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Re: Constitutional change



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[Topics under debate]: GOOD GOVERNANCE
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Hello everyone,

I am writing to IPI for the first time so bear with me if I appear to be
somewhat disoriented. I found sri's posting quite intriguing. I would like
to contend that beyond a certain point the effect of one constituional
arrangement over another on the legislative behavior of our elected
representatives is marginal. That is to say that constitutional change (
of the systemic and not incremental kind) may not make our netas behave
more wisely (legistatively speaking) whereby "wisely" I mean that
collectively they only put into effect laws which are pareto improvements
over the present situation.

True the design of a constituion will effect the behavior of legislators
by determining a certain subset of the incentives which legislators will
face but by no means all the incentives.  As evidence for my pessimism for
(systemic) constitutional change as a panacea for Indias problems, take a
look at the situation in the US. It is generally agreed that the US
constituion was built on respect for classical liberal priciples. Inspite
of that we have seen the emergence of a modern welfare and regulatory
state in the US. Could anybody care to comment on this issue of the
limitations of constituional change? 
    
One more thing and then I will end: We should also talk about the role of
the government in promoting/funding/running scientific research.
Currently, the situation in India is completely dominated by the
government. One can hear stories of waste/inefficiency/nepotism etc.  What
should be the proper role of the Indian government (both central and
State) in scientific research? It may also be an interesting project to
write a flyer on this! 

Thanks.
Abhijit 


Abhijit Sarkar
320 Wisconsin Ave.
#319
Oak Park Il
60302
(708) 848-5624 (home)
(312) 996-6105 (lab)
asarka3@uic.edu 

On Thu, 6 May 1999, Srikumar wrote:

> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> [Topics under debate]: GOOD GOVERNANCE
> ___Help make this manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!___
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> Hi
> 
> This is an interesting article on constitutional change which I came
> across
> in Redifindia. I hope this will be of interest to IP and a healthy
> debate
> will ensue.
> 
> http://216.32.165.70/news/1999/may/03shalab.htm
> 
> The gist of this is that executive and the legislative arms of the
> government needs to be separated. The key benefits of this are
> 
>         - A more stable executive
>         - An easier way to evaluate election candidates (based on the
> premise that there are different qualities required to perform the two
> functions)
> 
> The catch 22 situation is that any change to the parliament needs to be
> passed by the parliament itself and if they were sensible enough to do
> so we
> may not need the change at all in the first place! Therefore the only
> way to
> achieve it, if at all, is if these are debated and the validity of these
> 
> arguments are highlighted often enough to create an environment where a
> constitutional change becomes acceptable.
> 
> Regards
> 
> Sri
> 
> 
> 
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> This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
> Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/
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This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/
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