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Questpresentation july update

  1. 1. 1 Forum for Presidential Democracy Jashwant B. Mehta (Convener) B-145/146, Mittal Tower, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400 021 Email : 
  2. 2. 2 Parliamentary Democracy Forum for Presidential Democracy
  3. 3. 3 Forum‟s Analysis Based on the study of Constitutions of leading liberal democracies such as British, French, German, U.S., Japan, Australia etc. and in-depth analysis of our own performance of last six decades a change over to a truly democratic presidential system is the need of the hour along with certain electoral, judicial and police reforms. Forum for Presidential Democracy
  4. 4. 4 a. Ever-growing frustration and discontent against the present political system b. Deteriorating Governance and rampant Corruption among politicians and bureaucrats. Has now reached unprecedented heights. Scams gallore. Spectrum 2G, Adarsh, Commonwealth Games ..... c. “Democracy is of the people, for the people & by the people.” It is only a formal democracy where the word „People‟ seems to have been replaced by the „politicians‟ Forum for Presidential Democracy
  5. 5. 5Forum for Presidential Democracy
  6. 6. Our present parliamentary system l President only symbolic head of the government l The Executive Head of the Govt. is Prime Minister (PM) l We elect members of parliament (popularly called MPs) l The Party gaining majority or a coalition in case no party gains a majority forms the government l The PM not directly elected. On many occasions choice of PM a virtual manipulation by political parties to suit their vested interests especially in case of coalition 6Forum for Presidential Democracy (contd.)
  7. 7. l The Cabinet selected by PM from amongst the MPs l The same model followed at State level l The Governor a mere symbolic head appointed by the President as recommended by Central Govt. l The Executive head is the Chief Minister elected by State legislature l The Mayor with a short tenure of one year also a mere ceremonial head of local govt. 7Forum for Presidential Democracy
  8. 8. The Presidential System of Democracy. l The President not merely ceremonial head but also executive head of government l Directly elected by people for a fixed tenure l There are various models of presidential democracy, the most popular and successful is US model followed by French model l USA has 50 states and Governor as the Executive Head at State level also directly elected. Same model followed at City level where Mayor is the Executive Head directly elected l Cabinet selected from outside parliament consisting of capable talented and hard core professionals competent for their jobs l Member of Parliament cannot be a part of the cabinet 8
  9. 9. 9 Interesting observation Forum for Presidential Democracy Presidential Democracy (US model) Parliamentary Democracy (Our model) 3 direct votes to elect a Federal Govt. Only 1 vote to elect a Central Govt. To elect a President Executive Head of the Govt. No direct vote to elect executive head of govt.. Many times election of PM a manipulation by political parties to suit their vested interests (more so in case of coalition) To elect a Senator (Member of Upper House) Our Rajya Sabha (Upper House) members elected indirectly without direct participation of people. The choice vests with the party bosses and not with the people. To elect a member of Lower House (House of Representatives) Only one direct vote to elect a Member of Lok Sabha
  10. 10. I. Stability l Under our system, unless the ruling party has a comfortable majority, the PM or CM always under pressure from the opposition as well as the members of his own party l In case of coalition, there is a virtual pull and push from the coalition parties to suit their own vested interests and agendas l In Presidential democracy, the President or Governor once elected, even with the smallest of margin, enjoy full stability till next elections. 10Forum for Presidential Democracy What will be the advantages of a presidential Democracy?
  11. 11. Forum for Presidential Democracy 11 Stability – Central Govt. Last 20 years - 8 Elections (3 mid-term) 10 Coalition Govts 6 governments collapsed prematurely l No Single Party able to secure majority. l Rule by coalition of several disparate parties Prime Minister / Tenure Government V.P. Singh National Front a make strift coalition of Janata Dal (143 M.P.s) 1989 / 11 months & Telugu Desam, DMK & A.G.P. supported by B.J.P. & left front from outside (both diametrically opposite to each other). Collapsed due to withdrawal of support by BJP. Chandrashekhar Break away Janata Dal with 64 M.Ps supported by Congress 1990 / 5 months (197 M.Ps) from outside. Collapsed due to withdrawal of support by Congress. MID – TERM ELECTIONS 1991
  12. 12. 12 Prime Minister Year /Tenure Government Narsimha Rao 1991 – 96 Congress with 232 seats & other regional 5 years parties. Open allegations of pay-offs to JMM members to win vote on no confidence motion. Vajpayee 1996 BJP (180 seats) could not rope in other parties 15 days Deve Gowda 1996 – 97 Coalition of 14 parties led by Janata Dal 11 months supported from outside by Congress (127 seats). Collapsed when support withdrawn by Congress. I. K. Gujral 1997 – 98 United Front Coalition of 16 parties supported 10 months from outside by Congress (127 seats). Same fate as Deve Gowda when Congress withdrew support. MID – TERM ELECTIONS 1998 Vajapayee 1998 NDA led by BJP (182 seats) & 21 other parties. 15 months Collapsed due to withdrawal of support by Jayalalitha. (AIADMK – 18 seats) MID – TERM ELECTIONS 1999 -do- 1999-2004 NDA coalition of 23 parties (296 seats) led by BJP (182 seats) Forum for Presidential Democracy
  13. 13. 13 Prime Minister /Year/ Government Tenure Manmohan Singh UPA consisting of Congress with 184 seats & 21 other 2004 – 2009 parties. Also supported by CPM from outside. Managed to 5 years survive when CPM withdrew support as Indo-American Civil Nuclear deal Mulayam Singh Yadav stepped in to save the Govt. (Price extracted as withdrawal of disproportionate assets case initiated by CBI in Supreme Court) -do- UPA led by Congress with 206 seats and DMK- 18 seats, 2009 onwards NCP-9, TC-19, TMM-2, NC-3, RJP-4, Others -5. Virtual spectator Ministerships distributed as largesse as per coalition parties choice. Allowed to siphon off money without any control. „Compromises have to be made in coalition.‟ (P.M.‟s speech in press conference in Feb. 2011). At what cost? (Rs.1.76 Lakh crore Telecom Scandal involving great Raja & his Colleagues!) When Mamata withdrew the support, Mulayam Singh & Mayawati stepped in to support. Support at what price ! Forum for Presidential Democracy
  14. 14. 14 STABILITY – State level Record even more dismal Our largest State UP (Period : 1995 – 2002) 6 Govts. which included 3 spells of Mayawati besides Kalyan Singh, Rajnath Singh etc. and President‟s rule in between on two occasions. Earlier record of 8 govts in 7 yrs (1967-1974) still unbroken. (This included 2 spells each of C.B. Gupta and Charan Singh besides T.N. Singh, Kamlapati Tripathi and H.N. Bahuguna with President’s rule imposed on two occasions in between.) Forum for Presidential Democracy (contd.)
