Transforming your life with better governance ideas!

If you live in a democratic country you know for sure one thing,- our world runs on majority vote. The majority party wins the race to form the government,the majority vote of the legislators in Parliament becomes the law, the majority vote of the jury is assumed to be correct and the list goes on.

But tell me why should it be that way? Is the majority always right? Is the minority always wrong?

This actually stems from an underlying concept-
Everyone should get what they want.(Especially since the monarchy/dictatorship did not give people what they wanted) I like this concept as much as you do. The only problem is, it is not always feasible. So there is something called consensus building. Since even this remains a mirage most of the time, so voting is done and majority wins minority loses- becomes the rule of the game.

Democracy is all about building consensus, so it is said. Broadly there are 2 rules of democracy.

1. All are equal
2. Majority wins Minority loses.

The second rule is in existence for the simple reason- there is no consensus in the group, people simply stick to their viewpoints.If really there was a consensus, would they all vote for some resolution and declare majority view wins the day while minority loses?

Let us consider a more intelligent system.A better approach would be that each person’s views are evaluated on the basis of practicality and logical soundness.The best argument or approach or viewpoint should be considered.Advantage of this is that people here are not guided by populist agenda or prejudices, but by logical correctness.

One great advantage of this approach is- All the citizens can place their opinions and ideas in front of the legislature or the executive.Each idea will be evaluated in terms of logical correctness and practicality in a transparent manner.The best idea gets accepted.Don’t you think this is far more better than doing something just on the basis of whims and fancies of the majority? Our present governance system makes people second class citizens compared to those ‘in power‘ by not allowing them to have any say.Then how can you say ‘All are equal’?

However there are some hindrances to this approach as well.For once at times there is not one logical solution.Multiple solutions could seem equally correct. In such a case each solution could be implemented in different areas and the results could be evaluated.Like if possible, a particular law can be implemented as a pilot project in a particular city while another mutually exclusive law could be implemented somewhere else.

Should we then always neglect majority opinion? Probably not.People’s opinion matters not because it is always correct,but because the very existence of the system(democracy,monarchy etc) depends on the people.If they continue to be dissatisfied they will revolt one day. This is where public referendum helps when people are deeply passionate about something. That is also why regular elections are necessary so that people have a chance to give their feedback.

Majority wins theory should be implemented only when the intelligent approach fails.

These beliefs form the core reasons behind a better form of government.(

We’ve heard it time and again, in the media and elsewhere –‘Exercise your right to vote.You are lazy educated person who does not vote.Bad people go to parliament because of the good people who do not come out and vote.So you’re responsible for the wrong deeds performed by these unworthy elected people.So don’t point fingers at them.Look at your despicable self in the mirror

Well said, but let us also care to look from the perspective of the democratic voter for a moment.

Some of the thinking democratic voter’s questions would be like this–
1. In elections should we look at the candidate or the party?
2. What if candidate is bad but party is good or the other way round?
3. We see that candidates MPs MLAs simply represent their parties,they don’t ask the people and represent their opinion in Parliament.So should we care to look at individual candidates at all?
4. Also how to rate the performance of the party in power?
5. Should we look at the state of the economy or Electricity,Roads,Water?
6. If there is heavy crime in my area is the central or state government responsible for that?
7. Should bad power supply be attributed to the state ruling party or the central government party or the local Municipal Corporation?Who is responsible for what?
8. And whom are we supposed to compare with.The roads in US,UK?Or the economy of China or Pakistan?Or the crime rate with some of the other countries?
9. The state government accuses the central leadership for all ills while the center blames the former.Whom should we  believe? And finally;

10. Is there any simple thumb rule that can be followed by an illiterate villager with moderate information? How can we consolidate the answers to the above questions to generate a definite answer?Would that be easy?

I understand that some of these questions require all of us to have good knowledge of decentralized model(i.e Electricity and Water is handled by the state government while Roads come under Municipal Corporation.) How many of us educated people actually know this(or remember this 🙂 )Does an illiterate person know this?One simple thing which everyone understands is bad candidates with criminal record should not be elected. But this creates confusion if you like the party and its agenda.

The other thing is the immaturity inherent in many of us.Voters have generally been enamoured by movie stars with their impressive dialogues.Also voting for someone because he/she is from your community/religion or speaks our mother tongue, is fairly common.But will they be good leaders? In some countries alcoholic drinks,money and food is used to entice voters.Some of these ‘honest voters’ think that if the candidate has helped them by giving money, it would be sinful not to vote for them.

