Monday, February 22, 2016

Freedom of Expression goes both ways.

If I exercise a given right can I prevent others from exercising the same right?

The only fig leaf covering the slogan shouting at JNU is "Freedom of expression".
Many of us who do not support the slogans still supported the right of the students to chant those slogans.

A friend FWD'ed the following article in support of JNU

By the third paragraph (quoted below) the bunch at JNU started looking like groups of nutcases

In their new world, there will be no gods. Nor will there be fanatical adoration of pop stars like cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and actor Shah Rukh Khan. No one will drink Pepsi, no one will read The Times of India. Public revelry for film star Amitabh Bachchan’s birthday — no. They will be curtailed as customs left over from the dark days of capitalism.

I understand and support the fact that every community has the right to express its views, every community has the right to convince others about the validity of its views. I oppose the attempts by any community to use the might and power of the state to curtail the views of others.

While BJP and its supporters are today using the might of the state to suppress dissent. I find the lunatic elements of JNU equally willing in their planned dystopia  to curtail what they find distasteful.

It was dismaying to see Khalid proudly recount to cheers from his supporters about how other's were prevented from addressing the Students at JNU.

If I support Khalid's rights to sing his loony tunes at JNU. I also support the rights of Indira Gandhi to elaborate on the benefits of Emergency, I also support Manmohan's right to mumble something, I support Chiddu's rights to promote Nehru and I support Ram Dev's right to promote yoga, go-mutra and vedic science.
If a fringe group which wants to curtail entertainment find's place in JNU I do not see any problem with ABVP finding place in the same JNU.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Two sides of Meat Ban.

What we call as the meat ban issue is just another symptom of the conflicts that take place at individual, community and state level between people who do not accept diversity.

Individual Level

As an Individual I am against consumption of meat, this can be due to religious, moral, ethical or philosophical reasons. I may decide to limit my views to my kitchen and to the kitchens of the restaurants I patronize.

Similarly another Individual will be pro-meat and restrict his views to his kitchen and the restaurants he patronises.

We may decide to work together but never eat together, Or we may decide to never work together or we may decide to work together and spend our time proselyting each other.

Community level

If a group of people feel very strongly about a certain issue, They can group together with other like-minded individual's and form a community.  Such a community may decide to pool in their resources and build a dedicated housing society, shopping complexes etc. which cater to their needs. This community may  make it a pre-requisite to follow certain norms as a condition for entry.
Two communities with opposite views may decide to either cooperate in areas of no-conflict, go their individual ways, or work actively to undermine the other community and convert them to their belief.

State level

In theory, the state has no role to play in these individual or group differences, But the state represent's a vast power. A power to impose it's will with the maximum violence. This power attracts the real fanatics, those who would like to subvert the state and use it to wage war against those opposed to its viewpoints.
A state is supposed to accept diversity and focus on providing security and justice to each diverse group.
Those interested in capturing state power are focused on ending diversity and ensuring homogeneity. And the end result in the various issues we call food, language or cultural impositions.

My View

There are two sides to the meat conflict. The problem arises when either of the two group's decides not to accept diversity and starts imposing its views on the other group.

We see symptoms of this problem across the spectrum; be it the language war's, cultural wars, religious wars, caste wars, class wars or food wars. Each of these sections have eventually tried to capture state power to impose its will on the other.
There are as many issues to wage war on as there are individuals, If we eliminate all the above and bring in homogeneity, it wont take long for someone to whip up passion on fast bowling against spin bowling with one section calling the other aggressive barbarians with no tact and the other using names like crafty, cunning,undependable, untrustworthy to describe the first group, and before long we will have two political parties gaining popularity by agitating to ban either spin or fast bowling.

Both sections on the current food war have tried in the past to use political power to impose its will.
With one side demanding meat to be served in spaces dedicated to non-meat eaters and the other side demanding the opposite.
With one side demanding societies(housing or otherwise), temple and other community space dedicated to vegetarians, serve meat or allow meat to be served while other side demanding the opposite. And on being denied their demands both sides have tried to use the power of state to impose its will on the other.

