the world’s most convoluted exercise in democracy begins on the 16th of April. i am happily eligible, registered and enrolled and will actually be exercising my rights for the very first time. the last time the country went to vote, in 2004 i was in the states, rooting for the democratic johns whose blandness let an unpopular war criminal get back into office, regardless of whether there were other machinations in play.
the choice we face here in india is not much better. the congress is rooted to it’s neoliberal agenda and being a slave to US foreign policy dollars with the occasional sop to the poor, the BJP is run by quasi-fascists and warmongers, the communists whose positions i agree with in theory have been extremely disappointing in actual practice, and were outplayed in the political game by the congress in this particular lok sabha.
in light of the above scenario, i have to point out that there has been a recent emergence of movements and parties that look at solving problems the way i do, namely to return power over many administrative decisions to the people. i firmly believe that a more direct involvement of the citizens in the process of administration will lead to more innovative solutions to common problems such as clean drinking water, sanitation etc. while at the same time providing a built-in measure of immunity(imagine the cost of buying off 10 administrators vs buying off 100 or 1000) against large-scale corruption of the sort prevalent in all governments in different forms today.
therefore, though i do disagree with the Lok Satta Party on some aspects(such as unilateral bans on many things) i do mostly agree with their proposed policies and will be casting my vote for them in my local government.
their manifesto may be downloaded here(pdf link warning).