  15. 15. 15 Smaller States, still worse Meghalaya (Period : 1992 – 2007) 12 Govts. in a 15 year period Goa (Period : 1990-2000) 14 Govts. in a 10 yr period. Pratap Singh Rane, Dr. Wilfred D’Souza, Ravi Naik rotated post of Chief Minister 7 times among themselves. The above are only few illustrative examples. Forum for Presidential Democracy
  16. 16. 16 Political see-saw ! Forum for Presidential Democracy Illustration : Vasant Halbe
  17. 17. 17 Enemies Zindabad ! Forum for Presidential Democracy Illustration : Vasant Halbe
  18. 18. 18 Collapsible Support ! Forum for Presidential Democracy Illustration : Vasant Halbe
  19. 19. This is becoming a nuisance, a code must be evolved so that no government can be toppled for at least a couple of months! Courtesy : R.K. Laxman Forum for Presidential Democracy 19
  20. 20. 20 Wiped out corruption, improved the lot of the common man, brought prosperity to plenty, when he governed as the chief minister between 17th March, 1997 and 24th March 1997 Courtesy : R.K. Laxman Forum for Presidential Democracy
  21. 21. 21 Hold it ! Don’t, don’t ! I received news that he is no longer the chief minister. The opposition has just toppled him! Courtesy : R.K. LaxmanForum for Presidential Democracy
  22. 22. 22 I had the majority support for full two days. If he had allowed me I would have formed a government by now! Courtesy : R.K. LaxmanForum for Presidential Democracy
  23. 23. 23 Why did we opt for the British type of Parliamentary form of Democracy? Familiarity & Respect for the British system l Shri B.K. Nehru “Furthermore, the Constituent Assembly was dominated by lawyers trained solely in the British tradition and in the British system of Law, who constituted a substantial proportion of the membership of the Assembly. Their knowledge of Constitutional law was largely confined to the horizon of the British Constitution.” l Dr. K.M. Munshi – a member of the Constituent Assembly “We must not forget very important fact that, during the last one hundred years, Indian public life has largely drawn upon the traditions of British constitutional law. Most of us have looked to the British model as the best. ……. After this experience, why should we go back on the tradition that has been built over a hundred years and try a novel experiment.” Forum for Presidential Democracy
  24. 24. 24 Why did the Americans choose different system? They had much more familiarity with British Constitution than us (majority of first lot were British Immigrants) Apprehension whether the new country will have the prerequisites for evolution of a genuine 2 Party system? Answer :- No Reason :- While the first lot of settlers were mainly from Britain, in due course there would be Immigrants from various countries of Europe such as France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Holland, Portugal etc. each having its own identity including that of language would prefer to have its own party and ultimately, might end up with 15 or 20 different parties. Forum for Presidential Democracy
  25. 25. Our similarity ! – Parties formed based on Language / Regional / Religion / Caste l Punjab l Andhra l Tamil Nadu l Maharashtra l Kashmir l Goa l Nagaland l Mizoram l Orrisa l Jharkand l Assam l U.P. /Bihar l West Bengal − Akali Dal − Telugu Desam, Telangana Rashtriya Samiti − DMK / AIADMK / PDMK / MDMK − Shiv Sena & now MNS − National Conference, P.D.P., − Maharastra Gomantak Party − Nagaland People‟s Front − Mizoram National Front etc. − Biju Janata Dal − Jharkand Mukti Morcha − Assom Gano Parishad − Caste dominant B.S.P. (Dalit) Samajwadi Party / RJD (O.B.C./Minority) − Trinamool Congress 25Forum for Presidential Democracy l Evolved - a new a new system as democratic as the British l But assuring full stability with all the checks & balances.
  26. 26. 26 l Presently 2 major political parties viz. Republics / Democrats l Time to time new parties formed l 1968 – Presidential Election Governor George Wallace founded American Independent Party and secured 13.5% votes (nation-wide) in Presidential Elections l 1980 – Anderson contested as 3rd Party Candidate secured – 6.6% votes l Both these parties virtually disappeared before next elections l Reasons l Little Impact on the final outcome of Presidential elections l No role to play after the elections Impact of Presidential System on Party- formation (U.S. Example) Forum for Presidential Democracy
  27. 27. 27 French Example – similar story l Between 1946 - 1958 – Parliamentary system existed like ours l 14 – Political Parties l Coalitions for sharing of Power. Differences and controversial fights between the parties. 26 Govts. in 12 years l New Constitution drafted by Degaulle „Presidential Form of Government‟ approved by 79.2% of votes in 1958 l The total no. of parties kept on reducing since then l Presently – 4 parties Divided in 2 main coalitions Left & Right Forum for Presidential Democracy
  28. 28. 28 Comparison with our system l Smaller parties able to play important roles after the elections l Sometimes virtually a kingmaker‟s role l Jayalalitha – Had 21 members out of 542 in Lok Sabha – only 3.5% of total votes in the country. She virtually brought down Vajpayee Govt (1998 – 99). l DMK had its own way in demanding the portfolios. Inspite of Rs. 1,76,000 crores ($40 Billion) of telecom scam, DMK is still beyond question for the P.M. l Shiv Sena or Telugu Desam or DMK or AIADMK all are Kingmakers in their own way l Innumerable examples can be cited l The system encourages Fragmentation Survival of Smaller parties Defections Horse Trading Forum for Presidential Democracy
  29. 29. 29 The words of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar sounds prophetic” (Memorandum to Constituent Assembly)*, “In view of the clashes of castes and creeds there is bound to be a plethora of parties and groups in the Legislature in India. If this happens, it is possible, nay certain, that under the Parliamentary System, Executive is bound to resign upon an adverse vote in the Legislature. India may suffer from the instability of the Executive. For it is the easiest thing for groups to align and realign themselves at frequent intervals and for pretty purpose and bring about the downfall of the Government. Constant overthrow of the Government is nothing short of anarchy. The American form of executive is an equally good type of a democratic and responsible form of the Government.” * (From the notes provided by Late Shri Chimanbhai Mehta, a veteran politician and former union cabinet minister) Forum for Presidential Democracy
