29 September 2011

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Comment on 26 Election Reforms India Needs

Comment on 26 Election Reforms India Needs



On 21 September 2011 I wrote article suggesting 26 Election reforms India needs.

http://realityviews.blogspot.com/2011/09/26-election-reforms-required-for-india.html

Our blogger friend AKS read each election reform suggested by me and he suggested more improvements.

Let us see what he has to say about 26 Election Reforms


In the very first stage the list of these 26 reforms need to be trifurcated so that individual issues can be address in detail.

1) Rules governing the Candidature for Election
1. Criminals not eligible to stand for elections
2. Ban on Candidates found guilty by Lower court
3. Fixing Age – Upper age limit to be fixed for contesting election
4. Filing Affidavit by the Candidates.
5. Right to Reject.
6. Right to recall
7. Introduction of 51% vote concept -
8. Bringing Equality in election spending
12. Limit on contesting elections Limiting number of Attempts
16. Ban on Multiple nomination by the candidates
17. Fixing No of sittings and age limit for Rajya Sabha
21. Electoral malpractices should be declared criminal offenses
24. Income tax return of each elected candidate to be made public.
25. Salary commission for elected politicians



2) Rules governing Political Parties
9. Compulsory Registration of Members and Website by political parties.
10. Political Parties Ban on accepting cash donations
11. Political Part and choosing head.
20. Scrapping Anti-defection law.


3) Rules for Election process monitoring.
13. Election commission officers
14. Election commission chief of India should be appointed by team of
15. Ruling political party and spending
18. Audit of Political Parties and funds
19. Election cases and misconduct
22. Fixing of CCTV cameras and online access
23. Fixing of CCTV camera and live on internet
26. Political Party Manifesto




26 Election Reforms Required for India to make India corruption free India

After our Independence our politicians did not make any changes in the ways the British ruled India.
Thus many Indians do not know the real meaning of democracy.

To make the lives of citizens better the politicians need to introduce new laws and have to amend the laws.

To reduce corruption in India we have to bring many type of new laws as well as we have to amend the old laws.


To make our Indian democracy strong, good people should get elected in elections

India needs to bring following reforms in our election system.

Election Reforms for Central and State Government elections –

Following are the 26 suggested election reforms for India to improve the election system of India.

1. Not eligible to stand for elections –
If any court in India has framed a charges against a candidate then that candidate should not allowed to stand in any public elections.

Once a charge is framed by court of law against anyone then those candidates should be considered ineligible to stand in lower house elections as well as upper house elections.

Below is Comment by Aks

Here charge need to be defined as any charge would arbitrate the issue because petty charges can be framed against any one at any given time. Say for e.g. you are charged for driving without a driving license. So my suggestion would be for charges that are punishable for imprisonment of 2 or more years should be considered.

2. Punishment by Lower court and ban –
Any candidate who is found guilty by any court of law in India and if such criminal has filed appeal in higher court of law then that candidate should be banned from contesting any public elections that is upper or lower house.

Rule is simple = Go to court of law prove that you are not guilty then stand for elections or if you are guilty then go complete your jail term and then stand for elections.

Below is Comment by Aks
Same as No. 1.

3. Fixing Age - After age of 65 or 70 or 60 No one should be allowed to contest elections.

Below is Comment by Aks

Yes as there is a minimum age limit there should be an upper age limit for contesting elections.

4. Affidavit.
Before elections every candidate is supposed to file affidavit.
If any candidate gives false information in his affidavit in such cases a candidate should be sent to Jail for 25 Years or fine of Rs. 25 Crore with no power to anyone to reduce the fine or jail term.
Secondly a political party which gave such a candidate ticket should not be allowed to contest any elections or such party should be fined for giving an election ticket.
It should be compulsory duty of Political party that party checks the affidavits of each candidate before submitting the affidavit to election commission.
This way a candidate will not get any excuse to say that I forgot or its typing mistake.

