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Why Can’t We Indians Elect Our Own Government? Is It Time For A Presidential Form Of Government?

Posted by RB Kollannur on September 11, 2008


One of the most disconcerting thought of the ongoing political drama is that in our country the people have no say in who governs them. A voter casts his vote to indicate not only his choice of legislature, but also his choice of government. But, our suffrage is limited only to electing representatives who then decides who will govern. In the era of coalition politics, the will of the people can be easily subverted by the whims and fancies of the representative.

The situation in the country in the past two decades, where fractured verdicts have been the norm, rather than the exception, we have seen smaller parties become kingmakers and assert considerable influence against the will of the people. As a result, the government lacks the freedom to take strong decisions, with the danger of political instability always around the corner.

One of the misfortunes of coalition politics is that it is tough to get out of. The smaller parties thrive on their ability to understand a smaller set of people. It is customization at its best. Hence, regional parties can always better serve their voters. However, it is while passing a law that this advantage should be used, not during government formation. By allowing smaller parties to have a say, we are letting ourselves to be held hostage to their whims.

When you look at the contemporary scenario in US, the so-called haven of democracy, it is the people who decide who governs them. The people are empowered to elect their executive, the President, who then selects his cabinet with the approval of the legislature. In the Presidential form of government the will of the people cannot be easily dissuaded. It instills stability to the political system and enhances better decision making. Decisions are made based on the interest of the nation, with representatives from both sides of the political divide, ruling and opposition, making their choice, instead of party orders.

If we seek to have a stable political structure, we need to bifurcate our vote and vote separately for the executive. An executive elected by the will of the people cannot be easily dissuaded. If we let the current system continue, we will continue to hold our governments ransom to the ego of petty politics. Democracy is for the people, of the people and by the people. So should be the government.

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