Social. Political. Economic. Career| Seyed Ibrahim

Serious issues & ideas. Trusted Sources.

Elections and Selections in Two Large Democracies (How Democracy Works)

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Want to know how the largest democracy (India) and the “oldest democracy” (US claims that title. But, there are disputes) works. Here is one news editorial and two news items. This is the “democracy” US, UK and their cohorts want to export to Middle-East. Unfortunately, some of the folks there think democracy is the panacea for their ills. I wish they knew how “emocracy” works. (I am not a supporter of dictatorships)

How much does one need to contest an election in India?

Gopinath Munde’s ‘confession’ at a recent public event in Mumbai that he had spent Rs. 8 crore on his poll campaign in 2009 stands out for its cynicism. The spending limit for a Lok Sabha constituency in the State that year was Rs. 25 lakh (it is now Rs. 40 lakh). The former Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra admitted to spending 40 times the amount he put down in his poll accounts. Dignifying his disclosure of this as opening up a debate on “more realistic” spending limits is nonsense. Money power has already savaged Indian elections. If Rs. 8 crore or more were to become the spending norm, the electorate would be reduced, legally, to voting for its favourite millionaires. Look at the United States, where the last presidential election saw spending of nearly $ 3 billion. Less than two per cent of Americans are millionaires, but 56 per cent of Senators and 47 per cent of members of the House of Representatives are.

English: 2010: President of the United States ...

2010: President of the United States of America Barack Obama at the Parliament of India in New Delhi addressing Members of Parliament of both houses in a Joint Session of the Parliament of India

The less affluent cannot hope to enter a contest, let alone win it. As the fine work of the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) shows us, India is fast moving down that road. Mr. Munde is urging us to complete the journey.

30% MPs, MLAs have criminal cases against them

an analysis of affidavits declared by MPs and legislators shows that around 30 percent of 4,807 lawmakers have criminal cases against them, said a think-tank.

The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch (NEW), in an analysis of the affidavits provided by candidates to the Election Commission of India before contesting an election, also found that 14 percent of the current MPs and legislators have “serious criminal cases” against them.

According to analysis of data, 162 or 30 percent of the 543 Lok Sabha MPs have declared criminal cases against themselves, while 14 percent of the Lok Sabha MPs have declared serious criminal cases against themselves, said the think-tank in a statement here.

It said 1,258 – or 31 percent – of the 4,032 sitting legislators from all state assemblies have declared criminal cases, while 15 percent of the current legislators from all state assemblies have declared serious criminal cases against themselves.

US diplomats cry foul as Obama donors take over top embassy jobs

Barack Obama has rewarded some of his most active campaign donors with plum jobs in foreign embassies, with the average amount raised by recent or imminent appointees soaring to $1.8m per post, according to a Guardian analysis.

The practice is hardly a new feature of US politics, but career diplomats in Washington are increasingly alarmed at how it has grown. One former ambassador described it as the selling of public office

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Written by S Ibrahim

Jul 14, 2013 at 3:48 pm

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