  • Meat Ban is not the problem, 
  • The problem is refusal to accept diversity. 
  • The problem is using this diversity to create points of conflict and drive wedges between sections of community.
  • The problem is using state power or other means of violence to impose one's views on the other. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Astroturfing a modi-wave,Observations from Election express.

If Rahul Kanwal was given the task of astroturfing for Modi, can he do a better job than what he did today(23rd April 2014) ?
Let us analyze today's election express held at pheonix mall Bangalore. The full video is available at

Product Placement

@1:08 Rahul exit's the bus,  who's cutout do you see next to him? Yes Modi. No prizes for guessing the leader gracing the cutout on the left which the camera is trying very hand to avoid.

Is it a case of  Modi's 10,000 Crore media budget  VS AAP's Rs 0 media budget?

 What fraction of Modi's media budget was paid to Headlines Today? To what extent did it help pay for this designer bus program?

Another interesting fact about the cutouts was Modi's cutout had a lamp focused on it, Ensuring that the highlight is on Modi and not on the anchor, whereas Kejriwals cutout was kept in a dark corner....
Advertisement professionals can talk for hours about the subconsious effect of these tricks to make Modi standout among other contestants

Audience Strength

Now let us analyze the audience...

  •  How many of the audience members are wearing AAP cap's? more than 50%
    • Full disclosure, I and Manik went to the venue with some caps and distributed them to all those people who wanted to appear on the show wearing the AAP cap. We ran out of caps, so some of the audience is bare headed.
  • How many are wearing the congress caps?  A few here and there.
  • How many are wearing the BJP caps, Nil.
    •  Wait a minute No BJP caps? That's not correct. Actually there were BJP caps when Rahul entered the set, but before the start of the program BJP realized that they were massively outnumbered and quickly switched from being BJP supporters to "common men"

Initially the AAP supporters were distributed throughout the arena but the anchor requested them to all sit at one location. In hindsight It is easy to ignore you if you are isolated in your own ghetto.
Neutral members of civil society who sat in the AAP half were collateral damage in this process, As along with AAP Rahul ignored most of them.

Choosing your opponent

The program title says the fight is between Modi and Rahul, there is no mention of AAP even through AAP had a strong and visible support base in the arena,
 So Modi wants a safe seat, a safe interview and now even a safe opponent? Has he conceded that he cannot fight AAP and wants to keep on beating the dead dog called Congress/Rahul?
Is Modi's mantra "ignore the challenger Dara Singh and beat the small dumb kid"? That's not winning a fight! That's bullying!
Was ignoring AAP and focusing on his namesake, the only way Rahul could prove that Modi is winning?
No there was another trick,

A snap poll and camera trick

During the course of the event Rahul asks, "how many people think there is a Modi wave", and on cue the camera zooms in to focus on the two rows of BJP supporters in-order to indicate that everyone believes in a Modi wave. the next question of how many people believe that there is no Modi wave still focuses on the same audience, What happened to the rows and rows of AAP supporters? What happened to the front row of civil society members?

Ignore the voice of reason.

The few people like +Sridhar Pabbisetty of BPAC and Anubandh of AAP who tried to remind Rahul that
  1. India is a representative democracy and not a presidential system.
  2. The debate should be about the representatives and not some PM hopeful
were quickly ignored. And for the rest of the show we could see them with their hands raised in-order to get their point in but never getting the mike.
After all it is difficult to create a Modi wave if we start discussing points like the
  • Educational qualification of the BJP candidate (P.C Mohan is 12th pass even though BJP tries to delude itselves by calling him a graduate.),
  •  BJP candidates involvement in scams (Ananth kumar is synonymous with Rs 16,000 Crore HUDCO scam, Nira radia tapes, Lingustic divisions(karnataka's thackeray?) etc.).
  • Massive gains in personal assets of the BJP candidate in the past 5 years
Finally when Rahul moves the discussion to AAP he starts by informing the audience that AAP has already lost the battle and asks the volunteers to comment on it. When his point is refuted Rahul fumbles in his dialog and flees mumbling "but Manish said it", "but Manish said it".

I am at loss to understand if AAP is already lost why is BJP losing its cool and attacking AAP volunteers everywhere?

