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Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!
Dear Umesh:

All right then. All that you want is already there in India. You will
receive Rs 10000 appx per month plus a huge number of hidden perks. The
fact that a vast majority of politicians are corrupt (or connive at it)
then must be due to the fact that Indians are genetically corrupt. I guess
there is no solution then to India's problems.

In any case, you can now join politics then and contest parliamentary
elections next time. I hope you enjoy raising funds directly from the
individual public (my experience is that  people ASK for money, drinks and
blankets, and very rarely have I seen anyone donate: in your cases maybe
exceptions will apply, but remember that these will remain exceptions to
the rule). 

Please do regale us with your various experiences in fund-raising from poor
villagers and slum dwellers, and how you resolved the pressures which I
have seen operate in India in my many years of closely watching and working
with political leaders at all levels, pre- and post-election. I eagerly
await a detailed monograph with all facts and figures, from you. 

At 07:33 PM 03/08/2000 -0800, Umesh wrote:
>Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!
>I have strong objection to making fuzzy statements like 
>"...the political will to pay our representatives a compensation which is 
>comparable to the investment made in contesting elections..."
>This kind of statement can never be the basis to formulate policies on what
>a law maker ought to earn. 
>The compensation for a law maker certainly ought to be reasonable enough to
>allow him/her to pay his bills, and by paying bill, one must never include
>the bills that come out of spending in election campaigns or expensive
>parties. Paying bills simply means what it means to the ordinary citizens,
>such as paying bills for electricity, water and other essential utilities,
>and everything else that a head of a family earns a living for.
>A reasonable compensation similar to a class one officer such as yourself,
>ought to be enough for a law maker. After five years, if the law maker fails
>to win an election, too bad, government is not responsible for that. If a
>former law maker ends up becoming jobless, he/she should be able to claim
>some minimal living allowance with the condition that the individual works
>to find a gainful employment and once he is gainfully employed again he
>should not get anything until he/she reaches the old age of say 70, that is
>when he should be qualified for a proposed social security benefit just like
>every other old citizen of India.
>Beyond that, making visits to his/her constituency ought to come as part of
>the official responsibility of the legislator, and appropriate funding
>subject to accounts auditing, ought to be done in order to ensure that the
>law maker is provided with the necessary means to do his/her job, but none
>of the money allocated for purposes other then his personal income ends up
>in his/her pocket, or in the pocket of his/her friends. This is public
>As for the numerous requests for donations that a legislator gets as you
>say, his/her compensation should have nothing to do with that. A legislator
>is free to make donations (tax deductible in some cases) out of his/her
>personal income just like you and I are, and the extent of his personal
>donations should purely be determined by how generous he/she is, how much
>wealth he/she has generated through legal enterprise, and what his/her
>personal liabilities are. The talk of fixing compensation of a law maker
>should never get into such topics. 
>As far as election campaign expenses are concerned, there is no excuse, this
>has to be fought by local people through local organization, raising money
>from local citizens to whatever extent it is possible, with complete
>accountability of how the money was raised, who gave how much money, and
>that no big corporation bought election for one or the other individual
>candidate. But this later topic is a separate subject that must be discussed
>under election system reform, and should have nothing to do with what a law
>maker earns. 
>Those who wish to get a return for the money they spend running for a
>elected office (if they spend personal money at all), through higher
>compensation or corrupt practices don't belong here, and must think of some
>other for-profit enterprise where they can afford to make profit without the
>possibility of going to jail. To me, an ordinary citizen, who is compelled
>with the call of duty to serve his nation as a public official, does raise
>money by his shear ability to energize local population to donate money for
>his campaign fund, which is a separate legal entity accountable to the
>public as well as election commission. He uses this legally raised money to
>run his campaign and not dip on his personal retirement savings. Therefore,
>once the election is won, he does not have to indulge into corrupt practices
>to make up for his personal loss. 
>You can criticize this approach as being too difficult, impractical, or
>simplistic, but nonetheless, this is the right approach, which offers a
>level playing field to every citizen.
>More later. 
>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/