Last wicket to go
Democracy is a popular governance system all over the world. The attraction of this system is the say citizens have in forming the government. In developed nations democratic systems are very effective and transparent. Most people trust the system at the grassroots level.
There are, broadly speaking, two types of democratic systems: presidential and parliamentary. Under a presidential democracy, the president exercises most power. The president may be elected directly or indirectly.
A parliamentary form of government gives more power to the legislature. The Executive derives its legitimacy from the legislature, i.e. the parliament. The legislature chooses the head of the government. It may remove him at any time by passing a vote of no confidence.
In Pakistan, democratic governments have been unable to sustain themselves.
These governments have failed to deliver development. An indication of this failure is the debt burden on the economy. Our balance of trade has been mostly negative.
After several terms of democratic governments hospitals, educational institutions, airports and public parks are in an unviable state. The private sector has done relatively well. However, the services provided by the private sector are not always affordable.
Since 2008, two parties have had a five-year term in government each. They have not been re-elected, meaning that a majority of voters was not satisfied with their performance.
The only thing directly affecting the common man is the hike in the prices of basic necessities
The voters are not blaming any party for their problems. They have just voted another party into power at the federal level. The third party may be seen as the last wicket in a cricket match. The voters have elected the third party affording it the opportunity to lead the country out of it problems.
The party is struggling against the problems. It is complaining that the previous governments have left it a mess. The opposition parties are giving it a tough time.
The social media has an important role to play in this regard.
Social media activity during the previous governments was not as significant as it can be today. The debate on social media is more inclusive now.
Most of the voters today have already had an experience of governance under two other parties. Now a third party is in power. There is no harm in letting it complete its term.
The party in government has promised to recover huge treasures it says were stolen from public funds by those who were in government previously. Should that happen it would be a great achievement. However, there are no signs of it so far.
The common man, meanwhile, is worried mostly about the prices of basic necessities of life. Food items and electricity are the basic necessities of life.
The government should control the prices of food, electricity and fuel.
The government can heavily tax luxuries and the common man would not complain.
The poor are paying all the indirect taxes. How the government spends the money is another matter. If the government can improve indirect tax collection, it might increase its revenue.
The government is faced with crises on all fronts. It should fix the prices of basic necessities of life, including electricity. Otherwise, the majority would be disheartened.
Former minister Asad Omar’s speech was interesting in that he called for an inquiry into the rising prices of sugar and edible oil.
The government should not allow prices to be raised artificially. Price control should be made a priority.
If the government can control prices of basic necessities, including electricity and petrol, and recover the money it says was stolen from the public it would be a great achievement.
Otherwise, this is the last wicket for democratic governance.
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The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint or stance of SDPI.