The one who first resorts to violence shows that he has no more arguments. --chinese proverb

The rest of the astroturfing event is spent talking with the BJP supporters and avoiding AAP as far as possible.

Questions that should have been asked but were not.

Since Rahul did not allow AAP to participate in the discussion, The nation wants to know,
  • Why is Rahul trying so hard to create a Modi wave?
  • If there is a Modi wave then, why is Modi trying to consolidate his position by destroying BJP from the inside(Advani, Jethmalani (father and son), Jaswanth etc.)
  • If BJP is left with Modi sycophants, And congress with Sonia/Rahul sycophants then, when the need arises, who will stand up and tell the emperor that he has no clothes.
  • If media joins this list of sycophants and starts astroturfing have they not lost their position of being the watchdog of democracy? Have they reduced themselves to lapdogs of Modi?
  • Is'nt AAP the only party today which is fielding true grass root leaders( Nina, Babu Matthew, Kallahalla, Hemant, Medha, Anjali, Subash and many many others.)?
  • Which is better for democracy? one tall leader surrounded by a bunch of yes men? or multiple tall leaders capable of disagreeing with central leadership.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Activism: Improving your locality

I was recently asked by someone for help in filing an RTI application regarding the state of roads in his area.
After writing a lengthy reply I realized that it may be of help to others as well, This blog post is a generalized derivation from that letter.

RTI is a means of asking for existing information, to get the desired results(Road repairs in this case) RTI needs to be used as a part of multistep process.
The process in brief is
  1. Inform the Relevant authorities about the need for repairs
  2. Create public pressure by involving the neighborhood.
  3. File an RTI to understand what action was taken by the authorities
  4. Take action against the authorities for non completion of the work as per the standard norms set by their department.
In most of the cases the desired work gets done in step 1 or 2 above.
Initiating step 3 sends a signal to the authorities that you are in this for the long haul and are preparing for Step 4. So it is a sufficiently motivating factor  for them to get the work done.

Only in the case of firmly entrenched bureaucracy or the existence of  a Mafia(e.g. BWSSB-Water tanker Mafia, Builder/Land Mafia, Mining Barons etc.) with a lot to loose do we need to move to step 4.

Step 1 Complaint
The first step would be to file a written complaint. This can be done by sending an email to the concerned authority with
  1. Photographs of the road  informing them about the state of the road and asking them to fix it.
  2. Location of the road.
  3. Name, Address and Mobile number of the person raising the complaint (This is used in case the engineer is not able to locate the area and needs directions.
 Sending an email has worked in a few cases and the authorities have done the repair work.e.g.
In case of most of the works in Bangalore the email will be addressed to the commissioner BBMP.
The commissioners office is responsive and you will get a reply within a day or two. In case you do not see any action taken within a week or two you can follow up the complaint by getting the neighborhood involved.with a signature campaign or a postcard campaign.
Step 2 Public pressure
Neighborhood involvement can be through signature campaign,postcard campaign, taking the issue up during area sabha meetings, talking to the ward committee member etc.

In a postcard campaign we distribute around 50 to 100 postcards among the residents and ask them to write to the administration about the local issues including the road in question. The postcards can be distributed in the morning and collected from the residents the next day and posted on their behalf to the BBMP commissioner.
If after these two steps you still do not see any action.
Step 3 RTI Application
The above 2 steps would have generated sufficient data at the commissioners office regarding the road, its condition, plans for repairs, funding etc. In this step our goal is to get this information from the BBMP office. So file an RTL Application to the PIO commissioner's office asking for signed and stamped copy of

  • All correspondence till date in the matter of your complaint, including memos, emails, covering letters for forwarding your complaint etc.
  • Logbook or any other book where details of your complaint are entered, marked to specific officers for their investigation and action.
  • All their remarks, feedback, reports etc. If the case on your complaint is closed, ask for the closing remarks of the officer concerned.If the case is not closed ask for monthly updates on the above documents until the case is closed.
Send the RTI Application via registered post ack due along with a Postal order of Rs 10 (Available from your local post office). Keep copies of your application, the date on which it was posted, the tracking number of the registered post, the acknowledgement card received.
If you do not receive a response within 1 month or the response is not satisfactory file a first appeal.
If you again do not receive a response within a month file a second appeal.
For the second appeal you are required to provide the following data, so keep track of all documentation and the dates associated with each event during the RTI Process.
StageDocumentProof of dispatchProof of receipt by PIOResponse by PIO
RTI ApplicationCopy of RTI and Postal OrderCopy of Postal Tracking numberAcknowledgement slipLetter received from PIO
First AppealCopy of Appeal letterCopy of Postal Tracking numberAcknowledgement slipLetter received from First Appellate authority
See: for an example of RTI used for road works