Below is Comment by Aks

Yes false affidavit is a problem in the election process. The format of current affidavit needs to be modified. There are numerous problems in the issue of affidavit.
The affidavit is filed just few days before the election, hence it is almost impossible to verify the contents of the affidavit before election.
And as per the election rules & procedures you cannot bar the candidate from contesting even if the affidavit is false the only option is that you have is to challenge the affidavit after election. Only affidavits of returned candidates are challenged and it takes years to establish the charges. The punishment is done under Advocate Act which is only 6 months imprisonment for filing false affidavit.

Here I would suggest bringing in the IT department. Any citizen who wishes to contest election should have filed his return of income for previous one year. It does not matter even if it is a nil return, but the return should provide complete details of his assets and liabilities and source of income. This might call upon modification in IT Acts too.
As per the IT acts third party information are not disclosed in RTI application, hence the IT return should specify a column stating that my IT return should be made public for who ever wants to contest election in future. IT returns of such persons should be made public form the date of filing the IT return. In this way people will know who is going to contest future elections and they can investigate information of such prospective candidate.
More debate is needed in this reform.


5. Right to Reject.
None of the above option on ballot paper or electronic voting machine – Voter should be allowed to reject the candidate thus after the 10 or 20 candidate there should be one button for none of the above.
If in any election 51% votes show none of the above then in that city new election should take place and all the 10 or 20 candidates should not be allowed to contest 2nd time elections.
This will encourage citizens to vote.
Politicians and political parties will think 10 times before giving election ticket and spending on election. Currently candidates spend black money of Rs. 25 or 10 Crore. If they get elected they know that they will become richer by using legal loopholes and their powers.
None of the above votes should be counted and should be declared in elections.

Below is Comment by Aks
this is already in debate and discussion.

6. Right to recall – How to introduce Right to recall it’s very easy.
After winning elections if citizens feel that now their chosen candidate has become bad or corrupt then in this case we need a provision so that citizens can fire him from his job.

Introduction of Right to recall through election system.

For this each year an election should be held by election commission of India and if elected politician gets less that 51% votes then in such case it should be considered that citizens rejected him and new election should take place.
Ballot paper or electronic machine should have only two choices
Hire him or Fire him
after that in election if 51% votes go for fire him then he should resign from his post and new election should take place.

Below is Comment by Aks

This is already in debate and discussion. But calling election every year is not feasible. More options are needed to be searched before reaching any conclusion. It may be called upon for debate and discussion on national agenda.

7.
Introduction of 51% vote concept -

In an election suppose no one gets 51% votes.
In that case election commission should take 2nd election between only those 2 candidates who got highest votes. Then in 2nd election who ever wins should be declared the winner.

Below is Comment by Aks

this may not be feasible as it will always call for 2nd election and increase in the cost of conducting the election. There are numerous candidates in the first attempt and they will distribute the votes hence rarely any candidate will get 51%. Here it seems the reason for such reform is to reduce no of candidates, it needs to be debated and discussed with more inputs.

8. Bringing Equality in election spending –
For this Government of India should create a fund and from that fund election commission should fund and help each candidate. No candidate should be allowed to spend from his pockets.

Below is Comment by Aks

Here again the problem is that very less funds are spent on campaigning and advertising by individual candidates major money is spent in cash by the candidates for giving gifts, benefits and in hard cash.
More needs to be discussed on this reform.

9. Compulsory Registration of Members and Website –
It should be compulsory for every political party to have a website and each party should register its party workers. On its website each party should give the criminal background of its party workers.

Below is Comment by Aks

This may not help much because even today there are some websites like myneta.info which provides info of criminal background of returned candidates and still they enjoy the benefits of getting elected again.
Yes the reform may be acceptable but rarely any political party updates the website. It may be used for educating citizens on broader scale by the political parties.


10. Political Parties Ban on accepting cash donations –
Political Parties should not be allowed to accept donations or funds in cash. Parties should be allowed to accept funds and donations through cheque only. Even if someone is paying donation of Rs. One then also he should give Rs.One by way of cheque. Any political party who accepts the donation by way of Cash should be banned from contesting elections for next 50 Years. Party chief and its management should be banned from contesting elections even if they form new political party.