  30. 30. 30 CABINET FORMATION & FUNCTIONING Forum for Presidential Democracy
  31. 31. 31 1. „Size‟ determined by „Necessity for Survival‟ (Either for Govt or for Chief Minister or Prime Minister as Individuals) l New records established (i) Laloo prasad‟s record of 67 member cabinet in Bihar broken by (ii) Kalyan Singh‟s cabinet of 93 members in UP (iii)Haryana had 33 ministers out of 90 member house (Ruling Party had 51 members which means for every 3 members, 2 were ministers!) l Compare l British Cabinet – 20 members (Tradition – No written Constitution) l Japanese Cabinet – 20 members (Constitution) l Australian Cabinet – 30 members (Constitution) l American cabinet – only 14 members Our Jumbo Cabinets Forum for Presidential Democracy
  32. 32. 32 1. Cabinet size not to exceed 10% of legislature strength (at Central / State level) watered down to 15%. 2. For a strength of 543 M.Ps in Lok Sabha, this would still mean 81 member Jumbo cabinet. 3. For smaller states like Goa, Sikkim etc. where no. of legislators are less than 40, limit is 12. Still too high (30% of legislature strength). Forum for Presidential Democracy Recommendations of Venkatachalliah Commission on Constitutional Reforms (year 2000)
  33. 33. 33 Ministerships distributed as a Largesse a. M.C. Chagla – „Ministership – A badge of disloyalty rather than a reward for merit‟ b. Professionals play second fiddle Our Ministers a. Busy with the Party work b. More concerned with Public Image c. Large Majority Engrossed in personal gains for themselves / Party Bosses Forum for Presidential Democracy
  34. 34. 34 Secondary Largesse for left-out Legislators l Chairmanship of Public Corporations (State Electricity Boards, Finance Corporation, Tourism Corporation etc.) l Constitution amended to facilitate this. l Rajya Sabha members also entitled for same amount. M.L.As also have their quota as fixed by States. l Allocation of Rs. 5 crores (raised in 2011 from Rs.2 crores!) to be spent annually in their constituency as per their choice under MPLADS (Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme) (widely misused & misappropriated). Forum for Presidential Democracy (contd.)
  35. 35. 35 If You Have a Hold You Have a Post ! Forum for Presidential Democracy Illustration : Vasant Halbe
  36. 36. 36 Ministership, A Badge of Disloyalty ! Forum for Presidential Democracy Illustration : Vasant Halbe
  37. 37. 37 Whether at Home or in Office, Obsessed with Party Work ! Forum for Presidential Democracy Illustration : Vasant Halbe
  38. 38. 38 Any Measures to Woo the Voters ! Forum for Presidential Democracy Illustration : Vasant Halbe
  39. 39. 39 The rumour is he is looking for a couple of really new faces to include in the new Cabinet! Courtesy : R.K. LaxmanForum for Presidential Democracy
  40. 40. 40 Cabinet Composition / Functioning (U.S.A) (a)Member of Parliament cannot join Cabinet. President free to select the best talent (b)Choice of cabinet solely left to the President (c) Senate has full power to confirm or reject any member of cabinet or any important appointments made by the President (d)Thorough vetting process. Even FBI provides confidential report for all the ministers to the President (e)Total period 10 weeks for all the above process Forum for Presidential Democracy (contd.)
  41. 41. 41 f) Legislature has no vested interest in Cabinet as no member can form part of the cabinet g) Majority consists of Hardcore professionals/ Intellectuals / Eminent People h) Full-time dedicated for a particular job for full term i) No distraction of party politics or spend time on the constituency or woo the voters j) Not inclined to remain in limelight or waste time in attending public functions / self publicity for being elected Forum for Presidential Democracy (contd.)
  42. 42. 42 k) Not required to collect funds for themselves or for the party for elections l) No need to please M.L.A.s / M.P.s a) Germany : Full freedom to Chancellor to select his team from outside the Parliament. b) Japan : PM can induct upto 50% ministers from outside Parliament. Forum for Presidential Democracy
  43. 43. 43 Cabinet – Obama l Secretary of Energy - Renowned Physicist l Secretary of Treasury - Master‟s degree in International Economics l Secretary of Education - Chief Executive of the Chicago Public Schools l Secretary of Labor - Graduate - California State Polytechnic University l Attorney General - Graduate - Columbia University & Columbia Law School; l Director of Central Intelligence Agency – Graduate & degree in Law from the University of Santa Clara l Secretary of Housing and Urban Development - Degrees in Public Administration & Architecture; l Commerce Secretary - Attended Yale & Boston University Law School; l Secretary of Veterans Affairs - Has a career in the Army & was Chief of Staff l Secretary of State - Graduate - Wellesley & degree in Law from Yale University; l National Security Advisor – Mastered subtle art of coalition diplomacy during wartime. (Note: The above list is only indicative and not complete) Forum for Presidential Democracy
  44. 44. 44 l The Secretary of State :- Graduate from the Stanford Law School; l Secretary of Defence :- had worked in Pentagon with former Defence Secretary, Robert McNamara. Degrees from Yale, Oxford and MIT; l National Security Advisor :- Graduate of Harvard and Princeton‟s School of Public and International Affairs; l Director of Central Intelligence :- Law degree from Yale University; l Secretary of Health and Human Services :- Ex-Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin. Selected by Business Week as one of the top five managers in higher education; l Chairperson of the Council of Economic Advisers :- Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley (Note: The above list is only indicative and not complete) Cabinet – Clinton (1992-2000) Forum for Presidential Democracy
  45. 45. 45Forum for Presidential Democracy
  46. 46. 46 Our present scenario l No permanent Standing Committees for analysing or scrutiny of legislation. l Only 3 Permanent Committees, Public Accounts, Public Undertakings and Estimates Commitee. l Select Committees appointed on ad hoc basis for few controversial bills l Committees / Commission appointed from experts outside Parliament reports on some subjects / issues. Reports mostly consigned to cold storage. Forum for Presidential Democracy