Step 4 Take action
At the end of step 3 you would have all the data required to understand BBMP's position on the road work. After analyzing this data you can decide on the next steps that can be taken (Press release, Complaint to lokayukta, Filing a PIL, Complaint to higher authorities, Agitation etc.).

Note: If you are taking on entrenched Mafia you may find the authorities reluctant to provide the required information to your RTI, also there may be some danger to your life and limb. In such case breakup the information sought into multiple benign chunks and route each chunk through a different unrelated activist in the same or a different locality.
e.g. the water tanker mafia earns lakhs per month from each midsized apartment complex So a single operator with a few dozens of water tankers is earning in 10's of Lakhs if not Crores per month. Erractic water supply is beneficial for the water tanker operator so there is  a change of a nexus forming between him and the vaulveman or other engineers in the water supply department.

Monday, March 25, 2013

On Online registration, Babu's from CEOs office and CMC's betrayal of Kannadigas

 TOI of 21 March had an article on issues with online registration titled "Online registration is a dismal failure" by +Manu Aiyappa . Towards the end a quote was attributed to some electoral officer.
"The system alone is not to blame say electoral officers. People especially from the IT sector show a lackadaisical attitude towards the democratic process and are not taking advantage of online registration"

As a volunteer for some of the voter registration drives, I have interacted with and updated officials in the CEO's office on various issues faced by end users of their website. So I find it difficult to believe that a responsible person from the CEO's office will blame the victims (applicants for voter registration) for a bad product developed by his software vendor.

I will present few data points for the consideration of your readers.
1. People from IT sector have been spending their weekends helping non IT people with online registration. I invite your team to visit the next voter registration camp listed on the website and interact with the volunteers and the people who come there to register.

2. In one of the camps which I attended, a significant number of people in the queue were IT literate who could have filled up the forms in the comfort of their office/home. They stood in line for hours because; even after repeated attempts the server did not accept their applications. So they finally decided to take the assistance of volunteers to fillup the forms. One such person in the queue claimed to be the person responsible for developing one of the most visited travel related portal owned by a Govt of India Enterprise. If even he could not figure out why the system was rejecting his application, then figuring out the issue with online forms would be a truly herculean task for a common citizen.

3. In corporates, Smartvote volunteers conduct awareness campaign and train the champions for voter registration, This is followed by a series of mails that go out to the employees announcing the start of campaign, process of application and location of dropboxes for the completed applications.
These steps have resulted in hundreds of enrollments from each corporate entities. In some cases the number of registered voters has increased from ~50% to 90+%

Such significant increase in voter registration shows that the problem today is not voter apathy.
Simplification of process, responsive officials and a proper awareness campaign is the need of the day.
4. Volunteers are signing up on a daily basis to conduct a drive in their office/college/layout( )
 Citizens across Bangalore are regularly requesting for a drive in their area ( )
Citizens outside Bangalore are asking for replication of the smartvote model in their cities and states ( )
On weekends volunteers are traveling across the city to help setup and run the voter registration drive.

People, especially from the IT sector, have shown very positive attitude toward democratic process and are taking advantage of online registration. Most of the volunteers driving the online registration are software professionals, spending their weekends and spare time for the cause. I think it would be a disservice to the IT sector to accuse them of "lackadaisical attitude towards the democratic process"

CEO's and Citizens of Karnataka have been letdown by a software vendor who provided them with a solution(The main subject of Manu's article) which is
• Poorly designed and architected.
• Having very basic flaws even months after its deployment for the general public.
• Based on a platform  which is known to have issues in handling heavy traffic and avoided by 80+% of the websites which get heavy traffic
• Still showing serious downtime and other issues on an almost weekly basis.

