‘Amazing Indian democracy’ floors British politicians

May 16th, 2009 - 5:30 pm ICT by IANS  

By Dipankar De Sarkar
London, May 16 (IANS) Surprised British politicians Saturday praised India’s democracy, saying the proven wisdom of the Indian electorate had made a mockery of political pundits - once again.

“This is just wonderful,” said Barry Gardiner, an MP belonging to the ruling Labour Party and a former minister.

“India’s democracy is, quite simply, the greatest expression of Common Will that we have on the planet. Time after time after time, the Indian electorate has astounded us and proved us wrong.

“But it really shouldn’t surprise us any longer - because India is not only the world’s largest democracy, but also one of the world’s most mature,” Gardiner told IANS.

In the runup to the elections, many British MPs were convinced - along with most Indian experts - that the electorate would return a fractured parliament and feared India was in for a prolonged spell of instability.

“This is an election that no-one could call. And every pundit has been confounded - no one had the faintest idea,” said Stephen Pound, chairman of Labour Friends of India, a parliamentary lobby group.

“It shows that one thing you can never do is count on people to deliver what the experts say they will deliver. This almost makes me believe Labour can win the next election in Britain,” Pound added.

A YouGov poll for The Sun newspaper Friday suggested Labour support at a general election would be 22 percent, with the opposition Conservatives on 41 percent and the Liberal Democrats on 19 percent, a scenario that would hand the Conservatives a 152-seat majority in a general election.

Some political commentators in Britain have suggested the possibility of the next general election - due by June 2010 - returning a hung parliament caused by voter disillusionment with the major political parties.

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