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Time is Ripe to go for Election Reforms
Election Reforms are conducted in the electoral system to improve the administration and increase the transparency of the electoral process as per the public demands. The EC has a conference prior to elections to discuss the possible election reforms that need to be in place just before the elections.
Given the fact that there are many issues in the current electoral system and, also the fact that media and people are gauging on the activities it is high time that the electoral system incurred changes as per the public’s need.
Sometime back the Hazaare campaign was received with fervour. But, with time the politicians got their way using manipulation. At around the same time i.e. 2010, India ranked 87 with a 3.3 index in the corruption perception index marked by Transparency international. This index proved that India was entering the serious corruption zone.
In October, 2010 a core committee was established under the guidance of additional solicitor general to discuss the various electoral reforms. The reforms discussed included decriminalising the politics, election funds, code and conduct to be observed during elections, audit and finances of the parties and reviewing the anti-defection law.
A look at the recent assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal shows that the electoral process is not a fair play. Among the MLAs who won seats, more than 20% were millionaires with a criminal record.
The election campaign spend for an entire assembly is supposed to be 10 Crore but the recent elections saw individual MLAs spending close to 20 crore, thus wasting a lot of money. The proportionality procedure should be used to choose the right candidate. The reforms should suggest that only if a candidate has obtained more than 50% of the votes, he would become eligible for the throne. This would give Indian government the much needed stability.
Of the reforms discussed in the 2010 meeting, one of the reforms is about to see the light of the day, the audit and finances of political parties reform. The EC has suggested that all parties should come out open with their balance sheets, funds, donations etc. irrespective of the amount.
This would create a better and transparent situation according to them. In the past there was a limit of 20000 for declaring the donation. The EC has demanded a removal of this tab in the current times.
The 18th conference of the State Election Commissioner was currently held in Ranchi, Jharkand. In this conference, issues related to ballot systems and voting discrepancy were discussed.
The right to vote should be allowed even if the voter’s name is wrongly printed on his card. The commission has decided to encourage maximum voting from the coming election season. Also, they are planning to look at online voting as a prospective medium to get more votes. It is only when maximum people vote that proportionate method of displaying results can be inculcated in the system
An electoral reform also needs securing the public against the goons while placing the vote to avoid manipulation of votes. Also the “Right to Recall” wherein the MLA, MP with a 25-50% criminal record is not allowed to express candidature should also be included.
With corruption and manipulation at an all- time high, it is time to voice for electoral reforms in the country