Tuesday, December 10, 2013

ఓటు కొనుగోలుతోనే అవినీతి

Courtesy: Namasthe Telangana

1 comment:

  1. Would like to share these observations made by Nirvikar Singh in his coloumn ‘Assembly election lessons’, published in The Financial Express on Dec 11, 2013…

    Elections are an essential part of democracy, but only a part. Election results reflect the will of voters, for sure, but they also depend on a complex set of institutional structures (such as first-past-the post rules, caste reservations and campaign financing) and political choices (such as party alliances, candidate slates, and the appeal of leaders). Voters, too, have to weigh many different factors in expressing their “will”, all the things that go into “good governance”: law and order, stable prices, efficient public services, social safety nets, and more. Put simply, though, in a democracy, citizens demand good governance as they perceive it, and politicians seek to supply it. In that sense, the victors in an election, almost by definition, are those best able to provide what a plurality of citizens want.

    What does this tell us about the recent assembly elections? Clearly, the demand for good governance has increased, and it has become more sophisticated. Just as “India Shining” was not enough for the BJP nationally in 2004, the performance of the Congress in Delhi did not satisfy voters’ expectations, despite reasonable competence. In the Delhi case, of course, there was a new supplier: the Aam Aadmi Party seems to have tapped into a broad cross-section of support, those seeking a more attractive package of process and outcomes in the supply of governance.

    It is not only an urban phenomenon, though the precise nature of the demand will differ between urban and rural populations. That, in turn, is a function of initial conditions, income and education levels, and access to information. Certainly, some policies may favour farmers over consumers, or business owners over workers, and so each group has a different idea of what is good governance and who is most likely to deliver it. But the essence is the same.

    The real issue with respect to the Aam Aadmi Party is one of scalability. Its showing in Delhi certainly indicated some ability to scale: the capital territory has a population bigger than that of Belgium. But it is much more compact. Campaigning in a city is much less costly, therefore, than campaigning in the countryside. It is also not easy to build a political organisation that can challenge at the level of of a single large state, let alone nationwide. The struggles of the Lok Satta Party illustrate the challenges of organisation-building.

    Finally, the supply of governance depends on actually governing, not just winning elections. Here, too, new entrants are untested. But the central lesson remains that the demand for good governance, in varied local forms, is rising.”

    (Mr. Singh is professor of economics, University of California, Santa Cruz)