  47. 47. 47 l Voting mainly on party lines l In-depth Analysis of Legislations lacking l Legislations many a times based on vote- catching gimmicks rather than real welfare of the people l Legislators not bothered to apply their mind on legislations l Committees appointed from Experts outside Parliament to submit reports which rarely get due attention Forum for Presidential Democracy
  48. 48. 48 Issue of a Whip ! Forum for Presidential Democracy Illustration : Vasant Halbe
  49. 49. 49 l 23 Permanent Standing Committees in Lower House and 18 in Upper House. Each committee covers legislation related to its own field and prepares detailed report l After circulation of report – every member of Congress enjoys full freedom to vote l No whip issued by the Party l Several countries have also emulated American example and have now strong Committee system e.g. Australia, Germany and even Britain is now following this Legislation :- American system scores over us Forum for Presidential Democracy
  50. 50. 50 Members of Congress study the bill and in the process seek information and advice from a variety of sources before recommending action (The meaning of the word Congress means Assembly in English and in the USA it is used for Parliament including both the houses). Action of a Committee on a Bill Public hearings are held A subcommittee is appointed to make a detailed analysis Studies by experts from both government agencies and public organizations are received Research reports from Legislative References Service, Library of Congress are requested Bill is reported out favorably in original form (Rare) OR It is amended and reported favorably OR It is completely rewritten and reported favorably OR It is reported unfavorably Committee Congress House of Representatives or Senate Forum for Presidential Democracy
  51. 51. 51Forum for Presidential Democracy
  52. 52. 52 l President with all executive powers and elected for a full term may tend to be autocratic. l Mental block in several intellectuals mind. l The word „President‟ has perhaps become synonymous with „dictator‟ as all dictations have labelled themselves as „President‟ and none as a „Prime Minister‟ l Hitler was elected under parliamentary democracy and assumed powers of a dictator. We too had near dictatorial rule during emergency declared by Smt. Indira Gandhi l Checks & Balances vital for any democracy Presidential/Parliamentary Prejudices and Misconceptions about Presidential Democracy Forum for Presidential Democracy
  53. 53. 53 a) Well-defined system of checks & balances between • President • Legislature • Judiciary b) Legislature power fully vests with the Congress c) Independent voting on legislations irrespective of party lines d) Congress fully empowered to defeat legislation even if proposed by the President. As a balance, President can veto on legislations not in line with his manifesto or thinking. But Senate can counter veto President‟s veto with 2/3rd majority e) Opposition many times vote for the President and vice versa Forum for Presidential Democracy (contd.)
  54. 54. f) Senate fully empowered to confirm or reject all important appointments including ministers made by the President. Also empowered to impeach any official in the legislative, judicial or executive branch including the President if found guilty of bribery, treason or other high crimes g) Power to impeach President vests with the Senate h) Nixon was on the verge of being impeached when he preferred to resign 54 Forum for Presidential Democracy (contd.)
  55. 55. j) Any foreign treaty has to be rectified by the Senate k) Senate has been given wide powers of investigation of all departments of government l) President can declare war but the Senate has the power of withdrawal of troops within 60 days m) President or Governor cannot remain in Power for more than 2 terms n) Judiciary fully empowered to repeal any legislation violating fundamental rights provided in the Constitution 55 Forum for Presidential Democracy
  56. 56. 56 Under constant surveillance! Forum for Presidential Democracy Illustration : Vasant Halbe
  57. 57. 57 No More! Forum for Presidential Democracy Illustration : Vasant Halbe
  58. 58. 58 President vs Congress – A Delicate Balance! Forum for Presidential Democracy Illustration : Vasant Halbe
  59. 59. l Examples of Presidential democracy leaning towards autocracy or not ideal models (All models provide for direct election of President and ensures stable government) l Mexico – President empowered to pass all legislations. They cannot be vetoed by legislature or challenged in Court of Law l Sri Lanka – Cabinet selected from legislature l France – President empowered to dissolve legislature (In USA, no President is allowed to do so). 59Forum for Presidential Democracy
  60. 60. 60Forum for Presidential Democracy
  61. 61. Corruption at an Alarming Proportion l It has spread like Cancer and affected all levels of administration. The most disturbing scenario, even armed forces and judiciary are now affected with this virus. l With every passing year, we are scaling new heights. l The resources of the country whether mining leases or allotment of land or award of contracts or even the postings in government services etc. are all distributed like their personal „jagir‟ by our politicians with the help of obliging babus. l „I have no doubt that the bureaucracy is absolutely corrupt. I have been referring them as conjoined twins, the political as well as the executive legislature‟ – Santosh Hegde (Karnatak Lokayukta) 61Forum for Presidential Democracy (contd.)
  62. 62. 62Forum for Presidential Democracy Transparency International’s corruption perception Index – India ranked 85 in 2008 (from 72 in 2004) Some of the African countries such as Malavi, Ghana & South Africa rank better than India We have almost lost track of the scams. Spectrum 2G – involving great Raja! and others (mind boggling Rs.1.76 lakh crores!) 2010 Commonwealth games scandal. Original estimate in 2003 - Rs.1620 crores. In 2010 - the final cost Rs.30000 crores! (contd.)
  63. 63. 63Forum for Presidential Democracy Adarsh Housing Scam involving politicians, bureaucrats, defense and armed forces they have all made us forget about the past scams. Such as Printing of bogus stamp papers, etc. Maharastra (Telgi scam - estimated Rs.10,000-25,000 crores), Fodder scam in Bihar (Rs.950 crores involving Laloo Prasad Yadav and his team), Jharkhand Mining scam (Rs.4000 crores – involving Madu Koda, Ex-Chief Minister of Jharkhand and his team. These are only few.
