Simple solutions for complex problems

Sitaram Naik

Proposals for Election Process

The following proposals are very important for national development. The proposals are:

(1) Changes in Election process

(2) Demand for solutions

(3) Concept of minimum support

Changes in election process

There is a problem in election process. That is causing all anti-government agitations. If that is corrected, we will have better leaders and the country will develop faster.

In one region two politicians are nominated for election. So for voting, people have two options. When people go for voting, they need to select one of them. Whichever politician gets majority becomes leader. What if people don’t like any of them? People don’t have choice. Some people don’t vote if they don’t like any of them. Even then one of the politicians becomes leader because majority is checked within the collected votes. When people are frustrated with the current leader, they select the other one. When they are frustrated with the other one, they select the first one because they don’t have any other choice. There is no option to say that we don’t want any of them.

Currently democracy is giving options to the people. It is implementing people’s choice. The following example describes the current situation.

Government gives two options to the common man and forces him to select one of them.

Option 1: Cut my left hand

Option 2: Cut my right hand

After cutting one of his hands, government says that common man’s choice is implemented successfully.

There are some villages where the richest person is leader forever. If not one, there will be two alternating. Their families enjoy power and money. They keep poor people poor forever. If the leader becomes old, his family member will be the leader. It is going on for decades. Where is democracy? Where is people’s power? Where is the development?

It is often said that VOTE is the most powerful weapon. When you cannot say with vote, “I don’t want this person as leader”, what power the vote has? When you cannot say with vote, “I want new leader”, what value this vote has? When a vote cannot disqualify a criminal, when a vote cannot disqualify a corrupt person from politics, why should we value the vote or the election? When a criminal is contesting in a region, they keep equally powerful criminal as opponent. We are bound to select one of the criminals. If there is no opponent, the only person contesting is the leader. Where are people coming in to picture? Political parties decide who will rule that region. They keep few people as contestants. They know that one of them will be the leader for that region. How can we call that as people’s choice? Even if none of the citizens except family members of contestants votes, one of the contestants will become leader for that region. That means that leaders are decided much before the elections. Sub-set of the contestants will become future leaders. If we don’t like any of them or some of them, our choices are limited. Even if we know that all of them are corrupt, we can do nothing. So value of our vote is nothing.

I propose an option “None of the above“. Let people have “None of the above” option along with contestants list in elections. If a person gets the majority, he/she will become the leader. If “None of the above” option gets the majority, disqualify all the contestants of that region from elections and seek fresh nominations. It is because people are not supporting any of the nominated politicians. They want new leaders.

New leaders emerge only when powerful, rich, corrupt politicians get disqualified. With fear of disqualification, leaders work for national development. People should have power to select the leader and power to disqualify the leader also. Only then real leaders emerge. That is real democracy.

Demand for solutions

All the political parties promise a lot of things before elections. If people like those promises, they vote for the party. Nobody asks how these promises can be met. If anybody asks, there will not be any answer for that.

We should demand the list of problems that the political party likes to solve in their tenure. We should also demand the procedure of how exactly they like to solve the problems. If they don’t know the solution before election, how can they get solution in one day after they win? We should demand solutions to all problems. The solutions to all problems should be manifesto of a political party. Let professionals review those solutions and give their comments. All that information should be available to every citizen. Let the citizens decide which solution they like to have for their problems. News papers and media can show the solutions of political parties and table of their comparisons before elections (like online product comparisons).

Political parties and political leaders should think about problems of people and solutions for them. If a person does not worry about problems of people, that person is not eligible for leadership. A political party should have a solution before promising to solve the problem.

Majority of people get in to trap of promises very easily. One example:

One of the political parties promises free electricity for all. That party gets full majority. First day as minister the head of the party passes the GO of free electricity for all. People are happy that their party kept its promise. Next day power goes off in all homes before news paper reach their homes. When they get news paper, people see the message of the minister. “To recover losses of free electricity we are selling electricity to adjacent states. So there will be 23 hour power-cut per day”. Next day people start agitation to reverse the change. Government promptly agrees for people’s demand and cancel the GO of free electricity. After a week again news comes from government. “There is shortage of electricity in the state. So the unit rate is doubled to control the usage”. The party proudly says, “We kept the promise. Later people changed their choice. We followed people’s choice. Our party is always with the people”.