Below is Comment by Aks

Yes this should be implemented 100% with a condition that all political parties will also make payment by cheque only for all their expenses.
Here again there is a issue to be debated, e.g. say X wants to donate cash to party Y, the Y will ask X to purchase say 1000 caps with their logo and distribute in the public. How will we curb this??
No donations in the form of kind of any product should be accepted by the party. Here again all their receipts and payments should be made available on the internet through their website on monthly basis.
More needs to be investigated.

11. Political Part and choosing head –
Introduction of Democracy inside political party working.
All political parties should choose its party head or party chief through election and such election should be monitored by Election commission.
No one should become the head of party because his father or mother is the head of that party.

Below is Comment by Aks

This may be called upon but the serious problem is how do we ascertain the voters of such political party? If we consider reform no. 9 registration of party worker then one person will be registering for more then one party as its worker because the same problem will arise who ever is contesting will try and pull more and more workers in his favor and this will create a chaos.
More investigation is needed.

12. Limit on contesting elections Limiting number of Attempts –
Win or lose No one should be allowed to contest elections more than 4 times. Even if someone wins elections 4 times then also he should not be allowed to contest any election. Every Indian should be allowed to contest elections only for 4 times. No 5th chance even if he becomes Mahatma or God of Nation.

Below is Comment by Aks

Yes this may be acceptable but it should be some thing like say you can contest election 4 times but you can only get elected 2 times for any given single election. For example you can contest 4 times for councilor only if you lose the election but you cannot be elected for more then 2 times. Once you are elected twice you cannot contest for councilor’s election again even if you have contested for 2 times. Then next you can contest for MLA and the same case after elected twice as MLA you cannot contest for MLA but you can contest for MP.

13. Election commission officers –
Currently in India IAS officers from each state monitor the elections of that same state. In this what happens those IAS officers know that in future he will work under that leader whom he is monitoring thus there is need that the IAS officers from other state should monitor the elections of other state and choosing of these IAS officers should be done by Supreme Court of India or election commission of India.

Below is Comment by Aks

Yes this should be implemented but instead of Supreme Court doing the choosing a computer random selection (or lottery using the name chit) in open public domain should be done from the list of available IAS officers to be deputed on the job.


14. Election commission chief of India should be appointed by team of Retired Supreme Court judges or parliament should vote and choose the chief election commission.

Below is Comment by Aks

Open letter of vacancy should be published and who ever intents to become EC should submit his credentials. Selection may be done by retired judges of Supreme Court and high courts. May be a committee of such judges can be created. This committee can also perform may other jobs.
Parliament should not be allowed to vote because if say party Y has majority in parliament then the candidate favoured by the party Y will get automatically elected this will become a biased appointment.

15. Ruling political party and spending –
No right to spend funds on advertisements. If they will do the good work media will automatically report that work Political party head can take a meeting with reporters and can inform them what their achievements are. Political parties should not be allowed to spend a single Rupee on advertisement.

Below is Comment by Aks

Yes this is very important but will never get a place. Why only ruling political party, all political parties should be banned from giving any advertisement. All parties should be given a single platform say a national press room where the party’s spoke person will have a press briefing and what ever is said in the press briefing should be shown on all TV channels and should be published in all local news papers.



16. Many times in India rich candidates stand in election from two places so we need to bring a new law which will restrict the candidates from standing in elections from 2 cities or constituencies

Below is Comment by Aks

Law should restrict to file nomination for just one constituency.

17. Upper House and Retirement
Rajya Sabha Members - Rajya Sabha or upper house members we need to introduce law and see that each Rajya Sabha member retires forever after serving 2 terms. Limit on number of times how many times a candidate can become member of upper house.

Below is Comment by Aks

Fix age limit to be member of Rajya sabha @ 70 and no of times should be restricted to 2. Just like other elections reform no 3 and 12 above.

