Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Demise of Brokerage Parties?

Recently, we wrote about the Bihar-like Corruption in Canada.

In today's New York Times, Canada-native David Frum (author of the brilliant but now-notorious words "axis of evil") writes about the Canadian Liberal Party's scandal. The following passage, referencing India's own Congress Party, caught our eye (hat tip: Instapundit):

Unlike their supposed analogues, the Democrats in the United States or Great Britain's Labor Party, Canada's Liberals are not a party built around certain policies and principles. They are instead what political scientists call a brokerage party, similar to the old Italian Christian Democrats or India's Congress Party: a political entity without fixed principles or policies that exploits the power of the central state to bribe or bully incompatible constituencies to join together to share the spoils of government.

As countries modernize, they tend to leave brokerage parties behind. Very belatedly, that moment of maturity may now be arriving in Canada. Americans may lose their illusions about my native country; Canadians will gain true multiparty democracy and accountability in government. It's an exchange that is long past due.

We suspect that India is unlikely to leave Congress Party behind -- unless there emerges a robust, viable secular-right alternative to the cultural bigotry that masquerades as right-wing politics in India today.

No comments:


Blog Archive