Electoral Politics notes by Vibha Maam
For elections the entire country is divided into fixed electoral areas with a body of registered voters. These areas are called constituencies and elected representatives called an MP (member of parliament).
- For the Lok Sabha election the country is divided into 543 constituencies. some constituencies are reserved for people who belong to the scheduled castes (SCs) and scheduled Tribes (STs)
- In a SC reserved constituency only someone who belongs to the scheduled caste can contest for election.
- Currently, in the Lok Sabha 84 seats are reserved for the SCs and 47 for STs ( as on 1st September 2012)
Need of elections
The number of people can’t sit together everyday and take all the decisions. Everyone does not have the time and knowledge to make decisions. This problem can be solved through regular election which is a democratic way to select representatives. without election a democratic government cannot be set up.
Importance of Election
- An election is a contest between different political parties in order to get people’s support.
- without election democratic government cannot be set up.
- Through elections alone, the people can get rid of their cruel and unpopular government and in its place, they can elect a new popular permanent and effective control can be maintained on the executive.
Elections make a country democratic
- An independent Election commission
- Popular participations
- Acceptance of election outcome
- Regular elections
- Universal adult franchise
The Election Procedures
i) Announcement of dates
ii) Nomination by the candidates
iii) Scrutinizing of nomination paper
iv) Withdrawal of nomination
v) Publication of the final list
vi) Election campaign
viii) Counting of voters
ix) Declaration of results
Educational qualifications for elections
Educational qualifications are not relevant to all kinds of jobs. qualifications should not be necessary for the candidates having to fight elections.
Relevant qualification for being MLA or MP is the ability to understand people’s concerns, problems and the way to solve them.
The procedure of the nomination
- Every person who wishes to contest an election has to fill a Nomination form.
- He/she has to deposit a security amount fixed by the EC of India.
- He/she has to file an affidavit regarding the details of property, asset and liabilities.
Preparation of voters’ list
- The list which contains the particular eligible voters is called the ‘Electoral Roll’ or ‘Voter list’. this list is prepared by the Election commission of India.
- All the citizens aged 18 years and above are eligible to cast their votes in an election.
- According to the Indian constitution, some criminals and persons with unsound mind can be denied the right to vote.
- Names of those who move out of a place or those who died are deleted from the voter list.
- A complete revision of the list takes place after every five years.
Importance of electoral competition
Regular electoral competition provides incentives to political parties and leaders. if a political party is motivated to be in power, even then, it will be forced to serve the people.
Due to this, those who are in power take only those decisions which are approved or liked by the common people.
They know that if they raise issues that people want to be raised, their popularity and chances of victory will increase in the next elections.
The hope for winning the next elections induces the losers or the opposition parties to raise the issues related to the common people.
Demerits of Electoral Competition
or Challenges faced by the Election System
- Use of money :-the role of unaccounted money in elections has become a serious problem.
- Criminals and Politics:- political parties used all kinds of dirty and unethical tricks like booth capturing, use of money and muscle power etc.
- Communal Riots:-political parties try to get the support of the people on the basis of religion, caste. All this creates disunity in the society some time this disunity takes ugly form of communal riots.
- Advantageous Position:– The party in power is always in an advantageous position than the opposition parties.
- Nepotism:- Some families tend to dominate political parties. Tickets are distributed to relatives from these families .
- Corrupt Politician :-most of the candidates are corrupt and very often, elections offer little choice to ordinary citizens.
Common man in India related himself to elections
- Elections give them the opportunity to participate in the political process. Through elections they can put pressure on the political parties to adopt welfare policies and programs.
- The common man’s vote plays an important role in the formation of government. The interest of voters in election related activities has been increasing day by day.
- Election gives them an opportunity to bring out a peaceful transition in the government.
Powers and functions of Election Commission
- It is responsible for conducting free and fair elections in India.
- Once appointed, The Chief Election Commissioner is not answerable to the president or the government.
- EC takes decisions on every aspect of conduct in controlling the election process in India.
- During the elections, the EC can order the government to follow certain guidelines to prevent use and misuse of governmental power and resources.
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