The United Kingdom's politics has stooped so low nowadays that even the squabbling for power in some backward African states looks saner in comparison. After a referendum for exit from the European Union (EU) in June 2016 which left the UK's politics in a mess, Prime Minister Theresa May's call for a snap poll on June 8, 2017, made it even messier.
And now, after the verdict of that election not going in her favour, May has entered in a £1billion deal with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) of Northern Ireland to survive the test of majority in parliament and the step has earned the wrath of the opposition parties.
The deal will mean May's Conservative Party, which has nine legislators short to touch the majority figure of 326, will be able to do so with the backing of the DUP's 10 MPs. The DUP MPs will back the Tories in important Commons votes in matters like Budget, Brexit and Queen's Speech.
The Opposition has lashed out at the Theresa government questioning the source of the whopping money at a time when the government often sites reduction of budgets and services because of lack of funds. It also gave rise to demand for more allocation of funds to Welsh and Scotland, other constituents of the UK. The deal has all the potential to destabilise Britain further by burying the spirit of impartiality.
But what is most disturbing about the latest development in Britain's politics is that now money determines the survival of its national government and facilitate Brexit, as the Opposition Labour rightly said.
Buying MPs from a region by alluring them with lump sum amounts is a dangerous precedent and if a country which is seen as one of the best democracies indulges in such shabby practice, then one cannot say much if other countries that idolise it do the same tomorrow. What relevance then the people have if democratically elected governments ultimately resort to money power to decide their fates?
What happened in the UK can happen in India tomorrow as well. We already have seen enough of 'cash for votes' scam but what if those in power choose to buy an entire region tomorrow to make its vote tally heavier? Elections in India are no less extravagant nowadays and buying an entire region instead of one caste or group is not impossible.
For example, if the current national party in power in India decides to unleash money power to buy allegiance of other political parties in southern and eastern parts of the country, where it is yet to make a mark, to spread its influence, then democracy and elections will eventually become a farce. If parties forget their ideological differences and decide to back a bigger party because of monetary incentives, then they do nothing short of betrayal with their voters who choose them after queuing up in the sun.
What happened in Britain is much more sinister than buying poor people's votes by cash or kind as we often see in India. It is like making the entire democracy a commodity which can be bought and sold as per the convenience of the ruling class. Even if a region gains from the money which was unethically given to buy allegiance of its elected representatives, the episode only speaks of a national shame. The British, who had once earned names worldwide for their accomplishments in various fields, have now been turned into a butt of joke after their premier bought authority from another party to stay in power disgracefully.