April 8, 2013

Let's stop the financing!

Giving government financing to political parties in a Presidential governance system is a non-starter when it comes to ensuring its relevance. If it was the Parliamentary type, I can well understand because it is the paramount entity that governs. 

In a democracy parties are a way to converge the power of voice to a mass calling which otherwise would not be possible for lone voices. But when there is really no voice of a social conscience that is making the noise and only the voices of bloated egos, the end doesn't justify the means. As it is parties are propaganda machines of the rich and powerful, and in our small democracy too this seems to be the case -- perhaps it would be better to term this a plutocracy rather than a democracy. It is self-evident when it is the rich who call the shots and others merely follow.   And it is doubly evident of that fact that there is no guiding philosophy that is drawing the crowd rather the calculus of personal benefit being the pull. This is starkly evident from the many who jump ship from party to party depending on who seems to be peddling a more lucrative future.

So in this never ending scenario of political deals that are orchestrated with impunity (nobody seems to be going to jail for it) , why do we need to give the parties the people’s hard earned and taxed money to add to the already pumped-in millions of financing from the rich and powerful. It would be a service to society to stall this funding and the general public can be perhaps richer by that. It is common knowledge that party mechanisms use its privilege to even escape taxation. In India for instance there are about 5000 parties big and small and they all have the benefit of using party expenses out of the clutches of taxes. But it is also true that of these, only fifty or sixty are politically active.

Perhaps there will be other spill-over benefits by not giving government financing. There certainly would be fewer parties that will be formed for these to be merely for the purpose of eking out a livelihood on the one extreme and the perpetuation of cults on the other. But people have to make the final choice of where each one of us wants to belong.

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