In a democracy, what is the role of the opposition?

Is it:

  1. to use what ever means necessary to topple the government at the earliest possible opportunity, or
  2. to work alongside the government, making constructive criticism and helping the government improve itself for the overall betterment of the country?

Today, the main opposition party- the UNP (United National Party)- is obviously acting on the belief that their sole role is to topple the government at the earliest possible opportunity.

If this assertion is not already obvious to the reader, one way to verify this claim is to visit the UNP official web site and read its content and the voice/tone in which that content is written. If the reader is already familiar with the current situation in Sri Lanka, it will be very enlightening to pay special attention to what those articles mention and treacherously neglect to mention.

It is as if the MPs from UNP and the hundreds of thousands of UNP supporters are under the delusion that:

(Sri Lanka) = (the ruling party)

and that if the country is in trouble (as long as they are not personally effected) it is an exploitable opportunity.

This is very sad.

To stress this again:

  • (Sri Lanka) does not equal (the ruling party and its supporters) but,
  • (Sri Lanka) equals (all Sri Lankans)
  • These Sri Lankans are represented by MPs of both ruling and opposition parties

The government and the president are elected for a fixed period of time and until the next election, the role of the ‘opposition’ is not to ‘oppose everything’ but to ‘oppose only the wrong decisions’ and in general, work alongside the government in running the country.