  64. 64. Corruption – whom does it affect most? l The Rich? The Middle Class? or The Poor? l Everyone, but most affected, poorest of the poor. (Based on the data provided by Shri N. Vittal, Ex-Chief Vigilance Commissioner year 2001 (when he was invited as a Chief Guest to speak on the Seminar held by the Forum on Minimizing Corruption in a Democratic Set-up). l 31% of food grains and 36% of sugar meant for PDS (Public Distribution System) is siphoned off. In terms of money this comes to Rs.5000 crores p.a. l In Delhi alone, every month Rs.40 crores collected as bribes by Police and Municipal Officers from Hawkers, Vendors and Rickshaw Pullers. (Shri Vittal managed to reduce this by convincing Vajpayee to remove licensing for this class of people). It is said that this is only the „Tip of the Iceberg‟ 64Forum for Presidential Democracy
  65. 65. 65 CBI has lost its credibility and has become a virtual tool at the hands of the ruling party. The most striking example Directed by Supreme Court – March 2007 to probe case of disproportionate assets of Mulayam Singh • October 2007 CBI claims to have sufficient evidence • July 2008 complete turn around by CBI (an outcome of Mulayam‟s party giving support to UPA alliance to win No confidence motion on civil nuclear deal ?) • December 5, 2008 – CBI moved Supreme Court to withdraw the application to register case against Yadav. • Supreme Court Bench remarked „this clearly means CBI is not acting independently but on behalf of the Government‟. Forum for Presidential Democracy
  66. 66. 66 When things turned sour on distribution of seats in UP between Congress and CPI alliance during Lok Sabha elections of 2009, CBI shamelessly made another „U‟ turn stating that „it stands by its recommendation of October 2007 that a disproportionate assets case is now made out against Mulayam Singh‟. In the process, CBI has made a laughing stroke of themselves. Should we call CBI as ‘Corrupt Bureau of Investigation’ ? or ‘Collaborating Bureau of Investigation’? Forum for Presidential Democracy
  67. 67. 67 l „Yatha Raja Tatha Praja‟ l Relationship between MPs – MLAs – Ministers l Prime Minister / Chief Minister – their very survival often depends on MPs / MLAs / Ministers. Irrespective of their (corrupt) background. l PM / CM virtually helpless to take any action against them l MPs too have their own vested interest to bear with corrupt C.M. / Prime Minister. l Result :- Undeclared partnership of mutual interest Political corruption – root cause Forum for Presidential Democracy
  68. 68. 68 l The honest bureaucrats are demoralised as the Money openly demanded and paid for creamy (!) postings. l Even the lowest recruitment of Hawaldar has a price to be paid. l Ministers have wide powers to influence bureaucrats to toe their line, including power to transfer. l Resulting in low morale of Bureaucrats l Eventually Both prefer to serve each other‟s interest . Forum for Presidential Democracy
  69. 69. 69 Afraid of Holding Enquiries ! Forum for Presidential Democracy Illustration : Vasant Halbe
  70. 70. 70 A Farcial Exercise ! Forum for Presidential Democracy Illustration : Vasant Halbe
  71. 71. 71 Help, The Party and Me ! Forum for Presidential Democracy Illustration : Vasant Halbe
  72. 72. 72 I am more honest than you are. There are eight corruption charges against you and only six against me! Courtesy : R.K. LaxmanForum for Presidential Democracy
  73. 73. 73 l Corruption can never be eliminated but minimized by inbuilt checks & Balances within system l Separation of Executive (President & his team) and legislature play a vital role. l President‟s team vetted by more than one source before induction in the cabinet. Confirmation of Senate necessary l Total time period of 10 weeks for cabinet to be sworn-in after election of the President. Effective Check on Corruption (Presidential Democracy) Forum for Presidential Democracy (contd.)
  74. 74. 74 l The Congress (Legislature) has no vested interest as Legislatures do not part of cabinet. l Provides independence to stand against President or his Cabinet even if they belong to same party as President‟s. l President not reluctant to investigate or remove a corrupt minister as it does not affect his stability. l Ministers themselves have no reason to collect funds in the name of Party as they are non-political l Independent Judiciary also a contributing factor. Forum for Presidential Democracy
  75. 75. 75 lWhat Lord Buddha had said 2500 years ago Forum for Presidential Democracy (contd.)
  76. 76. 76 Extracts from “The Teaching of Buddha” – Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai. (8 million copies published in 39 languages) Buddhism was a major religion in India till 10-11 centuries after his death. It must have had profound effect on the erstwhile rulers as the Golden era of India coincided with this period. In a truly democratic presidential system where the Cabinet is selected based on background and proven track record of ministers, there is every possibility that there may be return of Golden Era to India.Forum for Presidential Democracy
  77. 77. l Following Annaji‟s fast and nation wide agitation the government was under tremendous pressure for passing Lokpal Bill. l Lokpal – An independent authority empowered to investigate and prosecute any bureaucrat or politician for corruption charges. l Lokpal cannot be panacea for eradicating corruption l The most effective and logical way would be to ensure appointment of honest and capable people at top and have a system of checks and balances in place. l When large majority of politicians and bureaucrats are outright corrupt, how many Lokpals or how large a mechanism of Lokpal would be required and what will be the guarantee that the institution of Lokpal itself will remain clean? l The institution of Lokpal may not be necessary if we have legislature where all members of both the houses such as in USA the Senate (having 100 members) and Lower House (having 421 members) are all able to play their due role. It may have more positive and effective role to play as a final recourse. 77 What are Forum‟s views on Lokpal Bill? Forum for Presidential Democracy
  78. 78. 78 Promotion of Leadership Qualities l Failure to produce leaders who could command confidence of the people l The quality of leadership has gone down over a period of time. Is it the failure of system or the people? l Not encouraged under our present system. l The tenure of Prime Minister or Chief Ministers is insecure l Their hands are tied down whether it is l Selection of ministers or l Implementation of policies or l Taking action against incompetent and corrupt ministers etc. l They have to perforce please everybody including Delhi- Durbar. Forum for Presidential Democracy (contd.)
