Moving to a Papadocracy in three steps

1.     Elect the Parliament with a PR system where party leaders have the final say on party lists and thus assure their own election even before the polls.

2.     Set up Republic II with a French- or American-style executive President.

3.     Ensure that the President is elected by a simple majority in Parliament.

Go for it! Perhaps you want to know how good a Papadocracy really is.

If so, read Graham Greene’s book “The Comedians” – or watch the great film made of it starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.

The good thing about Papadocracy is that, if you are so inclined, it provides an easy path to power, wealth, and importance in Society: you only have to indulge in a little flattery. In every conversation you have with anybody, never fail to mention how good the President is. Better still, actively seek out and report those who did not laugh at the last presidential joke, or expressed opposition at the idea of First Lady’s wife’s birthday being declared a Public Holiday, or perhaps have her picture on bank notes, and discreetly report them through the channels that will be readily available, with no danger to you at all. For every traitor put out of the way through your efforts, you double your power, your wealth and your influence.

There are some who say that that every parliamentarian should come directly from the Urn, as in the system devised by the founding fathers. Well, they all paid very dearly for their naivety – Koenig, Bissoondoyal, Mohamed, SSR, and Gaetan Duval all experienced rejection at the polls. Furthermore, the system they devised has the well-known weakness in that it can lead to 60-0 result, which forces the nation to amend it. Given that the one per cent of the thirty percent who set the national agenda through their writings in the “national” press want a PR system, and that all governments so far have meekly accepted their demands while pretending to criticise them, we are certainly headed towards a papadocracy. The only way to avoid that, as some of us may desire, is to ensure again that parliamentarians come through the Urn, while at the same time avoiding the 60-0 danger. That will be achieved if every elector votes for three candidates, and every constituency returns four parliamentarians.

 


* Published in print edition on 16 May 2014

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