Mint Quick Edit | What an ideal election campaign would be like

Ideally, campaigns must reduce their smear content and step up the dialectical aspect.  (HT_PRINT)
Ideally, campaigns must reduce their smear content and step up the dialectical aspect. (HT_PRINT)

Summary

  • As Lok Sabha elections roll on in India, one should hope for politics that promotes centrist ideas. Democracy’s big plus point, after all, is the dialectical progress it delivers.

The classic approach to a presidential election in the US, partly led by its system of primary polls to pick candidates, is to first rouse one’s party base on the left or right and then pivot to the centre, since victory is about swinging votes across from the other side. Mild versions of it are visible in the White House race, though more in Joe Biden’s campaign than in Donald Trump’s. 

What about India, given the “presidential" turn our politics took with the rise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party? If anything, we’ve seen India’s two main political camps diverge since Lok Sabha polls began. Of course, the world’s two largest democracies have different electoral and governance systems. But still, a push for the centre would be good for us. Ideally, campaigns must reduce their smear content and step up the dialectical aspect. 

After all, public debates on policy are a major reason why democracy is globally seen to beat autocracy in guiding the development of a country. Dialectical progress would be likelier if both sides were to veer towards centrist ideas. Whether inequality holds India back and how to address it, for example, is crying out for an intelligible political debate.

Also read: How political parties are using AI to bring personalities to life

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