18. Audit of Political Parties and funds – Election commission of India should audit the political party members every year and it should inform the Indian citizens that each party got how many criminal party workers with their names and photos and addresses.

Below is Comment by Aks

Need more debate and discussion.

19. Election cases and misconduct – It should be made compulsory for High courts and Supreme Court of India to give the judgment of case in 3 months of time in a cases which are related with elections.
Comment by Aks

Judiciary accountability bill should include this.

20. Currently Indian laws do not allow parties to purchase single MP OR MLA but as per law they can buy the gangs of MP and MLA. Suggested reform is scrapping of anti defection law. Each Single MP and MLA should be allowed to change his party daily basis and vote for anyone without fear of his party leader. MP and MLA should fear his city or village people to whom he represents and not to his party leadership and party whip and party head orders. No MP or MLA should be disqualified if he goes against the party.

Below is Comment by Aks

Anti defection law should be scrapped.

21. Electoral malpractices should be declared criminal offenses carrying a sentence of 25 Years.

Below is Comment by Aks

Already discussed earlier.

22. Fixing of CCTV cameras and online access - Introduction of law that every political should install a CCTV camera in their party offices thus Indian citizens can see to whom the party workers and leaders are meeting.

Below is Comment by Aks

Privacy may be a concern. But for keep issues transparent more discussion and debate make bring in some more options.

23. Fixing of CCTV camera and live on internet – All government offices should be fixed with CCTV so every Indian can see how much hard work the elected politician is doing for the citizens.

Below is Comment by Aks

Accountability, citizens charter, may solve this problem to certain extend.

24. Each Year elected politician should declare in depth how he made money and how and why his property is increasing.

Below is Comment by Aks

Providing IT returns (revised with more info as suggested earlier) should be posted on the net every year but IT department of all elected members of the society. Starting from panchayat to Parliament.


25. Salary commission for elected politicians – A new government department should be created who will decide the salaries of elected politicians with the right not to pay the salaries to elected politicians if they fail to deliver the promises.

Below is Comment by Aks

This again may be brought under Accountability, citizens’ charter. Fixing of salaries should not be given to self just the case is now.
This issues needs more inputs by debate and discussion.


26. Political Party Manifesto –
In every election political parties issue manifesto saying that we will do this and that. Now we need to bring a law which will give manifesto a status a contract between citizens and political parties if political parties fail to give what manifesto says then citizens should be allowed to file case of cheating against elected candidate as well as political party bosses and heads Such cases should be decided in 3 months of time.
This will stop the political parties from giving false promises to citizens. Currently political party promise to citizens anything which is not possible as law does not allow it.

Below is Comment by Aks


As the election in our country are conducted for electing a member of parliament and not a party to parliament no political part manifesto should be issued but every candidate should issue his personal manifesto. It may coincide with his parties views by doing this candidate will have an option not to include few points that he or she may disagree with his/her party and will have an option to include others which may not be of his/her party or possible it may be even of the opposition party’s.

Reality views by sm –
Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tags- India Election Reforms 26

4 comments:

Kirti September 29, 2011  

Though I do not know much about election procedures, I feel that candidates elected to assemblies or parliament should forfeit the right to be pardoned by the President.
President, many will say is a rubber stamp. But there are incidents in the Indian History where the President had a very crucial role to play. Especially during the Chandrasekhar-Deve Gowda-IK Gujral phase of Indian history.
CBI will have power to investigate corruption issues.

AKS September 30, 2011  

I would like to emphasis here and insist that the basic constitution of our parliament was election of MP and not of Political parties. Currently the political parties I would call them -gangs- have changed the system. Instead of Member of Parliament we are forced to elect Party of Parliament which I feel is murder of democracy. Hence if this basic rule is reformed I am sure major reforms will automatically fall in place.

sm,  September 30, 2011  

@AKS

thanks.Yes now we choose the party or indirectly we end up choosing party not the MP.