Editorial Analysis for 9th September 2020

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A case for down-to-earth governance


Mains: General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.


  • Strong local governance remains the unfinished agenda to make India’s democracy strong and deep.


  • Money has become an important factor deciding the winnability of the candidates.Money is required to win elections legitimately, even when people are not bribed to vote. Uninterrupted visibility and communication with citizens require advertisements as well as teams of professionals for managing social media. This has increased the cost of elections.
  • Despite having been elected based on the principle of universal adult franchise and enjoying popular mandate, the quality of the elected representatives is a cause of concern.
  • There is an inherent flaw in the design of the process for electing representatives.
  • It is easier to form effective governments in electoral democracies when there are fewer parties. When there are too many parties and too many contradictory points of view to be accommodated within a coalition, governance can break down.
  • Political parties when not internally democratic, serve as means for self-aggrandising politicians to amass power and wealth as a result of which democracy as a whole suffers.
  • Given the above-discussed challenges to representative democracy, it is tempting to abandon political parties and parliaments and revert to direct forms of democracy where every decision can be put directly to all citizens to vote on.
  • The article quotes Brexit as an example of the hasty results of a referendum.

The Way forward:

  • Electoral funding must be cleaned up.The criminalization of politics must be ended and democracy within political parties must be improved to make representative democracy work better.
  • Electoral reforms are essential
  • Local governance, wherein citizens manage their local affairs democratically is a must for a good, democratic governance system. There is a need for greater decentralization of powers and functions.

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