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RE:From Anurag



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http://www.indiapolicy.org/lists/india_policy/2000/Mar/msg00017.html

It is not so simple to attract honest people with sense of honor and dignity
to throw themselves in public life when it is filled with anti social
elements all around, and little or no means in the law books for them to
stay in course without getting hurt. 

To call it merely a Salary and remuneration issue is wrong. Most honest
people, who take up public cause, they are compelled by their desire to do
public good, and that is a deciding factor and not the salary, even though
they ought to have a salary that allows them to live off of it. 

However, the argument to make their salaries comparable to what they have to
spend in election campaigns is preposterous.

The only way you can facilitate cleansing of the system, discourage
criminals and anti socials to sneak into public offices, and encourage
ordinary, honest and common man to run for public offices is electoral
reform, and I mean real reform the following way :

1. Complete transparency on accounting of campaign donations. Public must be
provided with the instant record through internet and 
   other news media the complete account of donations into individual
political campaigns.
2. Complete ban on corporate donations. Big companies with their big money
should not be allowed to buy elections for their favorite 
   candidates. This completely defeats the purpose of the process and
essence of democracy. This also has an inherent conflict of 
   interest in terms of individual private companies having their influence
in deciding who the law maker is going to be, who will enact 
   laws that will govern the way these and other companies will
function,and/or compete in the marketplace while trying to deliver
  goods and services to the people, which may or may not be in the best
interest of the citizens.

3. Clearer laws that shows individual citizens legitimate ways to raise
campaign funds in order to run for public office, and also very 
   clear and strict guidelines on accounting of such funds so that such
public donations are not used to finance personal expenses of 
  the candidates or his/her personal friends/family on matters unrelated to
the election campaign. 


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