Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Alternatives Are Hard To Find
Vasu Reddy From Chicago
Political turmoil in democracies are common and to a certain point natural. People should be given the opportunity to elect who they feel best represent their interests and should always have a choice of majority vote in placing someone in power to handle both domestic and international affairs that best suits the needs of the country. Tracking the countries that are natural democracies and comparing them to dictatorial or communist countries clearly represent the value of elected democracies.
India except for a brief emergency rule, has had democratically elected government since its independence from Great Britain in 1947. The period of emergency was full of atrocities against people of a democratic country, and it saw power wrested from the government in the next general election. While it saw a credible opposition in the form of BJP established born out of the emergency in India, and some regional parties also establishing themselves as forces in their own states, they quickly lost focus of catering to the national needs and gave back the power to Congress.
While each election costing more and more money to win, politicians who are getting elected and the ones that are losing; both are finding ways of making the money to spend on the electorate. The biggest spenders are by no means are guaranteed electoral wins, and the ones those win have to find ways of recouping the cost of getting elected and are taking extreme measures to get their money back, and while no one is really focused on managing the day to day affairs of the country and its people.
The just finished regional election demonstrate that the regional parties are able to convince people of their intentions in localized elections, but will they be able to communicate a national message that is coherent and achievable is not in the horizon. While states focus on local issues, the broader and national consequences are of greater importance for the well being of the country.
Dramatic and vast projects are all embroiled in controversies and scams. Telecommunications, sports, buildings and transportation, defense and just about every major industry is involved in some major scam, and there seem to be endless issues with siphoning vast resources into politicians and their associate accounts.
With all the controversies and scams, the economy seems to chug along, although it could be with a much higher growth if not for the scams. The private enterprise continues to find ways to grow despite the difficulties with politics and policy, and sometimes taking in stride the enormous burden of the scams, and demands for a great chunk of the monies involved in funding the projects.
All said and done the country is lacking in a credible and nationwide opposition to the ruling party that can deliver to election manifesto that will foster the economy, and also stop the bleeding of the resources of the country. Although regional parties are strong in localized elections, they are not able to neither deliver a credible opposition nationally, nor also muster enough national attention to become an alternate to the incumbent government.
The political outlook is quite bleak in the current scenario, and there is no immediate fix to the political system. There is no prescription to solve the political owes of the country, and how to find opposition party that will provide a national platform. The new generation of politicians rely more on money and muscle, rather than reforms and policies to foster economic growth and clean government. Except dynastic politics and promoting the sons or the past leaders, the country is lacking in new leaders who come from outside of the political system, and with new ideas that address the needs of the county. Searching for alternatives in current political environment to deliver progressive and clean government is hard to find.