Professional National Assembly

During the National Assembly meeting, I remember the saying that was handed down about the highway in Vietnam: "Progress, withdrawal, missed the opportunity to return to the National Assembly."

Representative Phung Van Hung himself mentioned this sentence in a discussion session at the parliament on June 16, 2014, when he commented on the Law on Organization of the National Assembly. He corrected a few words to lessen the naïve.

In the late nineties, when I was a reporter about the National Assembly, I heard many times this sentence and its versions in the corridor, in the "Greenhouse" - the press center of the old Ba Dinh Hall. .

Although Vietnam has not considered politicians as a career requiring professional training like many other professions, but becoming a mandarin has become a public way of many people. The professionalism of the delegates at the elected body, every year the questioning period becomes a problem with a large number of voters.

But so far we do not have "professional delegates" but only "full time delegates". Specialized is not professional.

One of the most noteworthy comments on this issue was Dr. Nguyen Si Dung's post in 2003, at which time he was director of the Information, Library and Scientific Research Center of the National Assembly Office. Mr. Dung said that "between the two specialized and professional terms, our lawmakers have chosen to work full time to appoint deputies to work full time for the National Assembly. This is a delicate and major choice." In that article, almost two decades ago, Dr. Dung had expected the roadmap to professionalization of "specialized" delegates to build a truly professional National Assembly.

So, what is the difference between professional and specialized, and why do we have to use the term "made in Vietnam" for so long for a job that the content and form seem to be less obvious than the "delegate"? Congress"?

Where I live, Australia, if a congressman does not hold a seat in the Government, Opposition or head of the National Assembly, the schedule is still packed with the demands of the constituency that he represents. as well as related legislative issues. Business days usually start at seven in the morning, and sometimes last until nine in the evening, especially at congressional times. They go to interest groups, go on field trips to find out about life, production, the environment, visit training and health care facilities, read materials and prepare speeches.

These professionals receive a minimum wage of 207,100 AUD, 10 times the average living standard of Australian citizens. In a professional reel, stopping would mean losing votes, and of course, losing a job - a job that earns 10 times the average person. After all, "professional" is understood simply as a mechanism for people to work properly and responsibly with their position.

Many times, we have a feeling of professionalism in the elected body. But that feeling passed very quickly.

I still remember the period of 2004-2007, whenever the Ho Chi Minh City People's Council meeting was held, voters and press were waiting for Mr. Dang Van Khoa's actions. Or in the early sessions of the National Assembly's interrogation period, which was broadcast live, there were times when Major General Nguyen Quoc Thuoc stood up to ask questions. Mr. Khoa's Council, or the list of "Nhat Thuoc Tran Tran and Tam Lan Tu Thuyet" on the National Assembly forum left anecdotes about the initial activities bearing the professional impression of elected people.

But the professionalism is not created by singular individuals, it has to be built from the roots. And with each passing term of Congress, the desire for a professionally elected body has grown.

Also in the discussion session on the Law on Organization of the National Assembly in 2014, Ho Chi Minh City delegate, Ms. Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam, said: "If there is not a mechanism for National Assembly deputies to operate professionally, they will always be delegates. still have to eat, have to live, depend on a lot of other things ... so I cannot speak my own opinions independently. " In fact, the process of delegating activities of Ms. Tam is the best evidence for the difficulties that she confided over 5 years ago.

Understanding the activities of full-time National Assembly deputies, I see, allowances for delegates are calculated on two levels based on basic salary. Accordingly, it is estimated that for each delegate, when he "takes charge", the allowance will increase from two to three million dong. I probably don't need to comment further on this figure or compare it to other professional parliamentarians in other countries. Speaking in the words of Mr. Nguyen Si Dung, the full-time delegates with the prescribed salary can live in a "pot of rice and water".

All comparisons are lame, but looking at the actual performance of the National Assembly, it is clear that the need to professionalize delegates is irreversible. For a Congress with two hundred professional MPs, who see politics as a profession, the cost may still be lower than a 483-member Congressional structure.

As long as there are pursuers who can become parliamentarians with the remuneration worthy of professionalism, only then will the sigh be over "missed wandering about the National Assembly".

Trong Trong Tinh