Sep 30, 2011

Citizen-ownership Democracy. India?

With the new idea of a citizen-ownership democracy, citizens get a direct and equal share of the money that is raised when common properties of the country are sold. For example, when a country sells land to private enterprises, the money should be distributed equally and directly to all citizens.

This is the way for citizens to directly benefit from a democracy, instead of having just a vote that has little or no tangible benefit.

Indian politicians are already practicing some form of this wealth sharing. They promise voters goodies that are paid from the state fund. The goodies are small, e.g., $30 TV sets.

Tamil Nadu election: Will the best freebie win? By Nidhi Dutt, BBC News
"The practice of pledging gifts for votes in this southern state began in 2006."
"So successful did other major political parties perceive the strategy to be, that this time round they too built freebies into their campaign manifestos."
"S. Subramaniam Balaji, a Chennai-based lawyer who has taken his case against the DMK's TV-for-vote scheme to the Supreme Court of India, says that the superficial focus on gift-giving was disappointing."

In contrast, the citizen-ownership democracy idea can lead to real substantial sharing of the country's wealth. Citizens stand to receive thousands of dollar every year, instead of one TV set every election round.

Can an Indian political party take up this concept of a citizen-ownership democracy? Their voters have already shown support and acceptance of this idea. Will India be the first citizen-ownership democracy?

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