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The Ailing Democracy
The current political system is the product of long political and democratic struggle which started almost two and a half centuries before. Nevertheless, in most countries the democratic pattern has been adopted just half a century ago, as a system in vogue, without imbibing the real spirit and freedom which hails democracy.
If we look into the history, an arrogant ruler, a mighty king, all in all, ruled and dictated majority of population with negligible resistance from the masses for their basic rights or objecting the ways they were governed. Consequently, the system was realized to be out dated, poor in performance and ineffective in addressing the grievances of people in general and in particular due to exclusion of populace from the power circle along with denial of basic human rights to choose their own representatives.
Now can we compare the difference of being living under an absolute monarch and an elected President/Prime Minister who run the daily business of government? In some countries we can, but I am afraid that for majority of us the system is still the same. Only old wine is presented in new bottle with a glittering mark of democracy to solace the countrymen that they are responsible to decide their own fate and future. And the least people are doing is to compromise on, that the next will come out a better option turning the peoples’ aspiration into practical and materialize form. But when and how, nobody can answer this. The system is still protracted as in previous decades like a Bull Cart with all its follies and rubbish.
The democratic system is no doubt better than a mighty regime for allowing a bunch of elected people to govern, but not up to the mark of a fully transparent, responsible and effective public serving govt. The system needs radical reforms in form of accountability of the people’s representative to the electorate from where they are elected, sharing updated information in fact & figures regarding performance of government in field of public interest, decision taken by authorities and its effectiveness in combating community problems. However, matters of state interest which needs secrecy shall be excluded to be opened in public.
People should be aware of the business and achievements of their representative in order to evaluate and decide better to elect candidates for next term. Similarly, government shall devise a criterion to match up performance of elected members of house working in the same capacity in order to analyze their efficiency. The elected members shall be liable to appear in public and adopt close interaction with people to bring themselves in line with peoples’ aspiration and need.
In general, the effectiveness of a government in tackling various issues whether small or large shall be known to public for sharing their opinion and determining competence of the govt. People can share their concerns on matters of public interest through electronic means or authenticated polls. However, the process of public opinion to be part of government decision may be quick and vigilant to avoid malfunctioning of administration work. It is clear that people opinion is only restricted to matter of common understanding and not that requires expertise or that is technical. In such cases, experts from segments of the society shall debate openly to create awareness among the general public.
Public participation in decision making will lessen the burden of administration and help the government to move decisively and swiftly rather to linger on issues. It will also protect the elected government which is forced by pressure groups through various tactics to lobby for and advocate a certain cause or issue. Systematic propagation with calculated time for any cause or issue alters the government decision that is sometimes against the wishes of general public.
The matters discussed above will ease the judgment to decide fate of an elected person for next term on the basis of merit and de-merits instead of demonstrating oratory and showing charisma on stages. It’s the time for people to choose between an ideal and a practical man, otherwise the destiny of a man of principles will be like Brutus, overpowered by a shrewd orator Antony.
Before elections, the profile of each candidate shall be publicized together with his services for community and assets he posses to bring transparency and increase reliance. In most developing countries, a candidate is a landlord, businessman or ex-serviceman of his electorate and does not bear any track record of public service in past. He keeps on dealing the people like his servants. Our dilemma is that we have kept our eyes closed on silencing ourselves that we have a good democratic system working in the country which has no alternative at all.
Note: The article is not against democracy. It’s just an effort to see democracy standing on footing of people need and aspiration.