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Choosing the Color of An Automobile
and the Art of Electing a Government
|by Dr. Raj Vatsya|
After having reached an agreement with the salesman for the purchase of our last automobile, a van, it was time to decide on its color before ordering. I asked my family members to tell me their first and second choices. First choice of each one was different from all the others, but rather remarkably, the second choice of everyone was the same: Silver.
Everyone knows the problems a coalition government poses, particularly if the number of partners is large. Mandate of such a government remains unclear fabricated by fusing all of the mandates presented by the disparate contestants, which is open to further adjustments often at the whims of the partners. The voters really have no right to hold such a government responsible for a clear mandate. Each smaller partner asks for and usually gets a position and other concessions exceeding its representation resulting in too many tails wagging the dog; too many chiefs; not enough Indians. Just keeping the coalitions in place becomes a chore leaving little room to govern; to get something done.
About the only alternative available to people is to express their concerns in between the elections, which is their right as well as their responsibility, for, as Thomas Jefferson has said: Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. However, if a voice is raised against any undesirable activity, e.g., corruption, time tested techniques like vilification are unleashed with arrogant vigor to neutralize the voice not by defending oneself against it but by declaring the voice to be illegitimate and using it to legitimatize the continuation of their undesirable practices by some unexpressed twisted reasoning. Just pointing to a little speck of dirt, genuine or fabricated, is used to rationalize a pile of muck that the defender is covered with. People are told by smug, complacent politicians who exhibit and express an attitude that they belong to the ruling class and the people, to the ruled, that the only democratic right available to them is to vote at every election time, which they can exercise and then disappear into oblivion until the next election time (See How to Bring Democracy). Recent examples of such occurrences are the skirmishes between the protagonists of the movements raising their voices against various forms of corruption, which is rampant in all walks of life. The tactics succeeded in effectively neutralizing the movements to a large extent but the rage augmented by the tactics used by the politicians and their success, even if limited, simmered inside people and the enraged masses constitute a powerful force as witnessed by history. Quoting from one of my poems, March of History:
The tip of the whip did get caught in the enraged fingers and the tremor was felt. Ordinance against the directive of SC was withdrawn by staging a poorly directed and poorly acted out drama, for example, and about all of the politicians scrambled to align with the flow. This was only the tip of the iceberg of people’s anger, which they expressed by voting against the politicians whose conduct had enraged them as soon as they got an opportunity, even if it meant to have a government constituted of a less than coherent collection of agitators who were inexperienced in the matters of governance. By this act of the “collective wisdom,” people succeeded in shifting the paradigm, which is amply demonstrated by the swiftness with which the seasoned politicians adjusted their modus operandi. Whether this sustains or not, and to what extent, will depend on the level of vigilance exercised by the people. For now the politicians appear to have learned that if the elected representatives do not listen to people, democracy empowers people to render them unable to listen to people. People are the ultimate custodians of democracy.
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02/24/2014 20:52 PM
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