Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Prof. Vijay Prashad: Communists Sweep the Nepali Elections, a Blow to the Establishment Parties

I hope the US leaves them alone. There is concern about not having enough money to achieve their goals, well, do they know about MMT?  They might end up borrowing a ton of money from the markets which could make it go wrong, but hopefully they will look into the Chinese model. Western investors often say that China is in a bubble and it will blow up soon, but the Chinese public banks can tolerate defaults far more easily.

You might as well imagine a large red flag fluttering from the summit of Mount Everest. That’s what the outcome of the parliamentary and provincial elections in Nepal suggests. The Communists have won both decisively. In the parliament, the Communist alliance will hold close to a two-thirds majority. The government that this majority forms will not only be able to last the full five year term – the first time this would have happened since Nepal adopted parliamentary democracy in 1990 – but it will be able to revise the 2015 Constitution.
Both the parliamentary and provincial results show that the Communists won across the country from the countryside to the cities. Even though they have a strong mandate to govern according to their agenda, the likely Prime Minister K. P. Oli said carefully,
“We have seen in the past that victory often tends to make parties arrogant. There is apprehension that the state will become oppressive. Winners tend to become indifferent to their responsibility.”
This is not something the Communist government will do, said Oli.
Where will the government raise resources for all this? An end to corruption will save the treasury a great deal of money. But more than that, more efficient use of tax money will provide the means for development. Fiscal federalism is a major part of the Left’s agenda. It hopes to devolve 50 per cent of the resources to provincial and municipal governments. It is hoped that they will better use the money toward local development. The bet is that a stable government will draw in money and tourists to Nepal – and that the money can be used to develop organic agriculture and clean energy (including hydropower) that will lighten the burden of importing energy.
Oli has asked all parties to join the Communist alliance in trying to raise the living standards of the Nepali people. This is clever politics. It would mean that the Communist agenda would become the national agenda. It would put pressure on the dominant classes and the dominant castes to accede to a policy of social development. That would be one small step forward for Nepal.

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