Call for “No Elections” Till…
I was surprised to see that Srilanka underwent the Presidential Polls some days back. This has happened so soon after Srilankan victory over Tamil rebels and the LTTE.
I feel whenever a nation or a region undergoes an exceptional and historical crisis – there should not be any immediate polls for at least one year, or till the dust settles. Its because the public and electorate are expected to cast their votes on sentiments rather than on factual realities. What we call electoral ‘wave’ – I don’t think its good for a healthy democracy. A very good example of it is when elections were carried out in the post-Godhra riot infested Gujarat state of India – the ruling party won and a fear psychology was also a major contributor in the win. Same for the case of post Indira Gandhi’s murder – it was a plain guess that Rajiv Gandhi would win the polls, not becaue he was capable but because the voters voted for him in gratitude for his mother. Same was the case soon after Rajiv Gandhi’s assisination – Congress won the polls and P. V. Narasimha Rao came to power. Then we can have examples from other nations too – when people by and large voted just on one issue or event or crisis. Such elections which are conducted while the nation is ‘psychologically involved’ with one event (like assisinaiton, death or war) can’t be unbiased.
I wonder if some other international think tank has thought about it before. I strongly advocate for no-elections till things come to normalcy – may be one year after the occurance of the exceptional event or crisis which changed the nation’s mood and sentiments. Till then, we can have options from the previous government, a new caretaker government, or the presidential rule in a state, to go on. I think what I am advocating for is very important for a healthy democracy to function properly.