CEO Karnataka by engaging with citizen groups in Bangalore has initiated a new step in democracy. This needs to be appreciated, nurtured and scaled across the state and nation.
It is unfortunate that some members of the CEO's team reflexively pass adverse comments without knowing the ground reality.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust

Salman Khurshid and his wife are currently embroiled in a scam. On the surface the scam amount is negligible(702L over 5-10 Yrs) with a per year scam of around 5L to 10L. For a minister of Salman's stature indulging in scams of this size does not have much of a benefit.
On speaking with people who interact with NGO's they claim that raising false bills to cover their daily expenses is a common practice so you should be able to take any random NGO and find similar situation.

On personally investigating the report filed for the ADIP scheme by Salman's trust I find that it has been very active. In karnataka it has conducted 5 Camps in which  a total of 9 Lakh 51 thousand rupees was distributed. Searching online for news report about these camps I was able to find only two camps being covered by the media. The one in Mangalore and the other in some remote place in Coorg. The other odd thing that I saw about the camps conducted by this trust is that on 8 different occasions they received a grant of 1,37,000 Rs. This happens to be a very odd number. Most of the other grants are rounded off to the nearest 50 thousand multiple. Listening to Mrs Khurshid I understand that there is a compulsion to spend 90%+ of the amount on equipment. and the webpage of the department states that no more than 6000 can be spent on any single individual so what was the basis of the 137000 amount requested.

Bangalore (Rural) Dr. Zakir Husain Memorial Trust, Delhi, DELHI 4, Gulmohar Avenue, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi ADIP 200000 DD
Kodagu, Karnataka Dr. Zakir Husain Memorial Trust, Delhi, DELHI 4, Gulmohar Avenue, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi ADIP 51000 DD
South Kanada Dr. Zakir Husain Memorial Trust, Delhi, DELHI 4, Gulmohar Avenue, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi ADIP 250000 DD
Uttar Kanada Dr. Zakir Husain Memorial Trust, Delhi, DELHI 4, Gulmohar Avenue, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi ADIP 250000 DD
Vijyanagaram Dr. Zakir Husain Memorial Trust, Delhi, DELHI 4, Gulmohar Avenue, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi ADIP 200000 DD



Aliganj, UP Dr. Zakir Husain Memorial Trust, Delhi, DELHI 4, Gulmohar Avenue, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi ADIP 200000 DD
Bulandshar, UP Dr. Zakir Husain Memorial Trust, Delhi, DELHI 4, Gulmohar Avenue, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi ADIP 137000 DD
Etawah Dr. Zakir Husain Memorial Trust, Delhi, DELHI 4, Gulmohar Avenue, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi ADIP 137000 DD
Farukhabad, UP Dr. Zakir Husain Memorial Trust, Delhi, DELHI 4, Gulmohar Avenue, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi ADIP 137000 DD
Kannoj Dr. Zakir Husain Memorial Trust, Delhi, DELHI 4, Gulmohar Avenue, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi ADIP 137000 DD
Mainpuri, UP Dr. Zakir Husain Memorial Trust, Delhi, DELHI 4, Gulmohar Avenue, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi ADIP 137000 DD
Shajahanpur, UP Dr. Zakir Husain Memorial Trust, Delhi, DELHI 4, Gulmohar Avenue, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi ADIP 250000 DD
Siddharthnagar,UP Dr. Zakir Husain Memorial Trust, Delhi, DELHI 4, Gulmohar Avenue, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi ADIP 250000 DD
Sitapur, UP Dr. Zakir Husain Memorial Trust, Delhi, DELHI 4, Gulmohar Avenue, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi ADIP 137000 DD