  79. 79. 79 l Our large metropolitan cities have failed to provide grass-root leaders. l Our Mayors elected for a short tenure are mere figure heads / show pieces – their names not known to citizens even when in office. l Our M.Ps. or State Legislators lack confidence as they have hardly any freedom to vote independently on major issues. Forum for Presidential Democracy
  80. 80. 80 Mayor – Our City Level Leader Mere Show Piece ! Forum for Presidential Democracy Illustration : Vasant Halbe
  81. 81. 81 Mayoral Go-Round! Forum for Presidential Democracy Illustration : Vasant Halbe
  82. 82. 82 Looking to Delhi Durbar for Survival! Forum for Presidential Democracy Illustration : Vasant Halbe
  83. 83. 83 Presidential System more conducive for evolution of leadership l The direct election of the Mayor (City level) or Governor (State level) or President at (National level) and giving them free hand to induct the best talent with security of tenure boosts their confidence l Based on their performance, Governors / Mayors get groomed for higher level leadership l Senators also form an important link for higher level leadership Forum for Presidential Democracy (contd.)
  84. 84. 84 l Senators given adequate allowance to maintain capable support staff for their office in Washington DC and also in important cities in the State l Senate has wide powers to check the President l They do not form part of President‟s Cabinet & hence no vested interest to support President l Independence to vote on any legislation l All these create confidence for higher level leadership l The restriction of tenure of 2 terms for President or Governor induces fresh talent l Mayor Governor / Senator Vice-President / President Forum for Presidential Democracy
  85. 85. Impact of caste, religion and regional factors – a comparison Our present scenario (Parliamentary model) l Above factors dominant. Easier to get elected playing this card for Municipal or Assembly or even Lok Sabha seat. l Later on even possible for such persons to play dominant role by managing to get cabinet post or even C.M.‟s by manipulation in party. Presidential Democracy. l Entire country / state / city become a single constituency for election as a President / Governor / Mayor.Copyright. Jashwant B. Mehta 85
  86. 86. Presidential Democracy. l Difficult to play the card of caste / religion for being elected as head of the nation / state / city l Forces candidates for President/Governor/Mayor post to rise above narrow sectarian consideration of caste, community or religion and after elections also due to security of tenure not tempted or required to oblige or play such a game. l Governor Wallace a racial leader could get 13.5% vote but had no role to play. l Vote bank politics discouraged. Copyright. Jashwant B. Mehta 86
  87. 87. 87Forum for Presidential Democracy l “Presidential Democracy will enable the country to be free from the grip of the professional politicians having vested interest. It will provide for better stability, help national integration and will enable the induction of talented people in the Cabinet.” Late Shri J.R.D. Tata (Eminent Industrialist) l “My first proposal is, therefore, to separate entirely the legislative from the executive function by making it impossible for any member of the legislature to hold any office of profit under the Government including Ministership…………“My second proposal is that the President or the Governor will hold office for fixed term of years without any possibility of his removal during the term, except by impeachment of acts of moral delinquency”. Late Shri B. K. Nehru (Eminent Civil Servant & Former Ambassador to U.S.A. & High Commissioner to U.K.)
  88. 88. 88Forum for Presidential Democracy l “Our parliamentary system has entered the era of instability where governments survive on the mercy of caste and group based bosses. Under the existing arrangement a Prime Minister or a Chief Minister depends upon the support of MPs and MLAs. A President under the Presidential System, depends upon the entire national electorate and his tenure is secured for a fixed term. Therefore, no unprincipled compromises occur”. Late Shri Chimanbhai Mehta (Former Union Cabinet Minister) l “The two basic elements we need are ……  The head of the Executive, the President, is directly elected.  He is free to select as his ministers person from within or outside the legislature” Shri Arun Shourie (eminent Journalist and former Union Cabinet Minister) l “……I am convinced that the democratic presidential system – as it prevails in the United States of America and in France – would be better suited to India than the Westminster model which prevails today.” Late Shri N.A. Palkhivala (Eminent Jurist)
  89. 89. 89Forum for Presidential Democracy l “It often happens that (in the U.S.A.) the Democrats support the President not only by their votes but also by their speeches. Similarly, it also often happens that the Republican members vote and speak against proposal by the President who belongs to their party. It means that the members are elected like the President on party tickets but after election they cease, in practice, to belong to the party and act in a way which they consider best for the nation. It may therefore be said truly that they have always a national Government and not a party Government in office. We must investigate and find if this analysis is correct. If so, we must then consider how far we are right in copying the British party system in all its details”. Late Dr. Rajendra Prasad (Former President of India)
  90. 90. 90 “I really enjoyed the discussion we had on your views and analysis of the Presidential System. Frankly after listening to your meticulous analysis of the comparative merits, I must say I am veering around to your view. I am convinced that your objective is a pure one and is not aimed at pursuit of any political gains but to the promotion of a nationalist ideology. I am pleasantly amazed that our country still has persons like you. You have no personal ambitions in the matter. It is indeed gratifying that a highly qualified Engineer and Technologist like you should be taking such great interest in promoting a larger national cause. You have taken up this agenda of political reforms with no other expectation than good of the country at large. As it is, the political system in the country is on the verge of collapse and unless some drastic changes are ushered-in the future seems utterly bleak and hopeless.” With warm personal regards, Yours sincerely, M.N. Venkatachaliah Former Chief Justice of India (Chairman – Constitutional Reforms Commission – 2002) Extracts from Shri M.N. Venkatachaliah‟s letter (dt. February 14, 2011) addressed to the Author Forum for Presidential Democracy
  91. 91. Part II Copyright. Jashwant B. Mehta 91
  92. 92. 92 Selection of candidates by political parties for Lok Sabha / Rajya Sabha / State Legislature and Municipal bodies l The party tickets decided by party leaders as per their choice and whims l Promotes bossism. Small boss, big boss and the biggest of all who decide Lok Sabha & Rajya Sabha candidates l These bosses are either powerful individuals or a coterie where mutual interests are served Forum for Presidential Democracy
  93. 93. Criteria for Selection l Merit – a secondary qualification. Loyalty to party leaders main criteria l Candidates ability to raise resources and fill up party coffers by any means – also an important criteria l Even criminal record acceptable if candidate‟s ability to attract votes proved l The electorate including party members have hardly any voice 93Forum for Presidential Democracy (contd.)
