Dev Raj Dahal, Kathmandu, Nepal
Nepalese state sovereignty is weak to harness chaos and the road to democratic rule is hampered by a lack of consensual behavior by political leaders on a myriad of constitutional issues, the peace process, state building and structural reforms.
Meaningful policy dialogues promote mutual learning of each other’s experiences and share the burden and benefits of collective action.
Without such dialogues and compromises of partisan interests for public goods, it would be very difficult to negotiate a social contract and involve stakeholders in building a stable peace.
The penetration of interest groups into the courts, bureaucracy and police, and the inability of leaders to resolve key institutional issues central to the task of governance continue to strain the political transition.
The fragmentation of the political regime has made political parties vulnerable to social forces, factionalism and a less effective form of political organization to gain authority, stability and legitimacy.
The interest of leaders in executive power rather than in legislative functions has produced many politicians without roots and constrained the process of transforming transactional leaders into transformational leaders based on electoral legitimacy, public opinion and popular sovereignty.
It is important to transform the pre-democratic Nepalese policy of divide and rule, command and control into cooperative action.
In this context, building the capacities of Nepalese political parties through reasoned dialogue can effectively help to break the behaviors dictated by the habits of leaders, encourage them to create a national governance system of integrity and to make it work. democracy for the poor.
Theoretically, parties serve as a link between society and government, represent diverse interests in society and translate this diversity into a viable system of governance.
They provide citizens with useful ideas, institutions and informed choice about ideologies, issues, interests and identities and help create a civic political culture.
In Nepal, political leaders are practically caught in a populist trap that they themselves have created but now fear its consequences for their future careers.
Challenges to efficiency:
Nepalese political parties have struggled to modernize the state and society.
Yet the main challenges they face in the democratization process are: the gaps between ideological platforms and political content, the spirit of the constitution and ideological tendencies, democratic commitment and weak law enforcement. political participation, unstructured political participation of citizens and recoding of social boundaries beyond party system, strong participation of citizens and weak institutionalization of political parties, political culture of negation, lack of balance between individuals, groups and human rights and the absence of a multi-channel mechanism for resolving inter- and intra-party conflicts. The tradition of centralized leadership also fuels tension with social groups demanding regional, social, gender and intergenerational balance in representation.
The rise of new elites from the semi-feudalist mode of production prevented the institutionalization of democratic rights and the participation of the poor and minorities in governance.
Social movements, the proliferation of caucus groups of women, Dalits, Madhesis, Aadibasis and Janajatis across party lines and the growth of armed non-state actors erode party ideological lines, making them all catch-all.
It has increased the costs of political participation and of building a national identity so essential to consolidating democracy. It requires the rectification of the dysfunction at the center tainted with factional interests.
Critical areas of reform:
First, the formulation of a shared vision for the nation enables Nepalese political parties to work together for a legitimate social contract.
Formulating realistic policies and programs based on broad consultation rather than purely rhetoric can help achieve national tasks.
A culture of listening to the legitimate grievances of cadres and ordinary citizens can increase their faith in peaceful negotiation and undermine their interests beyond the limited rationality of partisan imperatives to capture the national horizon.
Second, the institutionalization of political parties in accordance with their own statutory and constitutional rules and provisions enables their structures to be functional, makes their behavior predictable, enables peaceful leadership succession, and adopts deliberative means in formulating programs.
Third, the participation of various cadres in various party committees discourages alienation, splitting and splitting and broadens their social base.
Democracy requires the promotion of the collective interest of a diverse society in the political system, not the monopoly and oligopoly of power without any legitimate space for the opposition loops so essential to sustaining party dynamics and moderating conflicts.
Fourth, the inclusion of the nation’s regional, class, ethnic, caste, and gender identities in their ideologies and political agenda discourages the tendency of political parties to instrumentalize the nation’s cultural differences for constituency expansion. policy and citizen empowerment efforts for social action. the integration.
System integration can only occur when power is disciplined by constitutional norms and the ideological distortion of communication is controlled.
Fifth, civic education of young party cadres discourages young people from joining activist politics and engages them in political debates, policy making, mobilization of various campaigns, membership in mass organizations, participation to study circles, development initiatives and voting in elections.
Civic education is awakening education of citizens and leaders for the creation of a “conscious society” through self-awareness and compassion towards others.
Sixth, formulating workable common agendas increases the capacity of parties to provide services and establish stable relationships with functional groups and institutions in society through maximizing their interest in the party system.
Seventh, comparative experiences from other countries and exposure through literature and dialogues with experts, academics, researchers and leaders increase the effectiveness of party programs.
Sharing international experiences can provide opportunities for communication, learning, reflection and behavior change.
This eliminates the fundamentalist gaps between them, builds confidence in the constitutional system for the resolution of conflicts of interest, identity and ideology. It directs all actors towards the public interest through a communication action, an action inclined to achieve understanding between political parties for the resolution of conflicts at several levels.
Reasoned dialogues improve the effectiveness of Nepalese political parties in adapting to changing democratic ideals, styles of political engagement, use of branch in party functions, especially due to demand of diverse social classes for participation, ownership and responsibility in sharing the common good of the nation and engagement in social development and peaceful conflict resolution.
It demands an increase in citizens’ access to leadership, decision-making and the democratization of their relationship with society.
The internalization of democratic principles in the inter- and intra-party life of Nepalese political parties can be expected to transform a culture of violence into a culture of peace.
Democracy promotes the non-violent resolution of differences based on human rights, pluralism and the recognition of diverse identities as part of national identity.