Monday, April 06, 2009

Why not?

Why is it south/north-west/east and not west/east-south/north?

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In general, there is a time lag between the institution of an economic policy and its consequences being reflected in the economy. The reasons could be a combination of factors like market inertia, time for enforcing of the policy measures, time for the ensuing changes to become significant etc: If the elections happen at a spacing that is equal to the lag, the ratio of bad governments to good governments for the nation would be 2 to 1 given a voting populace whose default state is anti-incumbent and a two party system. This is because when we have a good government that implements beneficial economic policies, the changes will only be seen when the next government(the bad one) is voted in to power. Now when the bad government is in power, it will benefit in its first term from the previous government's good policies, although it would be sowing the seeds for disaster with its own economic policies. So it will be re-elected by the public, and the public will find a poor performance in its second term due to the bad policies of the first term. Now the bad government will be voted out and we have the good government back in again, but during their governance the economy will reflect the bad policies of the previous government and hence they get voted out, and this cycle repeats! So as you can see, if the spacing between elections is not calculated to be over twice the lag between the institution of an economic policy and its impact reflecting in the economy(in a theoretical world this can be quantified), we'll have a greater period of bad governance than good given a two party system and a populace that is anti-incumbent. I didn't really pull this out of a hat. What prompted all this thought was the possibilities in the present system. India, it has been observed, is invariably anti-incumbent. Also, at present, while there is no single party majority, there is essentially a two-party or to be more precise a two-coalition system(viz the UPA and the NDA). The UPA has been shining in the limelight of the average educated public's eyes largely because of brilliant and active liberalisation policies pursued by the NDA government when it was in power. So now you see what got me thinking about this whole business!

8 comments:

RukmaniRam said...

in all that u just said "a voting populace whose default state is anti-incumbent. " is the only thing i could necessarily understand

Karthik Sivaramakrishnan said...

Oh! Well the question at the start was merely 'Why is it people always say south-west and not west-south?' (I just listed all the permutations)

The rest of it I'll explain if you are interested.

Ordinary Guy said...

Same here dude... I did not understand this and I am intrigued.... :)
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but talking of "Ideal" democracies is like talking about peace between pak and India... :)

Karthik Sivaramakrishnan said...

@RR and OG: I'll elaborate in the post itself later today! I guess I wasn't clear.

RukmaniRam said...

i still dont get how this is related to the first line of the post. and what u explained here i already got.

and going by ur idea of having the gap between elections twice as long as the time lag, u're giving us crappy governance for twice as long, to a populace whose default state is anti incumbent anyway...

And. I never said cycle gapla scene. dont.misquote.me.

Karthik Sivaramakrishnan said...

@RR: It is not related to the first line of the post. Sorry! I should've clarified with ******** like you do.
What I meant when I said the default state is anti-incumbent was if things look like status quo or not significantly brighter during a government's reign, they get voted out. I didn't mean anti-incumbent is the only state, just the default. So by timing the duration of rule such as I stated you give every government the chance to have its own policies take effect in its own regime. And thus the hope is that the good government will be retained.

Anjana R said...

happened to come here from Coconut Chutney's site.
its nice to see you blog for yourself. :)

Karthik Sivaramakrishnan said...

@Anjana: LOL. Totaal damage :D You see, I write for the whole world to read and get wiser. Unfortunately, the world has spurned me! :p