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  1. 1. . Fairness at play: Introducing electoral reforms to reduce the influence of money and muscle power in politics
  2. 2. “Political parties are indispensable in parliamentary democracy. There are 1,200 political parties in India and of these about 150 are active and functioning” For example, in the current Lok Sabha, nearly a quarter (23.2%) of the MPs have reported criminal cases against them. One out of two among them (over 50%) has cases that could attract penalties of imprisonment of five years or more. “The electoral system in any country should support and strengthen the empowerment of the people of the country to exercise the system to guarantee an equitable framework of economic and social justice”
  3. 3. Electoral system in India Indian follows First-past-the-post (abbreviated FPTP or FPP) voting which refers to an election won by the candidate(s) with the most votes. The winning candidate does not necessarily receive an absolute majority of all votes cast. • Candidate doesn’t always get absolute majority (sometimes less than 30% of votes win him) leaving the majority population unrepresented. • Hugely encourages money and muscle power. • Makes smaller parties negligible and incompetent. • Voters can easily miss-out the chance of being a part of voter bank. • The entire system is old traditioned and needs revival. Problems associated with conducting fair elections in India: •Gross Corruption •Criminalization •Fragmentation in political parties leading to confusion in choice for people. •Weak and nepotistic politicians inclined towards gaining power.
  4. 4. PROPOSED SOLUTIONS FOR FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS PROBLEM: Less percentage of voting leading majority voters unrepresented. CAUSES: Few groups are alienated from the concept of governance itself. E.g. Slum dwellers, migrants etc. Lack of sense of responsibility to vote. Facilities available to vote. More people want to make it as simple as possible with the use of technology. Trust deficient parties which fail to impress the public.
  5. 5. - Graduate population and formal sector workforce carries a large share of vote in the Country. Make compulsory voting for them in 3 elections out of 5 going to be held in sequence. •Facility to vote online from wherever they are. •In cities, increase the no. of polling booths to one every 1 KM of radius. •Incentives of govt. benefits to those who vote in all the elections in a given time frame. Set up “citizen empowerment centers” at each block level with the sole purpose of educating voters on elections and guiding them. •Will require govt. funding and machinery. •Tie ups with civil society organizations. •Citizen empowerment centers will have at least 5 coordinators representing different places of the region. •Extensive use of electronic and print media. Strengthening local governments to more citizens friendly which can popularize governance and thus interest in the voters. •Reveal the accounts of expenditure to the people to enhance the trust factor and support. •Strengthening the programs like MNREGA. •Tie ups with “citizen empowerment centers'” •Form a separate college wing in the election commission for students who are above 18 years of age. •Every college with over strength of 3000 will have a separate chapter in the election commission. •College with less than 3000 strength to merge with other local institutions. • Govt. and corporate funding to be endorsed. •Online voting for students and polling booths in the colleges, if required.
  6. 6. Decriminalization of Politics We all know if criminals enter politics, it could take generations to eradicate, but the question is, DO WE HAVE THAT MUCH TIME IN OUR HANDS? What are we waiting for then? That means a whooping 20.8% of MP’s of the present Lok Sabha have pending criminal cases against them. That’s a 27% rise since the last five years! So what do we do? Pending criminal cases Others
  7. 7. Fast track courts for pending cases and immediate disqualification from post upon conviction Section 8(4) of the Representation of People Act, 1951 should be removed, so that the process of disqualification is not delayed Since the youth of India are showing increasing concern of the above problem, the Supreme Court can come up with means of educating voters in the above topics by using street plays, SMS texts, television serials or other media. Every police station in India should have a history sheet for each person, showing a complete record. And upon elections, the validity of the charges can be questioned and accordingly action can be taken. Punishment for certain offences should altered to ensure that no comeback into politics is allowed and new offences should be added. OUR PROPOSITIONS: Prevention is better than cure, so let’s make sure we are rid of all the corrupt elements in our governance. This will lead to cleansing the nation.
  8. 8. REFERENCES • Public interest foundation: Report on decriminalization of politics. • fdrindia.org: Election reforms. • All India Progressive Forum: Need for electoral reforms in India • Election Commission of India: Election reforms. • Election reforms word press • Wikipedia.org • India Grows at Night by Gurucharan Das • prsindia.org • Economic and political weekly • publicinterestfoundation.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Report@Round- Table-Conference-on-Decriminalization-of-Politics.pdf • dtsreddy.wordpress.com/2011/09/10/corruption-eradication-electoral-reform- goals-decriminalization-of-politics/