The latest murder of Democracy was enacted in the Legislative Assembly of the state of Orissa. What amazes me is that the doctrine of NOTICE and exercise of FREE-WILL which are intertwined inextricably in any Liberal Democracy, have been the casualty.
The ruling party moves a MOTION FOR CONFIDENCE and the members are given adequate time to become aware of the importance of the session and make themselves available, thereby the DOCTRINE OF NOTICE is upheld.
Secondly, it is the CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT of an Elected member of the House to exercise his vote CONSCIENTIOUSLY or in accordance to the directions of the WHIP, to the extent that the direction is not from the Whip, upholds the free will.
In the state of Orissa, yesterday (11/03/2009) the motion of confidence was passed by a VOICE VOTE. This is the most RIDICULOUS thing that can happen in a maha populous democracy like India. It has been reported that most of the members had walked out and the vote was taken thereafter and it was not counted as there was no request for DIVISION. What kind of democracy are we running?? MISERABLE is the word.
Firstly in an important session that affirms the legitimacy of the Government, the people should be made aware of the QUORUM, secondly the people should be made aware of who voted for whom (since whip is issuable in such matters).
Even today we know of the issues that Barak Obama as a Senator voted for or against, as that is the only indication for the electorate to decide on which side of any opinion he leaned. Likewise, in India , we need to know as to which side or opinion that an elected member stood for.
The ruling party engages its force thru the Speaker, as well as thru the advantage in numbers, and provokes the opposition to a walk-out and as soon as the opposition leaves, they call for a VOICE VOTE. THIS IS AMBUSH DEMOCRACY!
IT IS TIME WE AMENDED THE CONSTITUTION TO ENFORCE A PROCEDURE THAT ON SEMINAL MATTERS, SUCH AS CONFIDENCE MOTIONS, IT IS IMPERATIVE FOR THE SPEAKER TO ENUMERATE THE QUORUM AND ALSO TO PUBLISH AS TO WHO VOTED FOR AND WHO VOTED AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT.
OPACITY BREEDS TYRANNY. WE, BY ALLOWING SUCH THINGS, ARE MAKING OURSELVES A PARTY TO THE DISINTEGRATION OF DEMOCRACY.