According to the current article on Wikipedia about this subject “Marriage (also called matrimony or wedlock) is a social union or legal contract between people called spouses that establishes rights and obligations between the spouses, between the spouses and their children, and between the spouses and their in-laws. The definition of marriage varies according to different cultures, but it is principally an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged...”

In my this essay I would like to generalize it a bit more. I think marriage is a contract between two human entities (not necessarily individual) that gives each entity some rights, some powers and some obligations.
Invariably in this human institution, one entity is more dominating then the other. The other may have some expectations, some aspirations which when not met squarely lead to separation (divorce). Invariably the commencement of this contract is celebrated, because it is the commencement of hopes.

Now, my extrapolation, I think the contract, between a political party and the populace in a country, is a marriage. The relation between an individual and a technology or a brand of a an industrial product; is a marriage. For example, people are getting virtually married, to social networking sites on the Internet!!

Political parties compete with each other (woo) to win the trust of populace, so that they get the power to exploit the populace for a limited period at a time. In this case the offspring are the institutions that are brought up. But invariably, the ruling party has a right to dominate, to exploit the populace as long as it can. The populace has to tolerate all just in the hope, that matters will become better in future.

In some countries, societies, it may last only a few years, unlike the marriage between individuals, because a feeling of duty, love for the offspring dominates. But, such is the nature of human desires and hopes, that they can seldom be fulfilled, so the natural consequence, a divorce, that is becoming a fashion in many societies if not all. Any marriage, unless based on true love and compassion, does not really sustain. Shouldn't then conventional 'marriage' between individuals must also undergo a change? It has to be a test, a test to find out if the married entities are really for each other for a lifelong relation, as it is sometimes expected to be.

Well, I myself never got married, have no human offspring to care for; perhaps that is the reason that I can write about is so dispassionately!!

Rakesh Mohan Hallen