Lessons Indian Politics can learn from the USA Presidential Campaign
India, elections are like every day occasions. Being the largest democracy you have elections from villages to States to National level.The most important part of an any elections are debates whether they are on national television between candidates or representatives of parties or among people. At present the nation is busy with the Bihar elections. Every day you witness some form of diatribe,rhetoric, packages etc. being thrown at people of Bihar but no debates.
You will see and hear everything and anything on national televisions (which they advertise as debate hour) but no substantial policies or counter policies, vision or approaches by the candidates. Even some parties have not declared their Chief Minister candidate to Bihar voters. And they do not know who will lead them, if that party wins.
(For those who are new to USA politics, first read little background about USA politics provided at the end of this post)Contrasting to the elections in India, USA is also witnessing an active and fiery primary presidential campaign, for which elections are scheduled in 2016. Over the last few weeks I have been watching the debates & campaigns, primarily of Republican party. All the republican candidates are competing,contesting & debating among themselves on issues ranging from Immigration, National Security, Economy, Foreign Policies and many more.
There are some lessons which Indian political class should learn and Indian voters should ask for, if we want to see a more responsible and serious politics in the country.
Lesson 1 : Declare the candidate for the topmost position
In USA, the voters know who is going to lead them. They can judge the candidates on the basis of their past actions & behaviors. The Indian elections system are such that where you cannot declare all your cabinet before elections because of various reasons(coalition) but the least you can do is declare the name of the prospective PM/CM nominee. By this an individual responsibility gets attached to the person and will be held liable for her/is inaction on the promises.
Lesson 2: Conduct Debates at all levels of election
The debates are an integral part of any election. You not only get to know the view points of the candidates but you can actually compare and evaluate them. In India, on the name of debates what you hear is cacophony, mudslinging & diatribes. The candidates try to run away from debates as they are not able to present any view point on important issues ranging from Education, Healthcare, Taxes, Security to Employment.
Lesson 3: Publish Policy/Approach papers
These may not be much relevant to the majority of the voters but they are very important for the intellectual class of the society. In USA every aspiring candidate, publishes her/is approach for a major issue and fight them on facts & figures. But in India, what you have is a Manifesto, which only changes in color & aesthetics over the elections. The Manifesto contains the same general things and has not moved above “Roti, Kapda, Makan” as still politicians have not been able to provide this to masses.
We as citizens have to take the responsibility of demanding a better standard of elections from our political class, if we really want the politics of this country to change and improve for the better.
What do you think of Indian politics vis-a-vis American politics?
(A little background — There are two main parties, Republican & Democrats. President Obama belongs to Democrats. The next presidential elections are scheduled for year 2016. At present all the candidates (Republican & Democrats) are contesting and competing among themselves, from which a nominee will be voted by each party people. Then, the two(it can be more than two if there is any Independent too) candidates, one from Democrat & one from Republican will fight it out in the national elections, and one will be elected as a president).
Originally published at readndletread.blogspot.in on October 7, 2015.