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  1. 1. THEME : ELECTORAL REFORMS TO REDUCE THE INFLUENCE OF MONEYAND MUSCLE POWER IN POLITICS TEAM MEMBERS: Inderjit Singh Chahal : Vivek Sharma : Hitesh Dhiman : Harshit Dogra : Alaukik Sexena
  2. 2. Electoral reform is change in electoral system to improve how public desires and opinions are expressed in election results .It aims to strengthen the system by bringing in changes to the existing setup. Elections in India as we are already aware are plagued by the use of unfair means ,money and muscle power being predominant .Similar challenges were faced by other emerging democracies like Spain , Australia , Italy, Canada , New Zealand etc .Reforms introduced in these countries brought significant change not in only in the electoral process and fairer and ‘actual’ representation of the opinions of the masses but also improved the governance as whole. The limitations and challenges that we face in India’s electoral process is mainly due to the unnatural, inappropriate system of simple plurality or ‘first pass the post ‘ as it is popularly known as .The results so obtained from this system are not always true representation of the true public sentiment as is evident from the following analysis……..
  3. 3. 25.82 28.3 28.53 28.52 25.59 23.75 22.16 18.84 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 1998 1999 2004 2009 INC BJP 141 114 145 206182 182 135 115 0 50 100 150 200 250 1998 1999 2004 2009 INC BJP % VOTE SHARE NUMBER OF SEATS •The percentage vote share or the popular public sentiments isn’t apparently converted into the number of seats as we can see from the above mentioned stats . •For example from the year 1998 -1999 BJP’s vote share declined by1.84% but the number of seats they won remain surprisingly same, similarly from the year 1999-2004 INC’s vote share increased by a meager 0.23% but the seat share increased by a drastic 27.19% . •As the ‘marginal’ vote is of supreme importance to win, the candidates contesting the elections ,in order to ensure this marginal vote indulge in the immoral electoral practices , and the aspects of money and muscle come into play to ensure this very marginal votes in their favor .
  4. 4. Another aspect of the FPTP(first pass the post ) system is that the ‘marginal vote’ becomes all important ,for example in latest Lok Sabha elections in the state of Uttar Pradesh , 35 of the total 80 constituencies (43.75%) had margins less than 25000 votes out of total of 15 lakh voters per constituency . Due to this reason the ‘tactical’ voting becomes all important and the voter tend to vote for a candidate other than their sincere choice in order to not ‘waste’ their vote and is forced to choose from two ‘likely’ possible winners. It isn’t surprising therefore that the countries with first pass the post system has the lowest voter turnout …… Year 1998 1999 2004 2009 Voter turnout 61% 59% 58% 58% Voter turnout decline in the past years for Lok Sabha elections
  5. 5. • Proportional representation is a concept of voting system in which the number of seats won by a party or group of candidates is proportional to the number of votes received. i.e. if 30% of the voters support a particular party then roughly 30% of the seats will be won by that political party. Why have proportional representation : •Proportional representation ensure that the actual public sentiment is expressed in the election results in the form of seat allocations, as the number of seats allocated to the political parties is a direct equivalent of their actual approval ratings . •It ensures both ‘actual’ majority rule and minority representation. •Voter turnout in the countries with proportionate representation is way higher than the countries with first pass the post system. CORRECTIVE MEASURES : PROPORTIONAL REPERSENTATION YEAR 2010 2007 2004 2001 Australia 93.22% 94.76% 94.32% 94.85% Spain 76.30% 75.66% 78.06% 77.05% New Zealand 74.21% 79.46% 76.98% 84.77%
  6. 6. How proportionate representation helps Value Of Assets No. Of Candidates No. Of Winners % Of Winners Very High(5Cr and above) 343 112 32.65% High(50 Lakhs to 5 Cr) 1592 294 18.47% Medium(50 to 10 Lakhs) 1911 120 6.28% Low(less than 10 Lakhs) 3964 17 0.43% The data shows that a richer candidate is much more likely to win in our pervert electoral system as there is a popular notion in the people that a poorer candidate ,although their sincere choice and a ‘better’ candidate, is unlikely to win and therefore their vote will be a waste and due to which the candidates with cleaner image are not likely to be victorious , due to the shortcomings of the FPTP system as indicate in a recent survey from Times of India in which nearly 40% voters accepted to have had voted for someone other than their first favorite choice only because the popular notion was that their candidate is not likely to win. Whereas in proportional representation a voter has number of candidates to choose from such that, in case their candidates has too few or too many votes their vote is transferred to their next favorite candidate