Bareilly Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust, Delhi, 4, Gulmohar Avenue, Jamia Nagar, Newa Delhi -110025 ADIP 325000 DD
Bulandshahr Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust, Delhi, 4, Gulmohar Avenue, Jamia Nagar, Newa Delhi -110025 ADIP 500000 DD
Etah Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust, Delhi, 4, Gulmohar Avenue, Jamia Nagar, Newa Delhi -110025 ADIP 500000 DD
Etawah Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust, Delhi, 4, Gulmohar Avenue, Jamia Nagar, Newa Delhi -110025 ADIP 300000 DD
Farrukhabad Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust, Delhi, 4, Gulmohar Avenue, Jamia Nagar, Newa Delhi -110025 ADIP 300000 DD
Gautam Buddha Nagar Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust, Delhi, 4, Gulmohar Avenue, Jamia Nagar, Newa Delhi -110025 ADIP 300000 DD
Kannauj Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust, Delhi, 4, Gulmohar Avenue, Jamia Nagar, Newa Delhi -110025 ADIP 300000 DD
Kushinagar Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust, Delhi, 4, Gulmohar Avenue, Jamia Nagar, Newa Delhi -110025 ADIP 450000 DD
Mainpuri Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust, Delhi, 4, Gulmohar Avenue, Jamia Nagar, Newa Delhi -110025 ADIP 300000 DD
Meerut Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust, Delhi, 4, Gulmohar Avenue, Jamia Nagar, Newa Delhi -110025 ADIP 500000 DD
Moradabad Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust, Delhi, 4, Gulmohar Avenue, Jamia Nagar, Newa Delhi -110025 ADIP 300000 DD
Rampur Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust, Delhi, 4, Gulmohar Avenue, Jamia Nagar, Newa Delhi -110025 ADIP 700000 DD
Shahjahanpur Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust, Delhi, 4, Gulmohar Avenue, Jamia Nagar, Newa Delhi -110025 ADIP 500000 DD
Siddharthnagar Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust, Delhi, 4, Gulmohar Avenue, Jamia Nagar, Newa Delhi -110025 ADIP 500000 DD

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Political alternative Team anna, Team Kejriwal, Team me

Today the hot question seems to be whether IAC should form its own party, support good candidates or be totally apolitical.
My personal view is that over the last two decades the electorate is getting increasingly fragmented and we do not see any single party getting a functional majority. In such a case it is difficult to imagine a new party garnering sufficient votes and coming to power.
When BJP was ascending it was known as a party with a difference. Every other day news paper contained reports of a prominent person (ex-serviceman, retired bureaucrat, social worker) joining the party. But somewhere in the journey from near majority to a coliation majority to a desire for independent majority the party ended up compromising with its values.
RSS walla's lament that in the past decade neither BJP nor RSS remained the same, the lure of power and being the power behind the throne has lured undesirable elements to both the organisation.

How then can a new party expect to overcome these issues and get to power?

My personal theory to explain everything ™ has been that each person has a unique skill set which he uses to advance in his life goals. So an organisation's future depends on the skill set that it attracts to its folds. If India's political setup is designed to attract a rotten bunch it will attract the rotten bunch.

Since AK calls all parties corrupt will he give outside or coalition support to either BJP or congress? will he discard Janlokpal until his party get absolute majority (Similar to what BJP did with Ram Janmabhoomi)?

No I dont think a new party would make a direct difference in terms of coming to power and making new laws, But I still support AK and teams decision to enter the electoral fray. I will eleborate in the following paragraphs.

Today I am a part of a constituency which has the highest number of engineers(BTech, MTech, PHD's) in India. My representative is a 12th Pass seller of sanitary equipment. Can my representative really represent me? Did people vote for the party or the person? My understanding is that people voted for the party and due to some compulsion the party allocated the seat to a person who was not a true representative of the people.
My colleagues who have campaigned in the recent Graduate constituency elections have spoken on length as to how Loksatta's candidate had received all the urban votes (some 800 voters showedup in the urban area) but lost out on the rural votes. And how even if each and every voter of any single Apartment complex had shown up for voting Their candidate would have won the elections.

If AK and Party starts getting a few seat and creates a vote swing in other constituencies on their clean politics platform it will send a clear message to the other parties that this is a votebank that you have neglected.
If the Apartment complexes show up on election day It would create a vote bank which each and every political party will scramble to capture.

 If inorder to capture this votebank other parties start fielding candidates with good records we would have strengthened all parties and in turn strengthened our democratic system.