Thoughts on economics and liberty

Debarring “criminals” from Indian politics won’t work without more fundamental reforms

From the news:

Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi believes..proposed constitutional amendments on debarring criminals from contesting elections & transparency in political funding will be greater fundamental reforms than the new lokpal Act for..Indian democracy. 

"These will be the most crucial reforms to decriminalise elections and check the flow of black money in the electoral process," Quraishi said.. [Source]

My comment on FB

I'm afraid that's nice in theory but a very difficult idea to implement – because of false cases that can be brought against people. Quraishi has still not got to the root of the issue. Even if you were to exclude "evil" people I can GUARANTEE that the "non-evil" people will STILL be corrupt unless more fundamental reforms outlined in BFN are implemented.

ADDITIONAL COMMENT

Let me add that transparency in political funding is CRUCIAL, but it STILL won't help us – without other underlying reforms. Those who use black money will disclose something (as they already do) but if electoral funding limits are not removed, and state funding not available, then NO HONEST candidate will be able to contest successfully. 

So what should be done?

Back to the basics, please. BFN has a comprehensive analysis of the issues. For a shortcut, start with this. For other blog posts see this.

YES, we should have a way to prevent criminals from contesting, YES, we should have Lokpal, etc. etc. But these are SUBSEQUENT and secondary reforms. The main reforms must ensure that good people can contest elections successfully.

POSITIVE REFORMS, not NEGATIVE REFORMS are needed, as a first step.

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