Article Review On Artile Analysis

Published: 2021-06-21 23:39:07
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Category: Literature, China, Democracy

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Article Review
In this article What Makes a Rubber Stamp?, the author examines China’s legislature which is commonly referred to as the National People’s Congress. The author notes that this once-a-year session takes place in early march in Beijing, and “thousands of out-of-tow delegates dexcend on the capital for the full session of the NPC which is China’s version of a national legislature” (T, 2012). The article also comments on the manner in which these proceedings take place by noting that they are orderly and outcomes are pre-arranged and predictable. According to T (2012), media outlets, many of them western, such as The Economist often refer to the NPC as a rubber stamp, a description that is not taken lightly by many people in China. On the usage of the terms ‘rubber stamp’, the author is trying to indicate that the NPC or China’s parliament does not reject anything that is put before it. This means that it is just an institution that is greatly influenced by the government. However, the author notes that the NPC, as an institution, is important in a number of ways. According to T (2012), it drafts legislation and takes great strides in reaching out to social stakeholders in order to seek their input. In its conclusion, the article observes that rubber-stamp tendencies are not unique to NPC, but they happen in America’s political institutions.
This article revolves around the subject of the National People’s Congress being just a rubber stamp. But is China’s parliament just a rubber stamp? Indeed, the NPC has for long been used by the system or government to pass laws and bills. According to T (2012), the parliament is yet to reject something that has been tabled before it. The outcomes of the meeting which takes place every year in the capital Beijing are described as being pre-arranged and predictable. According to Truex (2013), no single law or nomination presented to the full NPC plenary session has ever been voted down to date. In a special report by BBC titled How China is Ruled?, the NPC is described as a rubber stamp for party decisions. However, the same report notes that the real influence of the NPC comes from the standing committee which is composed of about 150 people (BBC News, 2013). It is also noted that about 70% of the delegates are party members and as such, loyalty to the party precedes loyalty to the Congress.
However, the NPC seems to be shedding off the rubber stamp tag. For example, ‘no’ votes and abstentions have become common in recent sittings. For example, according to T (2012), in 1992, only 1767 delegates voted to approve the controversial Three Gorges Dam project, with 644 votes to abstain, 177 votes against and 25 delegates failing to vote at all. In the year 1999, the congress notably delayed the passing of a law that would see the introduction of the rather unpopular fuel tax. Therefore, it can be said that the NPC, whose staff has grown in size and professionalism, is becoming more independent and is trying to shed rubber stamp tendencies. In the American system of governance, the term gridlock is used. Gridlock cannot be compared to rubber stamp. This is because while the latter makes it easier for the government to pass legislation, the former makes it difficult for the government to pass laws or bills. T (2012) observes that the Congress checks and balances the executive branch’s political power in Washington. However, a divided congress pitting the Democrats and the Republicans often makes it impossible for the government to enact key legislations.
BBC News. (2013) National People’s Congress. Retrieved on 06 Nov. 2013 from
T, P. (2012) The National People’s Congress: What Makes a Rubber Stamp? The Economist, 2012. Retrieved on 06 Nov. 2013 from
Truex, R. (2013) The Returns to Office in a Rubber Stamp Parliament. RCCPB Working Paper, June 2013, No. 33, pp. 1-36.

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