Saturday, April 13, 2019

Tweak the system in order to save elections

Words like “party” are slowly being leached of meaning. What does it mean to vote for a party when the person you vote for ceases to represent that party? Post-election alliances also appear to be based on who can be persuaded to surrender a slice of power. There is little pretence about smaller parties wanting to ally with others based on common values. In such a climate, those who speak of values — their own or those of the voters — elicit mockery, while those who can successfully dismantle the public mandate are admired.

It doesn’t have to be like this. All over the world, voters participate in elections because they take for granted that their candidates represent a set of values. Some nations go a step further and account for the fact that individual leaders have their own following, regardless of party affiliation.

Perhaps it is time India also tweaked our system so that our vote does not get highjacked so easily.

Some suggestions in this column here:

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