  94. 94. Preference also for close relations including family members of prominent politicians for nominations  Nehru / Indira Gandhi / Rajiv Gandhi / Sanjay Gandhi / Sonia Gandhi / Rahul Gandhi  Sharad Pawar / Ajit Pawar / Supriya Sule  Shaikh Abdulla / Farooq Abdulla / Omar Abdulla  Murali Deora / Milind Deora  Karunanidhi / Azhagiri / Stalin / Kanimozhi ………. the list is pretty long. 94Forum for Presidential Democracy
  95. 95. Consequences 95Forum for Presidential Democracy l As the party grows and becomes bigger, it gets degenerated as honest, competent candidates often side tracked l Promotes „Chamchagiri‟. The party politics becomes dirtier and dirtier and governance deteriorates l Difficult for capable & honest people to get into main-stream politics l Out of sheer frustration they form new parties l Presently there are over 1500 registered political parties in our country. Many formed with good intentions by well meaning people. (Most of them find it difficult without adequate means etc. to make a head way.) (contd.)
  96. 96. 96Forum for Presidential Democracy l The major political parties themselves split often due to clash among the party leaders over distribution of tickets l Process of fragmentation & formulation of new parties encouraged l Rejected candidates join other parties or stand as independents l They become chief pawns of power-play
  97. 97. 97 No Ticket – No Cap ! Forum for Presidential Democracy Illustration : Vasant Halbe
  98. 98. What is the solution? l Primary system of elections in the USA – a major reform in this direction l Selection process itself made more democratic. Mandatory for all political parties to hold elections for nominations of candidates for legislature, Governor and also President l These elections popularly called „primaries‟ are held under secret ballot under state supervision l Many states permit non-party members to vote in primaries. However, the voters have to select party of their choice and cannot vote for more than one party. 98Forum for Presidential Democracy (contd.)
  99. 99. l Winner of these primaries entitled to get party-ticket for main election l Selection of the candidates not at the whims and fancies of Party leaders l Encourages deserving and capable people to join main-stream political parties as they do not have to beg for tickets to party bosses l Major political parties itself will benefit/rejunevate with inclusion of such meritorious candidates. l Promotes healthy 2-party system. Democrats and Republics have remained as 2 major main stream political parties l It will also prevent mushrooming of new parties. 99Forum for Presidential Democracy (contd.)
  100. 100. l Although bit expensive, overall process has lots of advantages l While in U.S., this is mandatory, many other countries have also adopted some reforms in this direction l In Germany, the candidate is selected based in a secret ballot in an Assembly of Party members or General Assembly of Party Representatives l If democracy is of the people, for the people and by the people, there is no better way than to have the very people participate in the selection process of the candidates to be nominated by the Parties in a democratic manner 100Forum for Presidential Democracy
  101. 101. 101Forum for Presidential Democracy Mixed Proportional System • Our present electoral system of ‘first-past-the-post’ system i.e. candidate getting highest votes declared elected does not truly reflect the popularity of parties • A small swing in percentage of popular votes drastically changes final tally of seats. • A candidate is declared elected inspite of getting lot more more votes (percentage wise) cast against him. • The chances of distortion more in a multi-party system • A party gaining 30% votes many end up getting 60% seats •
  102. 102. 102 Tamilnadu State Election 1989 1991 % of votes Seats Remarks % of votes Seats Remarks AIADMK 21.5 27 44.4 163 Congress 20.2 26 15.4 61 DMK 33.3 151 21.4 1 Madhya Pradesh State Election Year Congress BJP % of votes Seats % of votes Seats 1998 40.6 172 39.3 119 1993 40.7 174 38.8 117 1990 33.4 56 39.1 220 1985 48.8 250 32.4 58 1980 47.5 246 30.3 60 Illustration of Distorted Results :- Forum for Presidential Democracy All 3 parties contested elections independently AIADMK & Congress formed an alliance
  103. 103. 103Forum for Presidential Democracy • Reforms introduced in several European countries • Seats allotted based on the basis of percentage of votes polled by parties and not on ‘first past the post’ system. Popularly called ‘proportionate representation’ system (Parties getting 30% votes will get 30% seats – Parties getting 20% votes will get 20% seats) • It has its own drawbacks as some of the constituencies may remain unrepresented and could lead to unstable governments. •More pragmatic solution – Mixed Proportional Representation • Germany has successfully introduced this system
  104. 104. 104Forum for Presidential Democracy • •50% of seats in legislature allotted as per present system •50% seats apportioned to parties as per percentage of votes polled by them •This will offset the distorted version common in our system •Parties gaining say 30% seats assured of winning minimum 15% seats •Further, improvisation can be made giving 2 choices to people. One for the candidate of his choice belonging to any party, one for the party of his choice, seats equally divided for candidates as well as for party percentage.
  105. 105. Preventing Criminals to Join Politics l A large number of our legislators (M.P.s & M.L.A.s) have criminal background. l Out of 543 M.Ps – more than 25% face criminal charges, 84 for murder and extortion. l Some of them also inducted in Cabinet. 105Forum for Presidential Democracy (contd.)
