Some serious questions on voting

I have written in another article that the elections themselves lay the grounds for corruption, misuse of power and squandering resources in power struggles for survival. So I admit that I am not particularly fond of the method as a means of ensuring democratic representation.

Now, it seems Team Anna attempts to fix problems arising from this very structure through the means of installing an ombudsman, which seems to me a good idea, unless we are able to drastically change our parameters for elections, or we are able to move away from a system of elections completely (as described in that article).

There are those who suggest more responsible and more quantity of voting as a means to get better politicians. And it is some very thinking minds making this suggestion. This seems very illogical to me, but I am willing to give it a go, if some fundamental problems I see are addressed by this system in ways I don’t see at the moment. Listing them out. I would appreciate inputs from anyone who has given this serious thought. This is not about Team Anna, but the viability of the proposed alternative as voting.

  • There are many issues handled badly by political parties. Fundamental, legal, constitutional. Is it realistic to expect voting to fix them? Issues that are handled or mishandled differently by different parties, but actually a basic requirement from all.
  • If there are issues that are not acceptable from any party, why should votes be spent on them than on real preferences in values? Elections ought to be a way of representing National opinion on how the country should be run – “legally” should not have to be a factor for choice when it is a basic requirement from all. “Honestly” also ought not to be left as a matter of vote.
  • If there are two candidates, one I like the ideals of, but belonging to a corrupt party and another honest but not too useful, whom to choose? Should I have to sacrifice ideas like… say “better roads in my locality” because it adds power to a party which will exploit my country?
  • Why is a legislation that will police politicians wrong, if it is fine for normal citizens? A regular citizen stealing money from any organization would be behind bars, then why does the Supreme Court have to intervene and overrule the natural actions of the system to even investigate what is happening?
  • I had no role in bringing a politician in another place to power – A Raja or Kalmadi, for example, but his loot impacts my well being as well as that of every citizen in my country. How can voting alone protect the country from this, if there is no real power to any entity to monitor or check without permissions from those who are most unlikely to give it, and beyond likely to tip off the suspects rather than aid investigation?
  • No matter how scrupulously people vote for honest politicians, by virtue of size and experience, big parties will have power. It is probability. These big parties all have leaderships, stakeholders and hierarchies that often don’t even contest elections – let alone be elected into power. The actions and influences of these people directly impact the country, and there is no way short of disempowering all big parties through elections to prevent this.
  • In the unlikely event that big political parties are completely left out of stakes, the combined nuisance potential they have will bring down any government.
  • In the unlikely event that big political parties are completely left out of stakes, we also lose out on years of experience of administrating the country and have leaders with relatively less experience, influence and knowledge of the system – a weaker government in terms of capability.
  • But really, it comes down to the basics – is five years a reasonable wait to challenge the power of exploiters of the system in a hit or miss process?

All thoughts welcome. I don’t think people recommending voting haven’t thought of this. So I am looking to find the value and solutions that are visible to them and elusive to me.

Lokpal or not, these things must have solutions, no? What can it be?

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About the Author

Vidyut is a blogger on issues of National interest. Staunch advocate of rights, learning and freedoms. @Vidyut

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