Politics is a high stake game for sure. Played well, it provides space to citizensí voices to be heard and addressed. It is different from soccer or cricket in that its outcome, measured in policies and programmes, affects the life of all, the players, the participants and the spectators. Another difference is that the game of politics never ends. In a democracy, leaders of political parties play in the frontline with their avowed goals of making the lives of citizens better. They agree on a set of rules for fair play and go by them for achieving the goals. Individual actors may change over time, but that should not affect the process of scoring goals and consolidating them for the benefit of the nation and the people. As long as their motives are good and the methods transparent, the political leaders receive the trust of the people in defining and redefining the rules and goals. The underlying assumption of the people in reposing their trust on the politicians is that fair politics will eventually produce policies and programmes in favour of the people. In a democracy, no matter which political side wins, it wins for the cause of the nation and the people.
Only when the players resort to unfair tactics, undermining the rules of the game or playing on the strength of steroids, politics becomes suspect and the people begin to worry about their future. Any foul play may win one or the other party the seat of power or position for a while, but ultimately, it will erode the peopleís trust in the process and lead the nation to further conflict and chaos, making the goals more elusive than ever. The safety valve to prevent such a situation from arising is to go for voting on the issues before the nation. It is like deciding the outcome of soccer through the tie breaker. But even in this case, the players need a consensus about the nature and number of penalty kicks needed for the final decision.
With the breakdown of negotiations among our political parties, which are trying to write new rules for Nepalís future politics, they have entered the new phase of decision making through the vote in the Constituent Assembly. In the process, they will sort out scores of disputed issues and, hopefully, promulgate the new constitution before the CA tenure ends on May 27. They have agreed to accept the outcome of voting despite their vitriolic diatribe and blame game behind the breakdown of their talks. Only time will tell how well the votes by some six hundred lawmakers on a range of sensitive issues can address the voices of the people in the new constitution. Blaming one another for the weaknesses of the constitution because votes decided it would be wasting more time. So, why not stop the blame game right now and engage in a game of fair politics, in which the political parties have a broad consensus to write the constitution aimed at ending inequalities?