Published on

Published in: News & Politics
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide


  1. 1. Fairness at Play: Introducing Electoral Reforms to Reduce the Influence of Money and Muscle Power in Politics REFORMERS GAURAV MAHESHWARI SURBHI GARG RITUBHAN GAUTAM MAYANK AGRAWAL ISHA RUSTAGI
  2. 2. Ajit Nath Ray was appointed as Chief Justice of India bypassing 5 seniority trail Former Union Minister convicted of murder in 12 years old case while still in office A senior leader of a national party accepted having spent 50 times of the maximum limit of expenditure cap Democracy is in a Silent Transition Phase… Screaming to be Heard…
  3. 3. Candidates with Criminal Records Party Debarment • Party accountable for candidates’ integrity • Micro-level scrutiny of probable candidates by the party • Candidature annulled only if proven guilty by the highest court of the land • No penalties imposed on the parent party IMPLEMENTATION • Disqualify any candidate accused of an offence punishable by imprisonment for 2 years or more, even when trial is pending, provided charges have been framed against him/ her by a competent court • Convicted candidates shall be eligible for fast track trial of his case • Debar the parent party from contesting from the particular constituency in the coming by-elections ADVANTAGES • Discourages parties from projecting candidates with dubious background and vested interests • Prevents deliberate delaying and manipulation of trials via exploitation of the bureaucratic framework by ‘law-makers’
  4. 4. Candidates with Criminal Records Democratization of Party • Creation of a ‘filter system’ within the party • Transparency in party operations • Nomination for party posts: discretion of party President • Candidate’s ability to consolidate votes overrides his actual credentials IMPLEMENTATION • Conduct regular elections within the party strictly in coherence with Election Commission norms • Appoint representative of Election Commission as observer for elections within the party ADVANTAGES • Provides equal opportunity to all members to rise through party ranks irrespective of money and muscle power • Throws light on the yardsticks employed by the party to choose its representatives
  5. 5. Neutrality of State During Elections • Introduction of impartial environment for elections • Avoidance of eleventh hour bureaucratic restructuring • Nomination for party posts: discretion of party President • Candidate’s ability to consolidate votes overrides his actual credentials IMPLEMENTATION • Relax incumbent government’s domestic authorities 3 months before the elections • Appoint a council comprising representatives of all parties and retired judges as the interim legislative authority The modalities of the suggested framework need to be minutely and exhaustively debated upon ADVANTAGES • Curbs the scope for disguised misuse of state resources for personal political agenda • Diminishes the unfair edge of people in power over their opponents Patronizing of State Resources • Apart from legislation, all powers remain intact during the election period
  6. 6. State Funding for Elections • Strict regulation of campaigning expenditure IMPLEMENTATION • Fund 75% of the total campaign expenditure for National and Regional parties from State treasury • Provide optional infrastructural support such as promotional advertisements for independent candidates • Bear the cost through 5% taxation of total donations collected by parties • Reclaim the funding in case the candidate receives less than 1/6th of the total votes ADVANTAGES • Ensures enforcement of expenditure cap on election campaigning as defined by Election Commission • Reduces the influence of money power, thereby giving independent candidates a fair chance to contest • Usual expenditure around 5 times of the prescribed limit (40 lakhs per constituency in Lok Sabha elections) • Chance of winning directly correlated with the assets ownership Unaccounted Funds
  7. 7. Empowering of Election Commission • Enhancing the stature of EC as a governing body for elections IMPLEMENTATION • Provide judiciary powers to Election Commission to investigate and deliver verdict against felonious candidates during election period • Instate the Commission with the right to deregister a party and frame rules to conduct elections • Ban the transfer of Election Commission officers as soon as general/ by- elections become due • Monitor and act upon inflammatory speeches of political leaders at local/ National level for at least 3 years period before election • Exercise strict vigilance over delimitation of constituencies ADVANTAGES • Ensures opportune actions against complaints at the time of elections • Curbs intentions to propagate communal hatred and polarize votes Election Commission: Parking Place for Bureaucrats • Semi-judiciary status to Election Commission at the time of elections • Dormant for most part of the election term
  8. 8. EC: A Community Combined Commission • Political awareness and training of citizens IMPLEMENTATION • Prosper organic relations with NGOs, educational institutions and other community groups to create awareness • Enlist the support of youth as well as senior citizens to bridge the gap between EC and community ADVANTAGES • Improves the credibility of EC via the large outreach of different segments of the community • Imparts political training to the future pillars of Indian Legislature Election Commission: Parking Place for Bureaucrats • Election Commission solely constituted by President on recommendations of the government • Close to zero interaction with the public
  9. 9. “Social Reform is the Mother of Electoral Reform” All black and white recommendations are futile without improvement in index of Social Reform Recommendations • Negative voting: Provide citizens with the right to deselect a candidate • Yearly audit of assets: Monitor the growth of assets of candidates in term • Index of Political Consciousness: Develop an index to gauge political awareness • Penalty for false declaration: Punish candidates in wake of false declaration
  10. 10. REFERENCES • Analysis of Criminal Financial Details of MPs of 15th Lok Sabha, National Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (2009) • Ethics in Governance, Second Administrative Reforms Commission, Govt. of India (2007) • Financing of Election Campaigns, PRS Legislative Research (2008)