Pakistan & UK General Elections

David Cameron buying fish and chips in Longtown, Carlisle at the start of his 24 hour election campaign for change. 5 May 2010 -- Guardian

David Cameron buying fish and chips in Longtown, Carlisle at the start of his 24 hour election campaign for change. 5 May 2010 -- Guardian

The above picture speaks a thousand words. I’m not going to debate on what these elected leaders of Britain do and don’t — since I’ve been writing to the last extremity of it earlier, or what much evil they create after being elected either with absolute majority or through the process of making coalition government. All I’m going to express is on the mode of elections held in Britain — and must I compare it with Pakistan in regards with our national champions of democracy and honesty.

So nice and peaceful the campaigning and voting are that I always feel why are we left out with such peace during this particular occasion in our country? The good thing during the elections is the “debates” that take place between the top potential candidates running for premiership. Although, and as usual, their incessant ways of giving hope to the public is a phenomenal political card in the politics, but they must live through stern opposition if they avert to address the problems which they had promised during the election campaigns. In Pakistan, promises of political parties are improvised and breached customarily after winning the seats. Besides, the straightforward question of fact is that how good the role of opposition parties is in Pakistan?

At one of the polling booth, two pranksters climbed on to the roof of the polling station and unfurled a banner drawing attention to Cameron’s education at the elite fee-paying Eton College, which has produced 18 British premiers. The banner read: “Britons know your place. Vote Eton — vote Tory. Vote the 19th premier from the Eton College.”

This was a nice attractive message that must have grabbed the attention of many voters, and maybe a number of voters had changed their mind and had voted Conservatives in order that to see the 19th British premier from the same institute. Let’s just compare it with Pakistan. What should a banner read when it’s waved during an election campaign in Pakistan? I’ve an urge to say that it should read: “please vote ABC party because it has got the maximum number of people and leader who have spent maximum time in Adiala Jail; it has got the maximum number of people and leader charged with maximum number of corruption and criminal cases. Vote for the best criminal!”

I was watching Gordon Brown’s brief submissive speech broadcasted live from the 10 Downing Street. Despite that he knows his party hasn’t fared well in the elections the way it should have and the Conservatives have won more seats than his Labour party — but he made a soft speech saying if the Liberal Democrats are failed to negotiate with the Conservatives in a power-sharing deal, they can, then, always come to have talk with us for power-sharing. This means that Gordon Brown understands it’s, at first, the prerogative of Conservatives to make an attempt for a coalition deal with Lib Dems. If it fails to make a coalition, only then he’d look forward for a coalition deal of Labours with Lib Dems. The current position of UK General Elections is bewildered because none of the party — not even Conservative — is able to get hold of the absolute majority of seats in the House of Commons. This has lead to a “hung parliament” situation in UK. It’s that the party has to win 326 seats out of 650 seats in order that to form a government. Having said that, none of the party has achieved this mark, though Conservatives are a bit close to the mark of 326 as they’ve won 306 seats whereas Labour party occupies 258 seats and the Lib Dems have secured 57 seats in total.

The question of concern during all this event is that the Gordon Brown could easily make a government if he approaches the Liberal Democrats and successfully pacify them to join Labours to form a coalition government. But Gordon Brown simply didn’t do it because — and despite that the past practice under Britain’s unwritten constitution involves the sitting premier in a hung Parliament having the right to make the first attempt at forming a ruling coalition which means Labours can make coalition with Lib Dems — people think if such a government is formed, then it’d be the “government of defeated”. If anything, it seems that the Gordon Brown thinks if he steps to the fore and obstruct the deal of Conservatives with Lib Dems, it’d be something unprincipled and despicable. Good thing is appreciated and I wish people in our country also participate in learning to this slice of principles while disregarding the despicable fashion of hunting the power wherever it lurks and wherever it’s felt. Personally, I too find that it’s the prerogative of Conservatives to approach to anyone for power-sharing deal because they’ve got the maximum seats. And right now the Lib Dems are the kingmakers — that only they’re in a position to bring into government one of either, Labours or Conservatives.

The last question of fact is: how much the political parties in Pakistan spend for election campaigning? Hundreds of thousands of posters and banners and overspending can be seen well from even a biased eye. Why to spend millions, if not billions, during election campaigning while all of the political parties simultaneously talk about the betterment of impoverished and downtrodden; whereas the millions, from the personal bank accounts, aren’t spent on the same poverty-stricken people which they generously spend on election campaigns. I don’t see extravagant spending of money during the election campaigns in the UK, which is good.

All in all, ‘mode’ of Elections in UK is a rule of thumb for our democratic champions as well as their democratic supporters.

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