People can become satisfied with just moderate degree of accomplishment.If you compare with other nations(Electricity,Roads,Water,Law and order) you realize that it is not good enough.If you don’t compare you may not get an idea.The local mayor will contend that he did his best in the given circumstances.The ruling party may say they did their best.Progress is slow but gradually we will become a developed country and so on.But the reality maybe that they did not do their level best.It becomes difficult as an ordinary person to say what is just good development to best development under the given circumstances.Also too many elections (state,center,local) with each government having different responsibilities sort of confuses the voter as to what should be attributed to whom.

The demographic profile of countries maybe such that with a large illiterate/narrow minded/lazy population they cannot vote for the best.They need help from their noble,intelligent fellow citizens.

What if in a company performance appraisal of the Managing Director/CEO is made by the watchman or the cab driver.Will he have enough information and the aptitude to measure the performance of the Managing director?What if the company MD is to be selected by the watchman?Can he be a good selector?
The present democratic vote system requires the ordinary people without proper information and aptitude to be do a performance appraisal/selection of candidates.Worse there is no one to one meeting either.How good a job can they really do?

In short I think the form of government mentioned in the article  ‘Something better than democracy’-( is the best.It preserves some good aspects of democracy but does not completely depend on the people for judgment.Screening of candidates based on universally accepted qualities of administrator,minimal elections,handpicking after consultation by experts,debates by sector specific experts will be better.

We are taught from young age that ‘democracy is the best form of government”Don’t think there is anything better’ etc. But if we think different we can come across better forms of government than the present form.Democracy is a form of government created by people and is subject to defects.In companies we have good business models,software models etc. But after trial run we realize there are some defects and go back and improve upon them.Also some radical innovative models are sometimes even better.Same thing goes with the forms of government.

Consider this form of government.Instead of having bulky political parties why not have party leaders  stand as candidates for the post of Prime Minister/President.Most of the times it is the party leader who simply calls the shots.The people can directly vote for them.Better still we could invite applications for this post from the citizens.Based on screening them for proven leadership track record,no criminal cases etc.We could shortlist the top 5 or 10 most eligible candidates.People can select the candidate who is most popular/likable for 5 years.He could then select experts from different sectors as ministers.Like Narayan Murthy as IT minister,Ratan Tata as steel minister etc and other sector specific leaders.I don’t mean businessmen with vested interests,but any sector specific expert.He could hand pick distinguished people from different sectors as expert advisory group who could debate/discuss proposed laws.He can hand pick worthy local people for mayor/panchayats position in cities/villages who should interact directly with people and pass immediate orders to solve their problems.He should have a citizens forum where people directly give ideas to the Prime Minister.A judiciary to oversee the constitutional validity of laws passed,Election Commission,Constitution will still be there.A public referendum can be taken out when public is passionate about something.

There will be no bulky Parliament in this form of government.Parliament consists of people who are not experts in every field.Let us assume in an ideal case all the parliamentarians are PHDs,great character.One might be a PHD in Physics other in History.Yet when a mining bill comes both don’t know much about it.Yes they will ask experts.But then why don’t you directly ask the experts?Form a team of sector specific experts and let them debate/discuss the bill.The best logically sound argument will be accepted by the Prime Minister.

Same problems go with direct democracy where people themselves directly vote for the bills.Not all are experts in every field and do not have much time to look into bills.Public referendum on some issues takes care of simmering discontent.

This model allows sufficient decentralisation.Local Mayors know the local problems and can directly act on it without taking permission from the Prime Minister.Once in a few months the Prime Minister(PM) can be appraised of the projects.If direct communication to th PM is tough,another hierarchical line of executives can be added.It is easier to select good people if the model is lean.Absolute majority with a single party coming to power is considered desirable.This model will give the same amount of powers to the elected PM minus party politics.

The most popular people are not the most worthy candidates.If a movie star stands in the election his dialogues will win votes hands down.But another person,a great economist who has good ideas to cut inflation will be a boring fellow.Yes you can rerate them after 5 years.But people don’t know if he has done marginally good or moderately good.How do they benchmark and against whom?People can be satisfied by marginally good when the person could have done much better.Then there is the usual problems of voting on the basis of caste,religion,community etc,not essentially the best.In the above form,the best possible candidates selected after screening can do better.

This form of government will cut flab,be efficient and agile.It will eliminate unworthy but popular people from getting elected.Also the people debating will be experts in their field.There is greater likelihood of better decisions.As it is today the party leaders only call the shots.Then why not have worthy leaders directly elected by the people.These leaders will keep a balance between expert opinion,constitutional provisions and public opinion.Today contesting elections is meant only for the super rich.This is the main reason why parties think corruption is necessary evil. Minimal elections will reduce this money requirement.The democratic freedom for the people still exists.And why saddle the people with too many elections?

Do you see some issues?Let’s discuss,have a trial run and create a better model.What’s your take? Is this a better form of democracy, or a new form(expertocracy?)

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