Jan 26, 2009

The Republic Day Debate

I have been partial to the idea of India being a presidential system of democracy since childhood. The notion that generally a presidential system of government will be good for India was more a reflection of the fact that the parliamentary system of government did not yield the proper results. Mark you, those were the days of Gujaral and Devegowda so I was not that far off the mark. However, the more I read about the presidential form of government, the less convinced I am about the merits of the system. For example, for one of the most developed economies, US has one of the most underdeveloped governance mechanism. I think that is because of the transition issues arising primarily out of presidential system of executive appointments for apolitical jobs. West Europe on reasonable parameters of governance seems ahead.  I have personally seen the side effects of this kind of practice in Sri Lanka where the governance system is quite weak again political appointees playing a helping hand in the same. One other factoid that we must keep in mind is this. You realize that, while the presidential system may bring additional stability, does India has a civil society which could keep the executive in check. India doesn’t seem to have the wherewithal to handle petty goons of MNS or Ram Sena, let alone withstand the assault the presidential system. So all in all, I say lets stick to the Parliamentary system as of now.