April 20, 2006

Indian Politics, What is the Way Out?

Hopefully in the next decade, every Indian will have a political party representing his or her region, religion, caste, sex etcetera unless a political restructuring for consolidation happens. While everybody is aware of this as a problem with our politics, only very few is aware of a practical solution. Today's Hindu has an interesting article by Pran Chopra, which explains what does constitutional experts say about this. Here are the excerpts:
"A candidate should be declared elected to Parliament only when he has obtained the votes of at least half the people who have voted. And if no such candidate emerges in the first round of polling there should be a second and last round in which the leader and the runner-up in the first round should be the only candidates. The House chosen in this way should then choose its leader in the same way, in two rounds at most.

The government formed by him should be open to challenge but only by a challenger who has demonstrated, in the same manner, that he has the support of at least half the House.

This single reform can achieve at least three objectives. The House will always have the support of at least half the concerned voters, the government will always have the confidence of at least half the House, and candidates at both levels, knowing that one day they may need the support of at least half the voters will, even in the first round, refrain from casting their appeal on narrow and sectarian lines.

The merits of the scheme are not in doubt. The mystery is why we do not adopt it."
There have been instances when the entire politicians of the country united on a subject, increasing the salary of parliamentary members or overriding the supreme court law on the (dis)qualifications of an election candidate being some of them. Having seen on these political dramas live on the news channels, I doubt how many Indians will really find this one as mysterious as the author finds it!

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