There should be a systematic platform, a framework and parameters to judge the performance of representatives - the pro-people framework is the need of hour
Citizens have needs and interests that they expect governments to address. In democratic societies, political parties aggregate these demands from diverse groups and articulate public policy options to respond to them. Elections provide voters the opportunity to choose among political parties offering distinct proposals for addressing societal needs. Through their efforts to control and influence public policy, political parties play an intermediary role; linking citizens to their representatives, and serving as the primary channel for holding the government accountable for its performance. Thus, party policy development – the process whereby political parties formulate and seek to implement their proposals for governmental actions – is central to the healthy functioning of a representative democracy. Political parties face a number of challenges in fulfilling their policy formulation role. Particularly in fledgling democracies, parties may: lack clear ideologies; fail to articulate distinctive and coherent policy proposals; have weak structures that remain dormant outside election campaign periods; have narrow and/ or shifting support bases that are defined by personal, regional or ethnic ties; and struggle to conduct cohesive action in Parliament/Assemblies.
In traditional democracies, declining membership and a 24-hour media cycle are spurring an evolution in how political parties communicate with, engage and mobilize supporters. Under this responsible party doctrine, in democracies, elections provide voters the opportunity to choose among political parties offering distinct proposals for addressing societal needs. Now, against the above backdrop, the argument which is discussed here is regarding the undue political mileage profited by representatives who come and go but least deliver against the backdrop of their high hyped rhetorical electoral campaign.
During electioneering, a sea full of dolphins, a meadow blossomed with petals; a long lasting stream is depicted on platter for EVM gains. To be representative’s promise includes stars and moon, but at the climax of their turn as representative they seem clueless amongst themselves or say intrinsically. So, the hitherto unworthy years of representation concludes with sea full of hoes, meadows full of obnoxious weeds, dried streams. Again when the electioneering season starts such representatives don’t have any credible fruition to depict and ask for votes, befool people again, then what they opt at, they will snatch, steal, filch the credible fruitions which have been on ground and at peoples service long before this sort of representative took over the reins.
In simple paradigm this representative will with all all guile try to profit an undue advantage from the work which was initiated and visioned by other representatives who hold the office previously before this disparaging individual took over. To substantiate my above discussed argument I would like to quote an example here. The recent recommendation by Medical Council of India to establish two medical colleges in Jammu and Kashmir-one in North Kashmir Handwara and the other one in Udahampur was certainly an accomplishment. But the sad part regarding this prodigious fruition was the political mileage which the immediate former Member of legislative assembly Handwara wanted to garner, his fold with all high hyped social media platforms created an abhorrent unrest to garner solace for electoral paybacks in upcoming assembly polls. Let us be very fair, honest and transparent here. Handwara has an existing structure of District Hospital with all basic and modern amenities, 200 beds occupancy and was established in late 80’s and subsequently upgraded in 90’s, and as per the Medical Council of India criteria and as per MCI 1999 regulations of establishing Medical colleges, it states that 200 beds, a district rank, an undeserved area, and as per these guidelines Handwara was frontrunner to be bestowed with a Medical College and credit must go to the individual who has set the base and benchmark for such an outstanding accomplishment that too in 1980’s as he could foresee the need of such an institution.
Now while coming back to my original and rational argument regarding the undue advantage and profiting by to be representatives, there should be a systematic platform, a framework and parameters to judge the performance of representatives, the pro-people framework is the need of hour. People should be well versed and aware of the achievements and works the outgoing representative have bestowed, who has made the election campaign promises, is he worthwhile to be voted again, his character and disposition, his topsy-turvy images and all should be taken into consideration before going out to vote. His fruitions and the fruitions carried out by other representative who represented previously should be comparatively assessed and then accordingly voted.
In addition to the opportunity to judge at elections the performance of political parties and publicly elected officials who are re-contesting, citizens in modern democracies expect two-way communication throughout the political cycle, but unfortunately this is missing and we need to have this two way cycle in place to fix the accountability.
(Author is a Research Scholar at Deakin University, Australia)