Election: Real Selection or Deception?

They say the statistics reveal it all. So, let’s just have a look at the statistics of our last Lok Sabha election results. Election, as per our respected representatives, is the scale to measure and declare them to be “our representatives”, let’s just have a look at what kind of representation they have and what kind of democracy we are boasting of for last 64 years. All the data used here are from the website of Election Commission of India and are authentic. Here is the state-wise division of number of candidates and how many of them secured how much % of votes over the total electors in the constituency in the attached data.

This clearly shows a big chunk of people don’t even bother to vote. Have we ever thought about why don’t these people cast their votes? Why such a big percentage of voters don’t take part in election to use the only democratic right they have in our country? The answer is very simple: people are fed up with the very system of it. The amount of money and muscle power used in the election, criminal records of the candidates (as of now, more than 150 elected candidates have criminal charges against them) and the segmentation in the name of caste/religion/region during election propaganda don’t attract them. But do they have any option to show their displeasure? NO. Because we don’t have a “Reject” button in the voting machine. We don’t even have the right to reject the candidate political parties choose for us. We don’t even buy a dress without our choice, but when it comes to the most important thing, governance system of our country, there is no process to convey that I don’t like the candidate you have chosen for me!

Secondly, with such lower percentage of votes cast for them, do they really represent us? I am pretty sure most of us have never seen their MPs other than the time they come to beg for votes from us. And they know very little or nothing about those representatives. They are just selected by parties, elected by few and do whatever they want to do for the next 5 years. Why shouldn’t there be a proper rule to find the real representation? Why not introduce the preferential voting system and a cut-off limit for wining? In the current system, even less than 10% votes of the total voters also make a person “the representative” of the constituency, but is it a proper way to choose the representative? With a 50%+1 cut-off percentage, wouldn’t it be a better representation? Let’s take an example:

A constituency has two heavyweight candidates, A and B. Now there is another candidate C who is neither such a big shot, nor represents some big party. But people know C as an honest person and they have faith in him. Now if preferential voting is introduced, let’s take the result comes this way:
30%: 1st preference A, 2nd preference C
40%: 1st preference B, 2nd preference C
10%: 1st preference C, 2nd preference A
10%: 1st preference C, 2nd preference B
10%: Others
Now the total vote will come out like:
A: (30+10) = 40%
B: (40+10) =50%
C: (30+40+10+10) =90%
Even if we take 50% weightage for 2nd preference, it comes out to be:
A: (30+5) = 35%
B: (40+5) = 45%
C: (15+20+10+10) =55%
In any case, contestant C will be the winner. This way, system will be able to find out the real representative of people, also the chance of real leaders to come up without the backing of the big parties will improve. There will be a better chance of getting more able and honest leaders without the baggage of big parties where the entry level costs a lot of money thereby making the system automatically corrupt.

We need lot more improvements in electoral system. “Right to recall” is another option that needs to be thought about seriously. In current system, even if my representative is found to be involved in any kind of criminal activity (like our very own Kalmadi from Pune is already in Tihar jail, but he is still our representative), we should have the right to recall this representative. Why should we have to bear such representative for next five years, don’t we even have the right to choose a clean representative even if the current one is found out to be a criminal? What kind of democracy is this?

Yes, we need much more awareness and education if we implement such processes. The voters should be more conscious and aware of the consequences and value of his choice; it should not be like “My husband told to cast my vote for this symbol.” Or “I have been promised to get a lunch free if I vote for him.” I completely agree that we need to educate ourselves, but can’t we even start discussing about the betterment of the system? 64 years is not a small time, didn’t we become mature enough to even discuss about more matured way of choosing representatives after such a long time? Then the pride of being the biggest democracy in the world is a mockery of democracy itself. Evolving towards betterment is the only aim of humanity, if we don’t apply this even in the first step of forming good governance for us and choose to stay 64 years back, it’s certainly not anybody else we are fooling around, but it’s us and only us!

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