National People's Congress

Academic calls for full-time delegates

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 March, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 March, 2009, 12:00am

A mainland academic has called for the country's highest legislature and advisory body to have 'full-time' representatives to stem a decline in the quality of submissions.

Ge Jianxiong, a history professor at Shanghai's Fudan University and a delegate to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said part-time delegates were always busy so they had no time to prepare good proposals, Guangzhou Daily reported.

Professor Ge said some medical delegates operated on patients in the morning, participated in panel discussions in the afternoon and then left early to fulfil other job-related tasks.

He also said financial pressures meant that most delegates could only focus on their own fields of professional interest, making it impossible for them to have a comprehensive overview of society.

'I think it is the right time for our National People's Congress and the CPPCC to have full-time representatives, at least full-time members of the Standing Committees,' he was quoted as saying.

The NPC and the CPPCC have never had full-time delegates but it has often been discussed.

Political analysts have said that full-time delegates at the national and local levels would be a positive sign of reform.

Given the worsening economic situation, Professor Ge said proposals needed to be more professional and it took time to investigate the issues.

He said some delegates had raised dazzling proposals related to the crisis but did not know whether the public cared for them.

'I asked whether their proposals really represented the public but they could not answer,' Professor Ge told Guangzhou Daily.

The media and the public have lampooned some proposals made by the delegates 'elected by the people'.

In one proposal, China International Capital Corporation chairman Li Jiange said the government should give instructions on installation standards for free-standing air conditioners attached to the outside of buildings, Caijing magazine reported.

Netizens also poked fun at Beijing CPPCC delegate Li Zhe who proposed 'patriotic consumption' - encouraging people to spend their income to stimulate the economy.