Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Note on Electoral Reforms

Two Page Note on CERI

India’s present electoral system is the First Past The Post (FPTP) electoral system. In this system any candidate who gains more votes than others is declared winner. It need not be a majority vote. Generally candidates with less than 20% of votes get elected in this system. Parties with about 25% of seats capture power.

In FPTP only one candidate can be elected from one constituency. This means that a vast majority of voters are left without any representation.

Since a candidate can win with about 25 % of votes more muscle and money power, violence and caste/communal hatred are promoted at the time of elections. 

FPTP is good for countries with two party system. India has already come to multiparty system and to the era of coalition politics. Therefore, India is badly in need of changing its electoral system.

Percentage of votes and percentage of seats are not proportionate in FPTP. Parties with less percentage of votes gain more percentage of seats and come to power. On the other hand parties with more percentage of votes gain less percentage of seats. This is an electoral anomaly in Indian democracy.

FPTP allows dominant parties to retain power without giving true representation to minorities such as Dalits, Adivasi/Tribal people, religious, ethnic and other minorities.

Proportionate Electoral System, also known as PR system guarantees that the percentage of votes and percentage of seats are the same in the Parliament and in Assemblies.

PR system has multimember constituencies. This means three or four members can be elected from the same constituency. Thus representatives of many communities can be elected from one constituency providing representation to different parties. Votes will not be wasted.

¨     Only a party or a coalition that gains more than 50% of votes and seats can come to power in this system. It is suited for countries with multiparty system and coalition politics. India fits the bill perfectly.

¨   PR system promotes inner party democracy and reduces corruption and violence. Since many candidates can be elected from the same constituency it does not promote hatred at the time of election. it creates a win-win situation in electoral politics.

¨    Most democracies in the world have shifted to Proportionate Electoral System already. More countries are already in the process of transforming their electoral systems towards proportionate electoral system.

¨    Countries that have adopted PR system have proved that they can contain corruption, electoral malpractices, violence, communalism and dominant rule by a small coterie of the most powerful.

¨   India is badly in need of electoral reform to bring about proportionate electoral system to prevent disintegration, corruption and violence and to prevent the rule of a dominant minority group/party.

What is holding you back?
Not for me, not for you but for India

 Join this Campaign

The Campaign for Electoral Reforms in India (CERI) was initiated in India and in Nepal to promote genuine democratic participation in India and Nepal through the proportionate electoral system.

It has active presence in more than 15 States and recently has stepped into 7 more States.

It has Political Parties, All India Organizations, People’s Movements and International Solidarity Groups in its fold. It is strongly supported by Dalits, Adivasi/Tribal people, Women, religious minorities, sexual minorities, Indigenous Peoples of the world etc.

CERI promotes the Campaign through International, national, state, regional and district level conferences, publications, media, trainings and signature campaigns.

Join the Campaign! Collect as many signatures as you can to reach the target of ten million signatures.

Take Leadership by organizing small meetings and conference at your level.

Contact the Campaign Coordinator at:

Tumkur 572102
Mobile: (0)9845144893 – M C Raj

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