Monday, October 08, 2007

Political Party Reform: A bold plea

Normally, proposals for reform of democratic institutions are received with scepticism, because of their questionable relevance. This article, published in Mint, by Ramesh Ramanathan is an interesting plea for regulation of political parties, and also evaluation of political parties on a broad range of criteria. The author asks: "Why don’t our political leaders invest in their parties? Quite simply because it’s not demanded of them. If companies want to access economic capital from shareholders, they have to follow strict regulations laid down by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi). If political parties want to access political capital from citizens, they don’t have to follow any rules at all—or barely any."

The author compares political party regulation with SEBI and asks, whether it would be justified to expect the political class to enact a law to regulate themselves. But can the embarrassment in Karnataka be traced to absence of party reform as the author suggests?
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