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Re: code of conduct

On Sun, 16 Aug 1998, Ash Mahesh wrote:

> Contrary to observation, most parties in India have extreme internal 
> discipline. 

Excellent point ! Well taken!!

> When you see folks throwing mikes and engaging in 
> fist-fights on TV, this is not apparent. But let's back up and examine 
> what internal discipline is. Sometimes, there is very little difference 
> between toeing the party line and "internal discipline". The current 
> arrangement is fawning, no one can actually speak out against the big 
> guns of a party and survive within the party, because the party is not a 
> unit formed by the coming together of like-minded persons. 

I was talking aloud to an Egyptian friend and we realized how much
similarity many developing countries have in terms of the almost complete
absence of citizen participation in democracy. We do find citizens voting,
once in a while, but that't it: after that bunch of human beings in a
nation splits into two: the rulers and the ruled. The former seek
subservience and fawning, and the latter seek favors from their "mai-baap"
sarkar. I begin to see Kush's point (raised a few months ago) about the
absence of democracy in India. That holds good for most developing
(read: internally exploited) nations.

The coming together of "equally statused" free citizens of a like mind to
provide alternative Governance Service Organizations (political parties)
should be called participatory democracy. Maybe all that IP can help do is
to kick-start that process of citizens re-claiming their sovereignty and
independence to govern themselves the way they want to be governed. 
> The party whip too, often seen to be an irreplaceable component of 
> internal discipline, can often be counter to democracy itself. 

> I would rather have greater access to information on MP's voting 
> records; the codes they truly follow will be quite obvious from studying 
> them. 

Good points there: I am adding this one and also the one on the vote
count, to the web. Do remind me if I forget. That should all be part of
the code of conduct. You know of course that I was talking about unruly
behaviour, only, and corruption, in terms of internal discipline. And I
did raise a serious doubt about its possible implementation. You do not
want me to remove that point, I assume.
Ashwin, I was going thro' some of your points on Rediff. When you get the
time, could you summarize all your views in about one page (about 10
points) and we could debate and incorporate those views. I liked your view
on the uniform civil code being voluntary, for example. 


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