Why I feel that the democratic electoral system of India in flawed:
The nuclear deal is back in the news & not surprisingly along with it is the coalition and the maths that goes along with it. The nuke deal in itself is a huge debate, which is beyond the scope of this article, but references shall be made. Also, I am not trying to justify whether the decisions of either the NDA or UPA are right or wrong. That’s for another topic, another time.
India has a ‘Fevicol'[1. It’s an adhesive that works sometimes & doesn’t sometimes] styled government. It’s more mathematical than the actual mandate. Recently, after the Uttar Pradesh elections, Mayawati has emerged as a force to reckon with & she is going to be a major influential force in the next government that is going to be formed. Devegowda & Sharad Pwar. They both are considered as a king-maker at the center. A lot of smaller parties and independent MLAs are the people who decide the state & central government as opposed to the people of India.
The Left parties supports the UPA in principle and from outside. They use this position of theirs to influence the decision making of the government at the center. They have always kept on threatening of a pull-out and there by bringing the UPA government to it’s knees ‘coz then it falls short of required majority at the House. But, the Left has never done so. Nandigram happened at the wrong time for them. There was no way they could afford to pull out of the coalition and head for early elections. It was a huge risk.
Talking about Mayawati you cannot, but, mention Amma (Jayalalitha) a major political force along with Karunanidhi down south. So, basically the country’s political hubs are divided into 4 sections. The South, the East, the central India consisting of UP, Bihar.
The Congress came into power with more of a fractured mandate and then for the first time decided to make alliances and thereby the UPA. To be in power they shall do anything. As it is said, “In politics there are no permanent enemies or friends.” A statement that is so true. Recent example, UP heavy weight Samajwadi Party is said to have mended fences with Congress since Mayawati’s been in power. Amar Singh & the Samajwadi party are more known for their high profile poster boys in ADAG owner Anil Ambani & Hindi cinema’s first family – The Bachchans.
Here is the twist in the whole thing, Amitabh Bachchan, though a great friend of late Rajiv Gandhi, has had a bitter relationship with the Gandhis ever since Rajiv Gandhi’s death. That’s not it. Anil Ambani’s business rival and brother Mukesh Ambani is close to the Congress. So, you see in politics enemies & friends can change in a matter of one election. In this case the UP elections and the change in power into the hands of Mayawait.
Why does this change happen? A place in the government. You have central representatives you have power. As simple as that. Coming back to the topic, this whole system of forming post election alliances is crippling to the nation, a stab in the back of the voters. When someone votes for let’s say the Samajhwadi Party knowing that they have a bitter present with the Congress, these guys turn around form an alliance with the Congress.
Not only that, consider the Nuclear deal issue. The UPA or Congress cannot go ahead with the deal, even though they believe in it because if they do, they govt. falls apart. No party can follow it’s path because there is the maths behind it. Referring to the Nuclear deal again, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wants to go ahead with the deal, whether the Left supports it or pulls out. The maths behind it? Even if the Left pulls out support, there is a possibility that the Samajwadi Party will be pitching in it’s support to the center!
Here is another kicker, Amar Singh is considered to be a lot closer to the Left top brass as compared to Sonia Gandhi. He has in public on national TV expressed his concern over Sonia Gandhi leading the country and more so his fear for personal life & that of his friends. But, there is a possibility that they might support the center!
The way the government is formed at the center is the same as it happens at the state level. Parties lure MLAs with promises. If there is an election in a particular state, parties take their flock to secret locations at 5 Star hotels to make sure they don’t change loyalty. Their changing loyalty means the people who voted for them, their loyalty changes. I am not really sure whether every Rane supporter is a Congress supporter. It can’t be. When people vote for an alternate party they end up indirectly voting for the party they wanted to vote against, because the fagot they voted for changed loyalties. Betrayed the voter. Recently, Narayan Rane, Maharashtra heavy weight, took families of more than 15 MLAs to an international tour to ensure their support to him!
Compare this to the US, US elections are going on. US has a stand on the Nuclear deal. They don’t have parties or factions threatening to pull out. They have a 2 party system – It’s either the Democrats or The Republicans. Who ever comes in power has a free hand at pursuing it’s own policy. Perfect example: George Bush. He has ruled as a spoilt rich child, bombing anyone at free will. Talking absolute shit and making a complete fool of himself. But, he rules, there is no coalition maths behind him, the government will not fall.
Even now, it’s Obama or McCain. In India you don’t know who is going to be the Prime Minister. The common man will only come to know who the Prime Minister will be after the elections are over, the maths has been done, the coalitions have been formed. before that, knowing who the PM will be is like guessing what will be Steve Jobs’ next big announcement.
These factors of constant change in loyalty of public representatives at their will and the uncertainty that surrounds it is detrimental to the nation in my opinion. There should be a set rule by the Election Commission that alliances can’t be formed once the election takes place and their Chief Ministerial & Prime Ministerial candidate should be mentioned atleast 1 month before the elections begin.
Hoping for a better India. Hoping for a better tomorrow.