December 2012

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31          

Blogs & Sites We Read

Blog powered by Typepad

Search Site

  • Search Site



  • Counter

Become a Fan

Cat Quote

  • "He who dislikes the cat, was in his former life, a rat."

« The Monkey Off Our Backs? | Main | Quote Of The Day »

November 10, 2006


That's really interesting! Here in Guatemala, the paper reported directly from the AP wire and there didn't seem to be much talk about it among my friends... except to join my excitement since they know I'm a Democrat...

From my perspective, this is just a victory of one narrative over another, the situation on the ground remaining virtually unchanged. It offers little more than therapeutic value, hence the euphoria. The real test will not be pulling the troops out but restoring & propping up Sunni power in Iraq.

To me, this underlines a major flaw in the system with just two political parties attempting to represent the hopes, wishes and realities of 300 million citizens.

The AP report here probably put together the most provocative opinions. But international interest in the elections was quite high given the failure and unsettling nature of Bush's foreign policy. My sister called me three times between Tuesday and Wednesday nights to get the latest split in the House and Senate.

I agree with you. Hence the lack of my own euphoria. I hope to gather my thoughts and put together a detailed post as to why I am not dancing in the streets. A multi-party system may have the answer as also a system of voting candidates 1,2 & 3 in the order of preference. But when I look at India and Israel, a multi-party political system might mean endless horse-trading instead of governing.


I think there is an age old problem with any organization - large or small - that power, privilege & benefits are sticky at the top (the creamy layer phenomenon). It doesn't matter which nation/ society or how idealistic your party platform, this is an essential characteristic of all organisations.

Second is the problem of representation. With any party, the top, middle to lower layers of leaders and managers are effectively chosen so as to pose the least threat, or deemed most acceptable, to the prevailing power/ privilege paradigm. The characteristics of those nominated/ chosen for seats will not be determined by how closely and faithfully they represent their respective constituencies in a particular voting district but by how well one maintains "party discipline", do not threaten the prevailing power structure etc.

If you have just one single party, the Democrats, attempting to represent a majority of african americans in the America, then it is inevitable that black candidates will be chosen on the basis of "least threat" rather than on the basis of closest reflection of the community's needs and aspirations. In such a system, the horse trading & bargaining will take place within the confines of the party, much of it in backrooms and out of public view.

By contrast in India, a lot of the wrangling happens across party lines which is typically not conducive to quiet little backroom deals, particularly in the paparazzi era. It looks messy and ugly because it is out in the open but this is way it should be - each party should be negotiating hard to win the best possible deal for its constituency. After this pre-election horse trading is over, the final cabinet & other ministers are out of party politics mode and focused on governing the country.

The current age of globalisation has also created a "free market" of democracies in which different democratic systems will be in implicit competition with each other. Systems that allow people from every segment of society to rise up and excel in virtually every field will be a powerful attraction for the best and brightest.

The comments to this entry are closed.