Indian Express: Friday, November 09, 2007
To have unfettered ability to push through major policy measures, it is a requirement of democracy that a party should have absolute majority. Unfortunately this is not the case now. It will, therefore, be inappropriate for the Congress to blame its coalition partners. After all, what is seen as “reform” by one party may not be seen as such by all the others, whether they are partners or not.
It would have been ideal to have a two- or three-party system of governance at the Centre. Unfortunately the political system that has evolved does not make for this. There is much unprincipled practice of petty politics as has been displayed by all concerned in the decades after independence. Splitting of parties, opportunistic desertions, horse-trading, vote-bank politics, surrender of ideologies for petty gains, and the like, have all been displayed by various parties at various times. Many observers have suggested diverse solutions — single transferable votes, a presidential form of government, ban on post-poll alliances, and the like. The fact is the entire political system looks for opportunistic advantages at all times. Astonishingly, the Venkatachellaiah Commission had pronounced, not too long ago, that our Constitution is perfect. Clearly this is not so... The writer was cabinet secretary to the GOI between 1996 and 1998 7:45 PM