Thursday, August 17, 2017

Presidential v. Parliamentary System

The US Constitution predates the Indian Constitution by 160 years. This is one thing in which we cannot claim, “…been there … done that etc.” But, we surely can claim that the writers of our document were wiser than the so-called Founding Fathers of the US. But, we can say this for sure only now. All thanks to Donald Trump.
When a nuclear war came within the realm of at least a plausibility, like the Cuban missile crisis in the early 1960s, Americans thought that if the then available procedures and protocol were to be followed in retaliation to a nuclear missile attack on the US, it would be a dead man attacking. They then handed over that decision, launching missiles against a hostile power, to one man, the President of the United States. But, they never foresaw Donald Trump occupying the White House, even if only between his golfing activities (by the way, do you think Trump claims a handicap? I am sure he does – take advantage of any and all situations, however serious or silly it may be, being his motto).
Now, you go to any “False Media”, what you find is Americans shuddering at the thought of their unstable president repeatedly reaching for the nuclear button and accidentally setting it on the course of destruction.
Whatever you may say about the parliamentary system, giving us all kinds of personalities at the top, none has descended to the level of Trump.  Our system has given us Modi, quite belligerent, I will admit, but he has never given reasons for us to fear India being annihilated. Can’t say the same for the world, with Trump as the US president. Now, I am ready to blame the presidential system of the US for such a situation coming to pass.
Even while giving credit to Modi the person, I would also raise my thumb for the system we have in place. We may not have a rigid system of checks and balances that the US claims it has, but which, alas, has a hole through which the huge and elephantine ego of a Trump can just rustle through.


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