  7. 7. PROPORTIONAL REPERSENTATION : MONEY AND MUSCLE POWER •In FPTP system the marginal vote is the primary factor for the parties resorting to unethical practices to lure in the marginal vote with the help of direct cash for vote ,freebies, forced or forged voting etc . Its not that such practices will guarantee positive outcome for the candidates or the parties but not indulging in such practices can cause defeat .It is morally correct but practically impossible to expect fair conduct from the politicians when being nationalist would mean a defeat in electoral system. •In proportional representation this very marginal vote lose its importance as such because the bigger scenario of the overall vote percentage will be the deciding factor and instead of a small fraction of votes .This automatically reduce the need to buy or forge that marginal vote, which as a result will undermine the importance of money as well as muscle power in politics. •Since the overall vote percentage now is of significant importance at least the bigger political parties have to look at the important issues which are of prime importance to the masses rather than focusing their assets to secure the marginal vote . Hence system by default, is insulated from money and muscle power interference .
  8. 8. PRACTICAL IMPLIMENTATION AND DETAILED FUNCTIONING: •LOOPING IN RESERVATION: •The reservation can be very easily looped in a proportionate system of representation by reserving the constituencies as we do in the present system as that will ensure a certain percentage going in favor of the representatives of the reserved categories . It is mathematically impossible that they will have their vote share less than 27%(that is the present percentage of constituencies for the reserved categories) and therefore similar proportionate seats in their favor . •CASE OF INDEPENDENT CANDIDATES: •The seats won by the independent candidates (which in India have never been more than 3.4%), under the purposed system will be exempted on the whole from the proportional system ,those seats will have their results based on the preference voting but this voting willn’t be included in the total vote share of the political parties of the loosing candidates. •To address the situation of overhang or underhang there are appropriate mechanisms in the countries which are already using the proportionate system .e.g. the legislative council in Wales add or subtract the total number of seats accordingly as the situation arise.
  9. 9. Vote Share PRACTICAL APLICABILITY : WHY WOULD THE POLITICAL PARTIES ADOPT TO THE PURPOSED ELECTORAL SYSTEM •As is evident from the interpretation of the graph that the vote share of the bigger political parties is declining constantly since 1984 which is about when the fractured coalitions began to emerge in the political atmosphere of this country . •As the bigger political parties are forced to contest with their regional allies ,they lose their vote share to that political party and since the political party itself doesn’t contest from that region its political presence dries up slowly in the region. So there is a very cruel fate hanging around the necks of the national political parties themselves . More than the country ,its they who desperately need these reforms as they will be of direct benefit to them. Good changes only happen when there is a part of pie that is there for the political parties themselves and the country coincidentally benefits and such are the conditions in our country now which the political parties are unable to see due to their own inertia . *The law can easily be passed with the help of these two political parties alone and the proposal is therefore practically applicable.
  10. 10. •Neutral or negative voting should be implemented and made easier by directly putting in an option in the EVM's . •The discloser of full criminal(if any) and financial background of the candidates and their families should be made available to the voters at the polling stations itself. •With the introduction of adhar card the fingerprint identity should be made mandatory this will n’t only keep the bogus voting in check but also will decrease the amount of time the process takes place •E-voting should be made available to include the middle ,educated class. •The use of ‘totalizer’ to insure complete secrecy of the voting trend in a region should also be made mandatory . •To reduce the use of religion and caste as base by the candidates the voters should only be addressed by their national identity of as people ,they can’t be addressed by any religious ,social , ethnic or economical basses . •The number of election commissioners should be increased so that they can give a practical on ground presence throughout the electoral process.
  11. 11.     of-politics.  congress-set-to   committees-recommendations-on-electoral-reforms/   2010.pdf 