December 19, 2007

We, The People

The most important aspect of democracy is the election process. Unless the election process is free and fair, there is little or no chance a democracy is going to survive for long. India is often considered to be a good example of the way democracy should function, but if the founding fathers of Indian constitution were living today they would undoubtedly have hung their heads in shame.

The main reason for that would be the opportunism that has crept into politics today. It is the easiest thing to blame politicians for all that is wrong with any political system. But, the fault lies with us, the voters, more than anyone else.

The politician is merely doing what he knows will get him the most votes. It is the people who vote who have to rise above their own vested interests and vote for someone who will be good for the society as a whole.

I have brought up this subject of elections today because today Himachal Pradesh, the state I live in, goes to polls. There has been intense political campaigning in the state in the last few days, but the focus it seems has not been on development but on which party has done the greater wrong. And what is even more surprising - at least to me - is that most people I have talked to either will not vote, or will vote for reasons that can not be called impartial.

This, I feel, absolves the politician of most of the blame.

If, We, the people, will not be judicious in choosing the right candidate to vote for, how can we expect to have a good government? If we don't vote, how can we expect to have any government at all?

1 comment:

Sandy Carlson said...

Good point, Neo. Sometimes election campaigns look an awful lot like gossip campaigns in the entertainment media. It's hard to keep the players straight and to know who has anything to offer. A friend recently told me about a site in the US called glassbooth.org that actually helps a person sort through issues and who supports what in a matter of seconds. It's awesome. Perhaps sites like this will travel the world and help the disaffected back into the system.

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