hello president…

two articles caught my eye today. one by swapan das gupta on the frequent disruptions in parliament. He argues that fault lies not only with the BJP and allies, but with the Manmohan Singh government.

The Government, whose parliamentary majority rests on maverick and demanding allies, is always anxious to prevent any discussion that involves voting…[but] negating all voting is tantamount to shortchanging the electorate.’

‘ Had the government agreed to a voting resolution on FDI in retail, there would have been no logic to the disruption of Parliament. Instead, we had the bizarre situation of the Government taking a major initiative, its coalition partners and the opposition opposing it bitterly, and it finally doing a U-turn, without the matter reaching parliament at all.

‘ How will parliamentary institutions be strengthened if the Prime Minister, the UPA chairperson and the heir-designate are uncomfortable participating in the proceedings of Parliament?’

the other was by shashi tharoor. tharoor argues  that pending bills, disrupted sessions of parliament, declining growth rates, the on-going triumph of politics over governance means its time for a presidential system.

 ‘…our parliamentary system has created a unique breed of legislator, largely unqualified to legislate, who has sought election only in order to wield (or influence) executive power. It has produced governments obliged to focus more on politics than on policy or performance. It has distorted the voting preferences of an electorate that knows which individuals it wants but not necessarily which policies. It has spawned parties that are shifting alliances of individual interests rather than vehicles of coherent sets of ideas. It has forced governments to concentrate less on governing than on staying in office, and obliged them to cater to the lowest common denominator of their coalitions. It is time for a change.’

Tharoor has a valid point.  It is time for governance; pluralism for the sake of pluralism is  an inadequate defense. But the question is whether it is realizable; we cant get an anti-corruption bill through parliament, what are the chances of being able to change our whole political system? Jai Hind.

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