October 26, 2015

The uncanny resemblance between Stephen Harper and Narendra Modi

Vivek Dehejiawrites in Mint: "The analogy between the Liberals in Canada and the Congress in India at the present moment is deliciously apt." Excerpts below:


"... Canada... has experienced nothing less than a political upheaval in recent days. On 19 October, the Conservative government, led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, which had been in power for just under a decade—a long time in Canadian politics—was unceremoniously tossed out by the voters. Replacing Harper and the Tories is the incoming Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, leading a resurgent Liberal party, which had been all but relegated to the dustbin of history by commentators in recent years...

The visceral hatred felt by the liberal intelligentsia for the now departed Harper and the Conservatives is matched only by the analogous hatred of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and for similar reasons...

Both leaders threatened the cosy hegemony of a supposedly liberal—in reality, self-serving, opportunistic, and at times explicitly venal—elite class tied umbilically over decades with a vast, interconnected, nepotistic, and crony-driven patronage network presided over by each country’s self-presumed natural party of government—the Liberals in Canada and the Congress in India. Commentator David Frum, writing in The New York Times in 2005, shrewdly observed that the Liberals and the Congress are not parties of principle, as they profess to be, but rather what political scientists refer to as brokerage parties...

... what really cemented the Liberals’ electoral triumph is the political reality that Canada is not really a conservative country, at least not yet—the political centre of gravity is still left of centre. Harper’s erstwhile winning coalition of social and economic conservatives fell apart, with only the former sticking with him. The outcome was certain electoral defeat. Now there’s something that Modi and the BJP ought to ponder..."

Topic : State Capacity / In : OP-EDS
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