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Re: Law of political corruption + draft talk

Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!
It so happens that I am only 44 years old. And in these years of existence I
have come to know that the residential address of the PM of Britain as that
of the President of US of A has remained unchanged. The talk here is of the
top man not anybody else.And the countries named are not in the bracket of
developing countries.They are known as developed countries.These countries
could not find different residences for successive incumbents whereas here
in my country the PM's residence has been changed at least four times.Only a
rich country can do that. Leaving residence of the top executive to become
monuments or leaving the same to be occupied by DESTITUTES.I must define the
destitutes. When John F Cannedy was assassinated in harness( when he was the
President of USA) his widow was granted a pension of $ 64000 a year.That
would have continued for life had she not remarried.The White House was no
where in the largesse.Here in India a person who by any definition in a
democracy is a distinct NOBODY because he is not even a leader of
opposition(he was supporting a Chandrashekhar govt) gets assassinated and
what you have other than costly commissions of inquiries is that the widow
becomes the permanent resident of 10 Janpath.Ever you wondered that it is
year 2000! And what about the appropriation of IGNAC by the same person? Is
it not a fit case under IPC 420? I am surprised how Arun Shourie is keeping
It is little late in the day so I shall close for now with assurrence to
produce much more.
Raju Bharatiya

E-mail: arantxa@vsnl.com
----- Original Message -----
From: Tiwari, Umesh K <UKTiwari@pcgb.com>
To: <debate@indiapolicy.org>
Sent: Friday, March 03, 2000 6:43 PM
Subject: RE: Law of political corruption + draft talk

> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> Dear Sanjeev,
> I read your draft document, and it is an excellent piece. I have just one
> comment to make. The following line of yours, which admirably advocates
> increasing compensation to the politicians (law makers that is) in order
> them to not find an excuse in corrupt practices.
> "..So long as we do not have the political will to pay our representatives
> compensation which is
> comparable to the investment made in contesting elections..."
> But, just as soon as you recommend their compensation to be "comparable to
> the investment made in contesting elections...", you seem to open this
> statement for misinterpretations. It appears to me that here the
> made in contesting..." is considered a purely personal money (which could
> crores of rupees, a conservative estimate is 15-20 Lakhs per state
> constituency!), and seemingly the proposal advocates raising politicians
> salaries to match that kind of amount, which could grow exponentially in
> each successive elections.
> Both you and I know that is not what is suggested here, and rather a
> reasonable compensation to meet their needs while the law makers serve the
> people being their parliamentarians full time, is what is proposed, we
> try to make electoral reform and election expenses related issues separate
> from what we want our politicians to earn while they serve us as our
> representatives.
> Since there is no clear accounting rules and full disclosure enforcement
> the election expenses in India, I cannot really guess how much each
> politician, or political party spends in trying to win an election, let me
> try to give you an example of the United States, where a typical
> Presidential election costs anywhere between 35 and 60 million dollars
> the period starting from Party primary elections to the final polling in
> November every four years, and yet a president only earns a couple of
> hundred thousand dollars per year, which is considered a handsome salary
> all standards even though it can never come close to what is spent in
> elections.
> Similarly, a senator or house representative earns only little over one
> hundred thousand dollars while they all spend millions of dollars while
> trying to run for elections.
> The question is where do they get money from? Are they all corrupt?
> The answer is very simple. It is not all of their personal money even
> nobody can stop a millionaire from spending his personal money to try
> his/her luck at polling booth, but candidates legally raise money from
> citizens, and citizens do donate money for individual campaign funds to
> candidates they support. Not all politicians are corrupt. In fact I know
> stories of a few politicians which deserves mentioning here. One is of a
> school teacher in Texas, who took a long leave of absence from his school
> and filled up gas in his pickup truck and hit the road campaigning for his
> own candidature for democratic run for a legislative office. People came
> forward in large numbers, gave him their money and support, and finally
> teacher ended up getting elected as their politician!
> The second story is that of a tax consultant I met at H&R Block a few
> ago, who helped me file my taxes. He himself used to be a state legislator
> in the state of Wisconsin. I was somewhat surprised to see a former
> politician sitting in front of me helping me file my taxes. I couldn't
> resist asking as to why he was doing what he was doing then, that is,
> a simple tax consultant, and how did he manage to run a costly campaign as
> clearly he was not a very rich man. His answers were very impressive.
> of all, being a tax consultant was his way of honestly working to earn his
> livelihood, and there was nothing wrong with that. As for where he got his
> campaign money, the answer was much simpler and rather hard to believe for
> me, and of course I was not there to force him to tell me all of his ways
> to how he went about doing that, but what he said was: you laydown your
> programs, you make contacts with people, you go around asking for money
> support from the people who believe in you, and then go on making sure
> more and more people believe in you until you find a majority that
> in you to entrust you with the responsibility to be their elected
> representative.
> I hope this clarifies my point of reservation on election campaign
> with what we advocate as being the reasonable compensation for a
> Electoral system reform, and managing election expenses ought to be a
> separate issue. Even though politicians might try to justify that "since
> they spent several million rupees trying to run for office...." that
> certainly ought not to be taken as a valid excuse to be corrupt. Asking
> system to fund politicians elections by way of compensating them huge
> salaries is simply not practical, neither is it serving any purpose of
> democracy, cuz then you will not be giving level playing field to other
> citizens to participate.
> Also, please remember we collect only 8 paise via taxes for every rupee
> government currently spends on whatever programs. I don't intend to mix
> revenue deficit with what should a politician earn, but keeping an eye on
> what we have always helps.
> Thank You.
> Umesh Tiwari
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
> Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/