Money & Elections
Let us face the reality, today, elections and its results largely rely on the kind of campaign a party or candidate undertakes. The election campaign of India is one of the most non-transparent when it comes to funding. Corporates, despite their huge pile of debt, contribute generously for election campaign while political parties seek out for corporates donations to fund their campaign, in a classic case of quid pro quo. This model of election funding and campaigns have left no room for new ideas to infiltrate the political discourse. Any aspiring youth or group of young people who intend to contest elections know that they have to come up against money power that draws the crowds, ears and attention. The fact that politics and politicians look always a few years apace boils down to the firewall that prevent good, aspiring, clean people to enter politics and also fails to provide a neutral platform for them.
Representative by word, presidential by nature
Representative democracy, a type of democracy which we chose for ourselves in the best interests of people, hoping that representatives elected from geographically demarcated constituencies would represent the voice of the people who had cast their vote. The different voices from different constituencies were supposed to raise issues of people and collectively decide what is best for common good. But is our representative democracy working as it should? let us see where we are going astray.
Election fought around a single person
Elections be it in Tamil Nadu as a state or at center revolves around a single figure. A single larger than life figure who cannot be at fault is built and all the MLA’s and MP’s irrespective of their desire, credentials and track record win elections. Representative democracy envisioned creation of grass root leaders who among the people would rise to represent them rather than a top down approach where leaders of political parties rally support around a single person.
Horse trading of representative’s
After election of MLA’s and MP’s, there has been many instances of blatant horse trading of MLA’s to secure majority, the recent instance being the Uttarakhand crisis. When a MLA switches parties, does he or she represent the will of the people, was it a popular opinion among people to ask their representative to switch party? It is an overwhelming ‘No’. Money of course plays a huge role in this exercise. But switching of representatives (MLA’s,MP’s) and also the anti – defection law which mandates representatives to vote in the assembly according to the party whip both dent’s the spirit of our representative Democracy.
The Logical Indian hopes a neutral platform can be provided by election commission for all parties to showcase their ideas for people and bring an end to unhealthy non transparent form of election funding which is plaguing Indian Democracy.