The Trust Deficit in Democracy

We have never lived in so much uncertain politico-economic times before. America is in deep financial mess and the political gridlock is not making things any better. People have lost faith in conventional political alternatives. The Tea Party movements with its constitutional conservatives do not really have any agenda apart from dismantling the superstructure installed by the Obama administration. Obama seems heading for defeat, even if I hate to admit it. Sarah Palin with Madam Michelle are the pin-up girl for the movement. The political stalemate has left America paralyzed from the middle. The Wall Street-White House nexus and the destruction of regulation-whether financial or environmental, will emerge into a textbook Perfect Political Storm. Well, Belgium has not had a government for a while too, the fact is Belgium is more of a transit hub with Brussels as the European capital and Antwerp being the diamond hub, that its own politics is too trivial to matter.  India has had deafeningly slow coalition governments in the Late 90’s and the emphasis was on political stability rather than governance. Democracy is a system, simply too ineffective for the developing world; the power is simply concentrated in one elite political clique, 300 odd families rule India fro Sansad to gram panchayat level. China with its single party centralized command is a well oiled army is a competent SWAT squad, too rapid for any democratic system.

Democracy ensures plurality of views, but paralyzes as well in case of a split mandate. The unholy Lib Dem-Conservative marriage of convenience does not do any good.  The Congress led Coalition in India has simply stopped governing after the Hazare fasts, and has resigned its fate at the ballot box two and a half years from now. There seems to be a deficit of trust in democracy as a system to deliver governance. The question which might be asked is whether autocratic regimes are better; i would say depends on the talent at the top. Winning elections does not make a bunch of charismatic men and women good administrators, government is a different ball-game. Revolution to get to the top, does not mean revolution in office. An effective orator does not make a effective leader. The Pirate Party in Berlin won 15% of the vote in local polls 🙂 An obscure entity winning votes, which is fresh in the arena 🙂

The Tea Party, The Hazare Maovement, The Pirate Party are all indications of a frustration with the present status quo. Career Politicians need to do better, if they do not want to be unemployed very soon.


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