The tyranny of the elected

This is what Congress Party’s Manish Tiwari said today:

If this democracy faces its greatest peril from someone, it is from the tyranny of the unelected and the unelectable.

I wonder what is so sacrosanct about elections and the elected. The mob votes for someone who then goes on to represent it, which in a first-past-the-post system like ours means that a fellow can become a representative of the people even if he gets a mere 20-30% of the votes. And he then follows the diktats of the “high command,” or the politburo or whatever, not the wishes of those who elected him. Even if he did look out for his voters’ interests, what about those who didn’t vote for him? Why should they be bound by his actions?

Tiwari’s “democracy” is a kleptocratic oligarchy at best, and an ochlocracy at worst. Defending such a system is an act of lunacy. Not that Hazare’s or Ramdev’s ideas and actions are any better. The political theater in Delhi now borders on the absurd.

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Comments

  • Sauvik Chakraverti  On June 14, 2011 at 9:41 am

    The real question is if the democratically elected possess the right to dictate what is Knowledge in the Science of Economics.

    • Aristotle The Geek  On June 14, 2011 at 9:16 pm

      I don’t believe they have a right to dictate _anything_. That politicians feel entitled to control the economy follows from their mistaken assumption that a vote for them means total agreement with everything they did, and a carte blanche for all future actions.

  • Anonymous  On June 14, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    Tiwari’s “democracy” is a kleptocratic oligarchy at best Agree. But I fear that Anna Hazare’s Lokpal could be much worse, choking every project (or maybe selectively?) with investigations of “corruption”.

    • Aristotle The Geek  On June 15, 2011 at 1:29 am

      The possibility of everything coming to a standstill is very real. My objections are of a different nature though. These people think that a new constitutional authority will somehow make things all right. It won’t. Even if you keep aside the fact that you will hardly be able to find an absolutely clean man to take up that post, you can’t help but acknowledge that the rot in the system is too deep for such superficial solutions.

      • K. M.  On June 15, 2011 at 8:43 pm

        These people think that a new constitutional authority will somehow make things all right. It won’t
        Yes. It will merely add more bureaucracy to a system overburdened with it. The best I can hope for is that it will be totally ineffective. As long as it is dominated by people like Hazare who seem to have no ideology, that is a reasonable hope. The fear is that it will be taken over by the anti-development types like Medha Patkar.

        • Aristotle The Geek  On June 17, 2011 at 3:50 am

          I don’t recollect any luddites clamoring for an anti-corruption law; did they? In any case, they can always bully state governments and delay, if not derail, projects.

          The Lokpal is an interesting concept, and with the proper checks and balances in place, it might even work a little bit, but only if they fix the underlying problems first.

  • Binu Mathew Pulimoottil  On June 19, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    Aristotle What you then think about my blog?? i hate baba ramdev and others fasting and other things against a elected government
    http://binumathew.wordpress.com/2011/06/19/anti-democratic-way-of-getting-things-done/

    • Aristotle The Geek  On June 20, 2011 at 2:22 am

      I would repeat what I’ve written above and in other comments: there is nothing sacrosanct about democracy, or an elected government. People have the right to protest. If it makes the government uncomfortable, it is their problem.

      I’m not against protests, but the issues which Hazare and the Baba have picked. A Lokpal, under the current system of government, and with the uncountable number of idiotic laws on the books, might not be such a smart move.

  • blr_p  On July 3, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    The question we are trying to answer is how do we create an accountable govt and an independent judiciary. There is a quote from the movie Amistad that is quite apt in our situation

    Calderon: What’s most bewildering to Her Majesty… is this arrogant independence of the American courts. After all, if you cannot rule the courts, you cannot rule.

    Martin Van Buren: Señor Calderon, as any true American will tell you, it’s the independence of our courts that keeps us free.

    • Aristotle The Geek  On July 15, 2011 at 10:37 pm

      # “how do we create an accountable govt and an independent judiciary. “
      As things stand today, it’s an impossible task.

  • blr_p  On July 18, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    How badly do we want it though ?

    Why go through the motions with Lokpal bill otherwise.

    • Aristotle The Geek  On July 31, 2011 at 2:25 am

      The misguided followers of Hazare and Ramdev want it very badly. But they have to know it won’t work. It’s as ridiculous as attempting to fix a breached dam using masking tape.

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