And so we’re staring at a hung parliament(well as of 10.55 am IST anyway..).
Anyway, today’s voice would simply like to argue in favour of a multi-party democracy, despite its nasty side-effect of causing muddled results and ugly party-shifting MPs. There have been many calls, here in India, for a shift to the two-party system as followed in the USA/UK. Frankly this suggestion is just awful, and should not be used here in India (it barely works in USA and UK anyway!).
People argue this is a must for stability, and therefore good governance.
Question posed to those people: The greatest abuses of power occurred in India under
a) 45 yrs of Congress Party rule?
b) 12 yrs of non-Congress rule?
If stability guaranteed good governance, nobody would bother to vote anymore! Keep in the incumbent in power, who needs change! Furthermore, the 2-party system works in USA/UK because their populations are a lot more homogeneous than our country. 12 Big languages, countless dialects, 4 major religions, and loads of sects, and don’t get me started about Caste….
There is NO WAY that two opposing streams of thought can cover all that. You need many more representatives to fill the gaps and complete the patchwork quilt that is India, and despite that, the multitude of parties and ideologies have converged into 2 streams anyway (I don’t include the ‘3rd front’ nonsense. The 3rd front should simply be renamed the losers who refuse to quit – but even they are important).
Further, coalition governments help keep the ruling party’s baser instincts in check. Had the BJP not been part of a coalition, I’m sure the abuses in Gujarat would have been worse(if possible) and hell, they might have spread outside Gujarat! Coalitions force parties to compromise, as opposed to dictate terms, and is that not the true essence of democracy?
Finally, let’s not knock the independent candidates. They are necessary to remind the larger players that there is somebody else who could steal their votes. Somebody else who might begin to matter if a divided nation returns a 50-50 verdict(or 45-45-10 verdict). In America, the 50-50 vote led to the Supreme Court having to decide who would be President!!! But in our country a 50-50 vote simply means that the Clean-Cut man from Pune will be given more importance, and courted by the big players, or the dogged Communists of Bengal will become part of the government. This is after all, a democracy. Every Vote counts.
So let the trading begin, as ugly as it is after all:
Democracy is an awful political system, but the best one out of all the others proposed and practised so far