April 19, 2019

Unfulfilled Political Promises Weaken the Spirit of Democracy

In this Wire.in aritcle, Associates Prakhar Misra and Kadambari Shah highlight how unchecked political promises undermine public trust and weaken democracy. Excerpts:


"...When political promises are disjoint from reality, history and/or their institutional context, their veracity is questioned, often resulting in fractious interaction between citizens and politicians, and within organs of government.


A reason why politicians get away with unfulfilled promises is that there are no checks and balances made before or during their tenure in office. This raises further questions: Who is a politician accountable to when making promises? What happens when other institutions do not align with the political promise? The answers are multifaceted, but with sensitive topics like quotas, which carry the potential to cause riots, destruction of property and loss of lives, a politician’s actions could have consequences that outlive their incumbency.


Thus, even though redesigning political promises is a big (and perhaps idealistic) ask, politicians’ current promises translate into undetectable high stakes and serious long-term effects. The president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, once remarked, “We all know what to do, we just don’t know how to get re-elected after we’ve done it.” However, keeping the short-term goals of re-election aside, an over-promise, the under-deliver strategy doesn’t bode well in building trust for the edifice of democracy."


Read the whole article here.

Topic : Transitions / In : OP-EDS
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