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Winnability -- A Disastrous Trend in Democracy - By: Tomazinho Cardozo - Comments

Winnability – A Disastrous Trend in Democracy
[The power of money, muscle and manipulation can swing results in polls].
By: Tomazinho Cardozo.
GT-Dec 20, 2006

Margaret Alva, general secretary of All India Congress Committee and in charge of Goa, stated recently that “winnability” would be the ciriteria to give party tickets to aspiring candidates in the forthcoming elections in Goa. Other political parties in the state too have shown their intentions to field candidates who have the capacity to win the electoral battle. Yes, there is no doubt that the ultimate aim of a political party is to win the elections and form the government. But at what cost?

In the present political scenario, which type of candidates can win the elections? If one analyses the results of past assembly elections, it is observed that in over 65 percent constituencies, the winning margins of the candidates vary between 500 and 3,000 votes, which means not more than 20 per cent of the votes polled and not more than 10 per cent of the total votes in that constituency.

Under these circumstances, the candidate who has the power to control this 10 to 20 percent voters and secure their votes by hook or by crook is the winner. Therefore, the candidates who can bribe the voters in cash or kind, which includes helping these voters financially in their personal needs such as marriages, funerals, sicknesses , etc can get through in the elections.

The candidates with a lot of muscle power and who can intimidate the voters to cast the ballot for them with threats to their lives, can also be successful in this battle. The candidates who have the capability to manipulate the electoral rolls by including fake names of non-Goans in the electoral rolls and transport them from the neighbouring state to Goa on the poll day to vote for them, also can decide about his success much before the elections.

What I am trying to highlight here is that a candidate who makes use of his money, often lot of ill-gotten wealth, to buy the votes can win the elections. Hence, a poor citizen cannot dream of contributing his views in the Assembly for the development of Goa. A candidate who has a lot of muscle power, in other words who is well versed in ‘dadagiri’ and ‘goondagiri’ can create a situation of terror and force voters to vote in his favour.

This means that a law-abiding citizen as no place in the electoral process in Goa. And lastly, those candidates who are crooks and who can manipulate the concerned government officers to increase the number of his supporters in the electoral rolls by producing fake certificates of non-existing persons, too, can be the winner in this battle. An upright citizen cannot even think of being a part of this system.

These factual happenings during the elections force us to conclude that ‘winnability’ of a candidate means he must have pots of money, qualities of being an excellent ‘dada’ or ‘goonda’ and the capacity to resort to fraudulent means, like including fake voters in the electoral rolls. It appears that the values of sincerity, honesty and uprightness have no place in the present political system and in the ideology of political parties. If this is the case, how can we expect people of good character to contest and win the elections when the political parties consider only ‘winnability’ as the criteria to give party tickets?

Democracy will prosper only when persons of good character occupy key positions in the political system. Persons of good character will not be a part of this system if the political parties do not encourage them to fight the elections. In the recent times, more and more persons of doubtful character not only enter the fray but also easily win the elections and play significant roles in amassing wealth at the cost of the citizens.

Tis is a big setback to the very functioning of democracy. Unfortunately, the political parties, who swear by democracy, are responsible for perpetuating it.

It is high time that the political parties abondon the criteria of ‘winnabilit y’, and encourage persons of integrity and character and those who believe in morality in public life and save the institution of democracy in Goa.

COMMENTS:
WHAA – Shabashki tuka Tomazinho. What an excellent sermon. Why don’t you preach from the pulpit this Christmas season?

Persay, this sermon of yours is meant for the CONGRESS PARTY and more specifically for Margaret Alva. So why address all political parties? And believe you me, we do not need sermons like these from chamchas of the Congress Party. We very well know that winnability means heavy suitcases for the Delhi bosses. And catch you talking about character. You were the headmaster of the St. Xavier’s High School, Moira, at one time. And the discipline, morality and character of the senior students you helped to guide was at all time low, thanks to your slackness or perhaps your impotency. You showed the same traits when you occupied the august chair of the Speaker of Goa Legislative Assembly, incubating the disqualification petitions. You did not help democracy then. And now you are getting sleepless nights?? If you are so much vibing for democracy and restoration of character and morality in the Goa Legislative Assembly, why don’t we see you acknowledging what Goa Su-Raj is doing. We don’t field money-bags as candidates. Did you vote for Edwin Noronha, the candidate for Calangute Constituency who was contesting on Goa Su-Raj Ticket in 2002 Assembly elections? He certainly is a man of abundant character and morality where you yourself will stand in front of him like a liliputan pigmy. For your kind information Goa Su-Raj Party is doing everything you are preaching about but we don’t see you acknowledging this fact. Why?? We know the answers. You are just churning out articles because you are getting paid for them.

We know very well what ticks you, Tomazinho. So please, if you don’t mind, just stick to the tiatrs and spare us these hypocritical sermons.

floriano- goasuraj

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