to be ill-conceived after winning legislative approval was clear evidence of the limitations of decision-making behind closed doors. Letting 600 more people take part would not just make the process more worthwhile. It will also make representative democracy more credible.
Beijing has decided to subject the air pollution bill to the full session of the peoples congress because the topic is reportedly too significant to not be deliberated in a broader context.
Since the city has reportedly decided to make it a standard practice for legislation by the full session, we are now looking to delegates newly admitted into the legislative process to live up to peoples expectation.
And since all local legislatures are to hold their annual sessions before March, we hope Beijing is not alone in making true an essential promise of representative democracy.8.03KRelated StoriesBeijing tackles population growthBeijing goes all-out against air pollutionBeijings two sessionsMost ViewedTodays Top NewsRotten women only expression of desireBan on extravaganceLater retirement, better lifeLocal legislators to the foreReduce price of standing ticketsQuality not quantity of educationWest unfair on Sochi securityColumnistsUS should eschew its interventionist policyIn search of genuine intellectuals in China moreCartoonEgyptian referendumSwine flu Distorting historyWhale killingSpecialStar bloggers on China DailyGlobal view on Chinas sessionslexaleeLive to work or work to liveMisconceptions about foreign foodMichaelMMost powerful leadership secret……| About China Daily | Advertise on Site | Contact Us | Job Offer |Copyright 1995 -. All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.License for publishing multimedia online 0108263             Registration Number: 20100000002731