Westminster System

and its German Variation

The Westminster parliamentary system emerged through negotiation between the British monarch and the parliament then dominated by feudal lords. The monarch was made titular and the parliament became supreme, with no role for the common people, except to vote.

Basic principles of management dictate that the executive, legislature and judiciary should be totally distinct and separate. By mixing the executive and legislature, the Westminster system is fundamentally faulty. Legislators indulge in horse trading for ministerial positions compromising their watchdog functions. It is totally unsuited for a large country like India with diverse regional interests.

Having got accustomed to the abuse, the political system now does not want to let go the privilege. It is promoting its German variation that will facilitate the abuse for full five years. The people should insist on separation of executive and legislature with distinct jurisdictions at the local, state and national levels, as advocated by Gandhi and practised in the best democracies.

The Upper House

The Rajya Sabha, modelled on the British House of Lords, is a recluse for tired politicians. It is serving little purpose. Based on the recommendations of the Rio Conference on Environment and Development held in 1992, Multi-stakeholder Upper Houses should be instituted at local, state and national levels to resolve conflicts and moderate decision-making for sustainability. They should consist of representatives of various interest groups, such as disadvantaged communities, farmers, labour, industry, women, religions, NGOs and professionals.

BACK                  NEXT