Ch – 4 Electoral Politics ( Part 1 )

The important part of democracy is to let the people choose their own representatives. And for that elections are held.

Why do we need elections ?

  • Democracy is only possible when the people have the power to choose their leaders.
  • People can choose the leaders who can make laws for them.
  • People can remove the leaders that they don’t like.
  • They can choose the party which will guide the country in the right direction.

What makes an election democratic ?

  • Each person has one vote and each vote carries equal value.
  • Parties are free to contest elections, so that people have choices.
  • Elections must be held at regular interval.
  • Elections must be held in free and fair manner.
  • Party getting majority of votes is declared to be the winner.

Is it good to have political competition ?

  • Without competition, elections are pointless.
  • The competition among candidates can lead to a sense of disunity and factionalism in every locality.
  • Parties and candidates sometimes use dirty tricks to win the election.
  • That’s why it often discourages some good people who don’t want to be dragged in such unhealthy competitions.
  • Regular electoral competition provides incentives to political parties and leaders.
  • They know that if they raise issues that people want to be raised, their popularity and chances of victory will increase.
  • Thus, the hunger for power will keep a check on the parties and their candidates.

India’s Electoral System:

In India, elections are held after every five years.

The elections which are held in all constituencies at the same time, either on same day or within a few days, are known as “General elections“.

The election held in a constituency to fill the vacancy caused by death or resignation of a member is known as “By-election“.

Some important segments of Indian Electoral System are:

Electoral constituencies:

  • Our country is divided into different areas for purposes of election. These areas are known as “Constituencies“.
  • Each constituency has roughly the equal population living in it.
  • The voters who live in this area elect one representative.
  • The representative elected from each constituency is known as “Member of Parliament” or “MP“.
  • Each state is divided into specific number of Assembly constituencies.
  • The elected representative of these constituencies are known as “Member of Legislative Assembly” or “MLA“.
  • Sometimes, these constituencies are considered as “seats“.
  • This same principle applies for Panchayat elections.
  • Each village is divided into “wards“, and the elected representative is known as “Ward member“.

Reserved Constituencies:

  • To make our democracy more representative, our constitution makers thought of a special system of reserved constituencies.
  • Some constituencies are reserved for people who belong to Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST).
  • The number of reserved seats is in proportion to their total share in the population of that area.
  • Thus it doesn’t take away the legitimate share of any other social group.
  • This system of reservation was further extended to other weaker sections.
  • The number of reserved seats vary from state to state.

Voter’s list:

  • The list of voters who can vote in a constituency is known as “Electoral Roll“, or is popularly known as “Voters’ List“.
  • It means that each person has a vote.
  • In India, all citizens of age 18 or above has right to vote, regardless of their profession, economic status, religion, caste, etc.
  • In rare situations only, a person is denied the right to vote.
  • The list has to be kept updated.
  • The names of persons attaining voting age are added to the list.
  • The names of persons dead or moved out of that constituency are deleted from the list.

Nomination of Candidates:

  • Any one who has voting right can become an election candidate, the only difference is the minimum age for elections can differ a little.
  • Party nominates a candidate and that candidate gets the party symbol and support.
  • Party’s nomination is often known as “Ticket“.
  • The candidate has to fill out a nomination form and give some money as ‘security deposit’.
  • The Supreme Court has directed that each candidate should make a legal declaration regarding: criminal cases against them, details of assets and liabilities of the candidate and their family members, education qualifications of the candidate.
  • All the details are made public, so that the people can know the candidates better and can cast their votes accordingly.

Published by Priya Prakash

In the midst of winter, i found there was within me an invincible summer ~ Albert Camus

2 thoughts on “Ch – 4 Electoral Politics ( Part 1 )

  1. I’ve been hating this system for a long time, I know I cannot change the world. I have voted for 3 times and none of the time the people I voted came, I wasted my vote on the genuine people. I am an Indian, and from my point of view, a game for the best liars in market.

    Liked by 1 person

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