The government is paving the way towards elections with the old, failed, and toxic method of handouts.
It is old because it was used again and again by governments which, for that very reason, were accused of vice by the current ruling party.
It is failed because it has been proven historically – most recently in the 2009 elections – that not only do handouts not help a party to win an election, but sometimes they are not even enough to avoid being defeated in a landslide.
Despite all that, the government is clinging to a tactic which, aside from all of the above, poisons society.
This is where the toxicity comes in. Pledges of handouts in fact are an attempt to corrupt society. They are an attempt to buy the votes of the citizens who will benefit from the handouts. That, at least, is what those in power believe.
Herein lies the great deception. Citizens do not love those who attempt to corrupt them
Those who do not benefit feel they are being duped, and justly believe that they will shoulder the costs of handouts to various categories of their fellow citizens.
Those who benefit, and those who do not benefit, have one thing in common. They lose trust in the political system, the credibility of which already has been sorely tested.
It is plainly clear that the cost of handouts pledges is not merely economic.
The cost to the proper functioning of democracy is inordinately greater.