(Prelude: I have shared this link with selected folks, whom I trust for their out of box thinking, those who have an inbuilt ability to challenge the prevalent concepts and someone, who can be creative enough to offer criticism, not alone to this topic but also on how best to correct course with the current democratic selection.
Our experimentation with democracy has been almost for several centuries, while few countries are in mature phase, others are late adopters and few are not yet initiated. However, when we see those mature democracies, we certainly think, do we want to implement this model? Certainly, you will ask, what is the alternative? What options do fit optimally if not best? I have no answer. This is a foundational attempt in initiating that conversation with selected folks).
Well, you may wonder, haven’t read this term. Certainly, you are right. Let me explain what that means –
When ‘Equations’ and ‘Demagogy’ dominate our polity, all we get is a plethora of residual issues and remnant of social malice. That is Equatogogy. I just coined this term. I am sure it will add to the parlance of literature.
It is an irony –
- when we choose a leaders for enterprise management, we choose the best. The selection process goes through thorough scrutiny.
- When we have a medical problem, we seek an advise from the best doctor. One with significant experience, skills and continuously updated knowledge within their field.
- When we send soldiers to the border, we send the strongest and the best of the lot.
When it comes to democracy, the electorate has little choice. More so, electoral politics has become a number’s game. Those who can cobble up more than 50%, are the chosen decision makers. It does not matter if those numbers are put up with rudimentary math or brute influence or dithering ambivalence and a snapshot distrust on the political dispensation existing at that time. When we have such equations that dominate our polity, we have outcome such as long lingering and simmering dissatisfaction of huge segments of people. That frustration ultimately erupts into phenomenon such as Brexit, recent US election fiasco, the Russian political crisis etc.
Leaders (for any specific country) are chosen for a limited period, from four to six years depending upon the country. Ownership ends with the tenure. What follows is a short sighted approach towards long term problems. However, stakeholders are keen to know the results and having a short term 3 – 5 years approach for results at the leadership level is by far the most pragmatic one amongst the multitudes of options.
Some may suggest, at the federal level, we have five year schemes and roadmap. Frankly, those plans too are vitiated to amalgamate the short term objectives. In fact, it’s a complex process driving the short term, midterm and long term objectives, especially in this era of superfast changes. It is fair for enterprise to have a short term and mid-long term segmented view of it’s vision and mission, however, the life of a country far out numbers the life of an enterprise. Integrated five year plans that are not regularly updated, and (more so) those which do not capture the needs of the minority segment (those less than 49% by far a huge segment, enough to create a revolution, if pent up frustrations are significant), poses a real threat and vulnerability to the long term progress, if not integrity of the country.
On top of that we have leaders who are chosen despite the handicaps who have major or only say on deciding and executing policy. The result is an outcome which deprives a non-majority segment with resultant simmering dissatisfaction.
Are we truly getting the results from our current democratic selection?
As mentioned earlier, I initiated this dialogue, and I am still in conversation with select few whose thoughts are important to this process of expanding my own understanding of this complex maze. Please comment.
Ultimately, it is the enlightenment of the common man that would raise the nation, not the influence of money over the media. Please visit my brief blog on This topic. http://wp.me/p7XEWW-uV
Human Rights are the ultimate assets that needs to be safeguarded. That does not mean democracy is the panacea. Also, democracy is not the same for every regional political grouping, not the same for every ethnoreligious group. Implementing a uniform model of governance is unlikely to give us the desired results. Please visit my blog Your Democracy, My Democracy! http://wp.me/p7XEWW-7g.
6 thoughts on “Equatogogy”
Dear Ash, I liked the article and the way you have put up your thoughts and concerns.
Democracy empowers people to elect / choose the leaders to govern the country. Unfortunately, it does not always ensure a good government. The people’s choice may at times prove to be a fiasco. But does it mean that we have to do away with this democratic process.
We can have some controls with the people even after the election is done and the new Govt tenure is yet to complete its term. If people are not happy there should be way empowering people to recall an elected Govt. These controls are possible through legislation.
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Thank you for your insightful comments.
My concerns are more on the selection process instead of the controls over those processes. Election/Selection process has inbuilt inadequacies. Let us revisit Brexit, if you review the voters, you will realize that 51.7% voters mostly come from rural, uneducated, unemployed, older conservative folks.
In the first place, how can a process as good as democratic selection of leaders live a void with such a huge majority? While all these different segments stated confluencing, we saw the havoc created by these consolidated deprived segment, in pulling UK out of the European Union.
Again, let us visit US 2016 Presidential Election. It’s not about Trump, it is about a huge segment that got deprived with the Governance. Were controls lacking?
Democracy is the government of the people and excess of 50 percent of the total voters to a candidate is a fair verdict of the voice of the people. The same principle applies in control of business enterprises or in a judicial verdicts.
The problem arises when the winner is first past the post and 90 percent winners in a democracy are first past the post viz. Of the total of 100 voters, 40 cast their votes to say 3 candidates winner gets 16 votes and losers get 12 each or 15 and 9 votes respectively. So out of the 100 voters, winner is the one who is ahead with 16 votes. Then the problem; heartburn begins. This paradox needs to be fixed in a democracy.
Even in business, in case a minority holding of say 16 percent somehow manages to control with other minority groups, the enterprise is on a shaky foundation.
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So much insightful. It is hard to find a sweet spot to balance all the stake holders, especially in a plural society (as cited in your example). It is equally pertinent to help everyone understand that we need to accommodate critical and major concerns (not necessarily majority concerns) for achieving shared vision, and in the case of a country, that translates to peaceful cohabitation.
Reality is what most people, including me, don’t want to face and you are doing a great job of putting up reality in its best raw form possible. We as human beings find it easy to destroy than to create. You build a good structure out of toy components and you will soon find people who will think of ways how to convert the structure to individual pieces rather than how to sustain the structure and build something more on top of that. That’s the way I operate (as a so called human). That’s the way the false leader inside me operates.
There are good leaders and bad leaders in every democracy. As a common man, my sole aim is to understand the leadership skills so that I can differentiate between a good leader and a bad leader. Uneducated and unemployed people are all wonderful people without the instinct, the vision and the courage. Converting the uneducated to educated and unemployed to employed would be half the battle. Democratic selection would get more better then. I need that mental shift from being a destroyer to being a creator.
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I much appreciate the parallels your chose to explain the phenomenon. Over centuries, we are experimenting and evolving in our experience of political governance. Human being are innately very independent and assertive, last few decades are an obvious example. More so, as we increasingly populate, we see that urge to assert getting more prominent. Any outside framework is unlikely to support that inner quest. Only if evolution is guided by our internal elevation, than a true meaningful system can be seen to operate successfully (please visit my blog, ‘Duritanche Timir Javo’). We also need to factor in the time and dynamic nature of governance too.