  106. 106. l Intentions to contest elections & ensure victory is to use political clout to influence Government machinery including Police etc. to delay or tone down and dismiss their pending criminal cases. l Priority trial on day to day basis for all elected representatives facing criminal charges l Such a provision will prevent them from contesting elections. 106Forum for Presidential Democracy
  107. 107. Appointment of National Judicial Commission l Commission to consist of representatives from judiciary, executive & legislature. l Appointment of judges by the President as per recommendations of Commission. l Presently Supreme Court is sole authority to appoint judges in higher courts. Has led to SC arrogating itself. l Should be empowered to try any errant Judge and if found guilty, send the recommendation to President for removal. 107Forum for Presidential Democracy
  108. 108. Supreme Court Benches to be in Metropolitan cities – Mumbai, Delhi, Calcutta & Chennai l Opposition from Supreme Court itself. l Has led to tremendous hardship for people & increased litigation costs abnormally for common man. l Bombay High Court has benches in Nagpur & Goa l Pakistan – a small country has a bench in other city. 108Forum for Presidential Democracy
  109. 109. Expediting the justice l Abnormal delays. Cases drag on to decades together. No. of judges most inadequate. Such abnormal delays have led to people‟s loss of faith in judiciary. l Present strength 10.5 judges per million population. Directed by Supreme Court to increase to 50 per million. l U.K. – 51 judges per million, Canada – 75 judges per million, USA 107 judges per million. 109Forum for Presidential Democracy
  110. 110. 110 “While most of us have regarded Dr. Ambedkar as the framer of our Constitution, he himself had repudiated this claim in no uncertain positive words. He told the Rajya Sabha on 2 September 1953. „Sir, my friends tell me that I have made the Constitution. But I am quite prepared to say that I shall be the first person to burn it out. I do not want it. It does not suit anybody…‟ (Source : „The Parliamentary System‟ by Arun Shourie, Edition 2007 pp 18). It is nay certain that had Dr. Ambedkar lived long enough to watch the performance of the system that has thrown up the type of persons in our legislature and council of ministers then he would have put his thoughts in practice.” Forum for Presidential Democracy Is our Constitution a sacred cow?
  111. 111. Copyright. Jashwant B. Mehta 111
  112. 112. 112 l The proposed change over to alternate political system does not involve any alteration to basic structure of the constitution as it guarantees the fundamental rights and independence of the judiciary. l Possible by valid amendment to the constitution under Article 368 (2) which requires 2/3rd majority of Parliament. l It will also require ratification by legislatures of not less than half of the states. l Consensus necessary among political parties for such an amendment to Constitution (especially leaders). Possible Road map Forum for Presidential Democracy (contd.)
  113. 113. 113 l Can our political parties rise to the occasion in the best interest of the country? Or they have a vested interest in the continuance of present system as such a change would deprive them of coveted „ministerial gaddis‟ and other offices of profit to which they are accustomed to? l No provision for referendum in Indian Constitution. l France switched over to Presidential Democracy after referendum when 79.2% of votes approved it and Sri Lanka switched over after United National Party led by Jayavardene made it a main plank of election manifesto and won elections with thumping majority in legislature (140 out of 168 seats). Forum for Presidential Democracy
  114. 114. 114 Option II l A nation-wide awareness campaign is necessary with participation and sincere efforts of all like- minded and disconcerting citizens. l Stupendous task cannot be achieved by few solitary individuals. l Eminent people from various walks of life have time and again strongly endorsed presidential democracy. Unfortunately, no sincere efforts have been forth-coming l Such a campaign should aim at convincing all sections of society that a truly democratic presidential system is in best interest of all. l Ignorance even at higher levels. Many intellectuals still carry notion it is an autocratic system where the President all too powerful.Forum for Presidential Democracy (contd.)
  115. 115. 115 l For such a nation-wide awareness campaign to succeed, the support of opinion-makers/celebrities will be of great help. E.g. l Film-industry – Amir Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Chiranjeevi, Rajnikant etc. The popularity / impact of stars tremendous in Indian society. E.g. N.T. Ramarao – founded Telugu Desam in early 80s and managed to secure thumping majority against Congress led by Indira Gandhi. l M.G. Ramachandran separated from DMK and founded AIADMK in late 70s. DMK was routed and even today also his picture forms a part of AIADMK campaign. l Spiritual leaders – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Baba Ramdev have great mass-appeal. Forum for Presidential Democracy
  116. 116. l Till now, no voice raised or initiative taken from Business & Industry leaders to change the system. Endorsement and involvement from respected business leaders such as – Aziz Premji, Narayan Murthy will also be of great help. l If this power point presentation has appealed to you please inform as many of your friends, relatives and acquaintances. It is included in our Website l You can be our spokesman, and spread awareness by arranging a talk or make a presentation yourself in your circle etc. l The power-point presentation made herewith is proposed to be translated in all regional languages so that it may reach masses. 116Forum for Presidential Democracy
  117. 117. 117 l There are over 1500 registered political parties in the country. Why one more party? l Many of these parties have been formed with the best of intentions by well-meaning individuals. Unfortunately, not a single party including those founded by these well meaning individuals have the change of political system in their manifesto. l Forum is the first political party with the sole objective to change the system. It also aims to bring all such parties founded by well-meaning people to a common platform for a change. Registration of Forum For Presidential Democracy as a political party. Forum for Presidential Democracy (contd.)
  118. 118. 118 l The Forum does not harbour any political ambitions. It strongly feels that after successful awareness campaign, there will be enough number of committed persons who will carry this mission forward. l For a Political Party registered u/s. 29 A of the Representation of the Peoples Act 1951, Individual / Company donations are fully exempted u/s. 80 GGC of I.T. Act and u/s. 80 GGB of I.T. Act. respectively. l Forum is eligible to receive such donations. l It is necessary for a successful nation wide campaign to mobilise funds. Yours support by way of donation and active participation in Forum‟s building up an organisation is most welcome. l Let us not talk, criticize and soon forget. There is an alternative model. Please render your valuable support. Forum for Presidential Democracy
  119. 119. 119 l There are 2 classes of people who enter politics, Class 1 (Large majority) to satisfy their (i) lust for power or (ii) strong desire for fame (iii) or greed for money (iv) combination of all l Who can really bring about the change? l Those who remain above all these temptations /human weaknesses such as Gandhiji Patel Jayprakash Narayan Ambedkar Tilak Kriplani & Other such leaders Forum for Presidential Democracy
  120. 120. 120 l “The tyranny of a Prince in an oligarchy is not so dangerous to the public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy”. Montesquieu l “A bad government is the inevitable consequence of an indifferent electorate. Politics will never be cleaner, and our economic future will never be brighter, unless and until our citizens are willing to give of themselves to the land which gave them birth.” N.A. Palkhivala Forum for Presidential Democracy
  121. 121. 121 If each seed were to say : One seed does not make a field, There would be no harvest. If each of us were to say : One person does not make the difference, The system can never change You and I do make the difference. Begin today and make the difference. Forum for Presidential Democracy
  122. 122. 122 THANK YOU Forum for Presidential Democracy