One party says that it will create jobs. Every year thousands of people retire from their jobs. Those positions should be filled. So every year there will be recruitments. Is the party talking about this refilling as job creation? Or is it really going to create new job opportunities to solve unemployment problem?

One party says, “We improved literacy rate from 47% to 48% in 5 years”. People, who do not know that the adjacent state has 95% literacy rate, take it as a great thing that this party has done. What exactly the party has done to improve? Nothing! The percentage got changed because of growth in population.

False promises, impossible promises and promises without solutions trap poor people and gain votes. Poor people remain poor forever to get in to their trap again and again. The literates, the professionals, the knowledgeable should make others aware of these traps. We should make them aware of how they are losing their rights because of wrong choices. We should make poor people aware of how they are looted for 5 years by giving money on Election Day.

Many of us are spending lot of time, money and effort to improve a small part of our nation. With wrong leaders all our efforts are going waste. We should spend our efforts in selecting proper leaders. When leaders try to develop the country, our efforts add value to that development. When leaders try to loot the country, our efforts help them. So electing proper leaders is a must and very urgent to have any development in the country.

To elect a proper leader, we should make every citizen aware of complete biodata of each and every politician along with their future plans on how they like to develop the country. In this communication era, sharing the information with all is not a big task. But collecting true data is a challenging task.

We should bring poor people out of thinking of short term self benefits. We should teach them to select the solutions that benefit majority of poor people. We should teach them how national development helps them and improves their life. If farmers always vote the party that gives loans to them, their overall life will never improve. We should show them how other developments of the country improve their life. With these teachings people will have global thinking. Then they can support the solutions that give real national development. Currently that global thinking is not there. That's why people protest when new industry starts or when a new technology is adapted. They see only loss of 100 jobs or loss of 100 acres of land. They don’t see the benefits that people get with the change.

Concept of minimum support

To declare a contestant as winner, he/she should get at least 45% of votes. Just gaining more votes than all other contestants should not make the person winner.

Assume that there are 10 contestants in a region. Each one of them earns around 10% of votes. One of them got couple of votes more than all others. That person becomes leader. How many people are supporting the leader? It is only 10%. That means that 90% of people are opposing the leader. What development is possible when 90% of people are opposing? Some contestants nominate just to check their luck. By chance if the person gets one vote more than all others, he/she will rule the region for 5 years. As number of contestants increase, the luck factor increases. So leaders are getting selected by their luck, not by people’s choice. If a leader has at least 50% of support, the leader can fight for development of that region. When there is 90% opposition, how can we call the person a leader? When all these lucky winners join together and form a government, 90% of population will be opposing the government. If every decision of government is opposed, is there any point in having a government?

So we need to filter leaders that are not having enough support at local level. If none of the contestants get the minimum required votes, none of them is a winner. Disqualify lowest vote earning contestants and call for fresh nominations. Set a minimum support of 10% to qualify politician to contest again in election. If a contestant earns less than 10% of votes, he/she will be disqualified from elections. When leaders with enough support form a government, the government will have enough support countrywide.

Another point that we need to consider is percentage of collected votes. If less than 50% of citizens come to vote then there is some problem in that region. Enquiry is required to understand the problem before declaring the winner or before conducting elections again. If required, presidential rule can be implemented till the problem is solved.

If an illiterate does business, he will do only business. Business means gaining profits. An illiterate thinks only about earning profits from his business. The other parts of business will be missing, like profit sharing and social responsibility. He never gives bonus and never increases salary of his employees when profits increase.

Similarly if an illiterate politician becomes leader, he will just rule the country, nothing else. A knowledgeable leader can understand the nature, changes in the world, new technologies, etc. So there is possibility of development. An illiterate without broader thinking cannot improve the lives of people. So, minimum educational qualification has to be made mandatory for every political leader.