ELECTORAL REFORMS

ELECTORAL REFORMS

 

 

ELECTORAL REFORMS

 

The Election Process in India is guided by the Constitutional Provisions. Over the years due to the continuous persuasion by the Election Commission and the Judiciary several reforms have been brought into the system to make it more effective.

The following are some of the suggestions which could make the election process more efficient and meaningful:

  1. Holding of Elections:
  • Elections should be held on a single day throughout the country for all types of elected bodies ( parliament, state assemblies, municipal/urban bodies, panchayats, etc.)
  • The elections should be held on the same date once in every 5 years. Say on 1st of March. After declaration of results the elected bodies could start functioning from 1st of April.
  • All political parties should be duly registered with the Election Commission. They should submit yearly statements of accounts duly certified by qualified Chartered Accountants to the Election Commission as well as the Tax Authorities.
  • The same provision will apply to any one contesting as Independents.
  • Every citizen should be given an Unique Identity Number and Card.
  • The system of Electoral College and voters lists should be done away with. This is because there are a huge number of people who move from place to place for their jobs / service. Because of the problems in obtaining the voters ID cards they hardly ever vote. Thus proof of residence within a constituency is to be done away with. As voters will normally go to their nearest voting centres for voting there should not be any major objection from the candidates. Thus the percentage of people who vote will move closer to 100%.

 

 

  1. Norms for Candidates
  • The qualification for contestants should be clearly specified and should include minimum level of literacy.
  • An upper age limit should also be specified
  • No individual should be allowed to be elected more than twice to the same elected body. That is, no one can be a member for more than twice of say a panchayat, State Assembly, Parliament, etc. This provision could be during one’s lifetime.
  • No person should be permitted to contest from more than one constituency and also for more than one elected body simultaneously.
  • Once elected a candidate cannot shift from one party to another or from being an independent to join any other party. In case he/she does so they will lose their membership.

 

 

  • Voters:
  • Voter’s eligibility criteria should be clearly specified
  • They should use their unique identity numbers and produce the ID Card for voting
  • The system of issuing voter identity cards should be dispensed with.

 

 

  1. Electoral Process:
  • The whole process should be technology driven.
  • Voting for all elected bodies coming under that place should take place from the same centre.
  • The voting centres should be linked to a central system which contains the details of the Unique Identity numbers of all eligible voters.
  • A person in a village can vote for Panchayat , Assembly and Parliament candiadates
  • A person in a city/town can vote for Local Body, Assembly and Parliament candidates
  • Once a person has voted using the Unique Identity number he should not be able to vote again from any other centre. The central computer should block this.
  • By elections to be done away with. In the case of death, resignation, shifting of loyalty of any elected representative the candidate who has secured the second highest votes  ( third highest in case second highest candidate is not alive) will be appointed as the elected representative for the remaining term of the elected body provided the remaining period is six months or more.
  • The concept is there will not be any election / by election during the period between two election dates.

 

Author

Kaushik Vichar

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