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Re: Electoral reform - final call!



Re: the following mail, it will interest you to know (if you don't already) 
that the present UK government was elected partly because it wanted to end 
the present political system in which the "winner takes all": in other words, 
because it wants to introduce proportional representation into the British 
system.
     
I cannot see how a NON-proportional representation system can be made to work in
the long term in any country as it goes through increasing social fragmentation 
which is the inevitable result of industrialisation and modernisation.
     
The difficulty is that any system of proportional representation depends to a 
large extent on the civility and basic good sense of politicians, and their 
desire to serve their nation rather than themselves; and it is these three 
qualities which seem to be lacking in our politicians at present.  Without these
qualities NO system can work.  I seem to recollect having read something along 
these lines, written by Vishal Mangalwadi, a political commentator in THE 
INTERNATIONAL INDIAN magazine, published from Dubai but distributed free 
worldwide.  Do others on this list know the magazine?  Or Mangalwadi's work, 
specifically his book INDIA: THE GRAND EXPERIMENT?
     
Prabhu
     
Professor Prabhu Guptara
Director, Organisational and Executive Development 
Wolfsberg Executive Development Centre
(a subsidiary of UBS AG)
CH-8272 Ermatingen
Switzerland
Tel: + 41.71.663.5605
Fax: +41.71.663.5590
e-mail: prabhu.guptara@ubs.com
     
     
______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: Electoral reform - final call!
Author:  free.voice (free_voice@yahoo.com) at nyuxuu 
Date:    01.08.98 00:18
     
     
After giving some more thought on this basic, important issue I think 
we have agreement on the following:
     
(1) Money is needed to run political campaigns
(2) Individuals as citizens have a right to contribute both to 
individual politicians as well as political parties.
(3)Such individual donation ought to have limits so that those with 
less financial resources are not unduly disadvantaged.
(4) Complete transparency and accounting will be instituted.
By transparency is meant that all citizens will have unfettered and 
timely access to the sources and amount of funds being contributed. 
By accounting is meant that an audited statement will be furnished to 
the election commission and that this statement will be a public 
document accessible to all.  Funds obtained for political purposes
shall ONLy be used in accordance with ethical and campaign guidelines.
 All campaign finance irregularities will be CRIMINAL offences. 
Mandatory six months jail term for citizens giving out clandestine funds 
to politicians or political parties.  A minimum of one year jail term 
plus five years debarment for politicians knowingly accepting 
clandestine funds or spending funds inappropriately in violation of 
ethical guidelines.
     
Where we do have disagreement is on the issue of corportations.  Charu 
has raised an important point here.  On this one I agree with Charu 
that corporations cannot be and should not be treated as individuals. 
However, I also recognize that this is rather a grey area.  Moreover, 
completely banning corporate contributions is impractical and in a way 
does seem to send out a wrong message.  Therefore my suggestion is 
that at the individual politician level we should use what I call as 
the 1/3 formula.  Let us say that it is determined on a fair basis 
that Parliament elections costs a maximum of 1 million rupees.  The 
individual must raise 1/3 of this money from his/her constituents, 1/3 
can come from individuals anywhere in the country (subject to 
individual limits) and the last 1/3 can be raised from corporations.  
     
Regarding contribution to parties at no time can a party have more 
than half 1/2 of its total contributions from corporations.
     
What do you say Charu, do you agree?
     
At this point we should seriously look into the issue of proportional 
voting.  I am surprised that the proposal for proportional voting has 
not been raised by anyone on this discussion list.  I think with the 
present furore over quotas and reservations it is time that we look 
into this.   Proportional voting is a much better and just system of 
voting  than the present British-American system of winner takes all. 
We should also take a firm stand against the undemocratic practice of 
reservation and quotas.
     
Regards,
Kush Khatri.
     
     
     
     
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