1. The index(ed) finger
For 5 Thursdays we will be watching candidates and voters showing off their index finger. To make out a voter from a candidate - just note whether the finger is pointed upwards (the voter invokes the divine superpower) or sideways (a pot/kettle calling his fellow kettle/pot black)
2. King-makers are more powerful
No candidate wants a decisive win. Everyone fondly hopes to 'play a major role post-poll' (aka king-making). Some perks of not being the major winner -
- You can take on contracts for ministerships for 5 years at the end of which you have sufficient funds for your next campaign.
- Someone else is wholly responsible
- you can critisize and wash hands off at the drop of a hat
3. Former speaker's Instructional Stint
Somenath Chatterjee is scheduled to open a different kind of 'Electoral College' to school old, new and rogue MPs. The syllabus will cover
- How to speak from the Well
- How to allow an MP to have his / her say
- How to participate in Q hour
- How to play to the (viewers') gallery
- Special classes to be conducted on shoe dodging. (It's not going to be long before an MP resorts to using shoes as projectiles)
(Commencement of classes will depend on minimum enrolment strength of 542)
4. Make hay while MP-ship lasts
5 years means endless opportunities for umpteen foundation stones that (grin and) bear your name, bountiful bytes with an ogling media, all-expenses paid holidays and trips whether office is in session or not.
5. Presupposing that at least a few MP's have public good in mind...
We could easily do away with the increasingly acrimonious campaign periods before poll date. The best and only occasions for campaigning ought to be the long and frequent periods between parliament sessions, whether the elected MP is part of the ruling coalition or part of the opposition. The MP and the party cadre can best use these periods of time to engage with the voters and take continuous stock of performance.
6. Claims of PM prospects
- I am the Illusionist, who can be Queen CM at state-level and PM at the Centre.
- I am a 'softy' by name only
- I was a deputy PM - for 5 years I had been so near yet so far!
- I have Gandhi as surname (non-Mahatma variety)
- I prefer PM-ship bestowed on me!
- I have the support of Indian Cricket ethos.
- I am the "rock star of saffron politics"
For a refreshing, forward-looking outlook, read this well-articulated piece "How we can reform the politician" by former IAF pilot MP Anil Kumar (who is listed in my attempt at Ideal 542!)