Elections election. The cost which is incurred

Elections
are of utmost importance in any Democratic country. As we all know, democracy
is defined as a government of the people, for the people and by the people.
Such governments, as in the ancient city states of Greece, can be formed with
the people directly participating in them. But in countries like India, China,
the U.S.A., in the U.S.S.R. or in any modern state with several million people,
cannot have direct democracy.

Meaning
of ‘Democracy’, ‘Election’, and ‘Voting’: The word democracy has its origin in
two Greek words ‘demos’ and ‘krasis’. Demos means ‘the people, and Krasis means
‘power to rule’. So, democracy refers to the power of the common people of the
land.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

The word
Election comes from the Latin word ‘Eligere’. ‘Eligere’ means “to choose,
select or pick”. To elect, or vote, means to select or to make a choice.

The word
voting is derived from Latin word ‘Votum’ meaning ‘to wish for’. Voting refers
to the process of choosing or electing a candidate to run the government’s
affairs, usually through a ballot.

In
India, which is the largest democracy in the world in terms of vastness and
population, governments both at the centre and in the constituent states are
elected for five-year terms. The electorate of so many crores of people in this
sub-continent participate in the election, held on the basis of universal adult
franchise, and send their representatives to both the Parliament and the state
legislatures, expecting that these representatives will safeguard their
interests and work to attain the goal of progress, prosperity, unity and
integrity of India as also to ensure rights and freedom of the people. In this
indirect democracy the elections play the most important role in shaping the
destiny of the people, and the people, while exercising their franchise,
constitute the real source of power in the elections as they make their choice
and elect only those in whom they have faith.

 

In India
almost every month one or the other state is setting tones for an election. The
cost which is incurred during campaign process is very high. Current Indian
election system is hampering in the growth of India as well as in policy making
also. Moreover, the procedure is also very time consuming and chaotic.

After
One Nation, One Tax1,
PM Modi is all set to build consensus on an ambitious reform called: One
Nation, One Election (Lok Sabha & Vidhan Sabha elections held at once).
Former President Pranab Mukherjee also showed support to this initiative.
Recently, Election Commission has said it is ready to conduct the elections at
once after September, 2018.

“One
Nation, One Election”. This sentence shows the strength of election. In
reality, the election is the way to make changes in any country because the
elected people through elections are expected to make policies, laws for the
development of the country. In India Every year one or the other state is ready
for an election. The cost which incurred during campaign process are very high.
Moreover, the procedure is also very time consuming. PM Modi has always want to
unite the state and general elections so that it reduce the cost as well as the
chaos attached with it.

President
Pranab Mukherjee also showed support to the One India One Election initiative
of PM Modi .Current Indian election system is hampering in the growth of India
as well as in policy making also. In India, there is the concept of frequent
election which should be changed now. Frequent election means the elections of
assemblies and Lok Sabha are conducted separately. It is having pros and cons of
it.

 

 

In South
Africa, elections to national and provincial legislatures are held
simultaneously for five years and after two years municipal elections are held.
Similarly in Sweden, simultaneous elections to national legislature (Riksdag),
provincial legislature/county council (landsting) and local bodies/municipal
Assemblies (Kommunfullmaktige) are held on a fixed date i.e. second Sunday in
September for four years.

 

This
concept or idea is not new in India. After the independence and enforcement of
constitution, the first election which was conducted in the year of 1952 was
conducted simultaneously. It was in practical from 1952 to 1970 i.e. 1952,
1957, 1962 and 1967 But in 1968 and 1969, the cycle got disrupted due to the
premature dissolution of some Legislative Assemblies. Similarly in the year
1970, the Lok Sabha itself got dissolved prematurely. This concept was ended
when fourth Lok Sabha was dissolved early. This recommendation is again raised
by our Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi and the idea is also supported by the
President Mr Pranab Mukherjee.

 “The Election Commission has always been of
the view that simultaneous elections will give enough time for incumbent
government to formulate policies and implement programmes continuously for a
longer time without interruptions caused by imposition of model code of conduct,”
election commissioner Om Prakash Rawat at Press Trust of India ( PTI ) in New
Delhi.

He said
conducting the polls together would be possible only when necessary changes in
the Constitution and Representation of the People Act are carried out. Existing
legal and constitutional provisions mandates that elections are to be held
within six months ahead of the end of the term of a state assembly or the Lok
Sabha.

Rawat
said after the constitutional and legal framework are in place, it would be
feasible to seek all the logistical support and conduct simultaneous elections.

“Commission
may conduct such elections after six months (after constitutional and legal
changes are made),” the election commissioner said.

He said
bringing all political parties on board is an imperative for holding the
simultaneous polls.

A parliamentary committee under the
chairmanship of Congress MP EM Sudarsana Natchiappan in December 2015
recommended simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the state assemblies.

The report, titled, the Feasibility of
Holding Simultaneous Elections to House of People (Lok Sabha) and State
Legislative Assemblies, was submitted to Parliament by the Standing Committee
on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice. The report emphasised the
need for holding simultaneous elections listing out its reasons:

The
holding of simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and state assemblies would
reduce the massive expenditure that is currently incurred for the conduct of separate
elections. It would end the policy paralysis that results from the imposition
of the Model Code of Conduct during election time Simultaneous elections will
reduce the impact on delivery of essential services Simultaneous elections will
lessen the burden on crucial manpower that is deployed during election time.

The
standing committee said, in its report, that seven of the 16 Lok Sabhas that
have been constituted so far were dissolved pre-maturely due to coalition
governments. It further observed that the legislatures have been completing
their full term in recent years. The standing committee said that due to
anti-defection law and restrictions on President’s power to proclaim emergency
under Article 356 have prevented party hopping after elections and had direct
bearing on the terms of legislature. The standing committee, in its report,
backed the recommendations of the Law Commission report of 1999. The Law
Commission had then suggested that elections of legislative assemblies whose
term ends six months after the Lok Sabha polls can be clubbed together (when
all elections are held concurrently for the first time).

However,
the results of such elections can be declared at the end of the assembly’s
tenure.

The
standing committee also said that there is necessary legal framework to hold
simultaneous elections. The Representation of People Act, 1951, it said, allows
the Election Commission of India to notify general elections six months prior
to the end of the terms of Lok Sabha and state assemblies. The standing
committee, though, observed some practical difficulties in holding simultaneous
elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies. It said that the elections to
the assemblies of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim were
held in March-May 2014 period. These assemblies can be re-elected in 2019
simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections. The elections to the assemblies of
Haryana and Maharashtra will be due within six months of the Lok Sabha
elections in 2019. These assemblies can also be re-elected with the Lok Sabha
elections in 2019. But holding elections for rest of the assemblies will be an
aberration. It would require a Constitution Amendment before 2019 general
elections.

On the
other hand, the NITI Aayog2
in a ‘Note on Simultaneous Elections’ said that given the terms of existing
State Assemblies, it would be nearly impossible to implement simultaneous
elections to the Lok Sabha and all State Assemblies at one go from April – May
2019 or before June 2019.

“If
this is to be done, then estimates show that tenures of many State Assemblies
would need to be curtailed by more than two years (examples like Assam, Kerala,
Tamil Nadu etc.) and tenures of many other State Assemblies would need to be
extended by more than two years (examples like Goa, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand
etc.),” the NITI Aayog note reads.To deal with the practical and political
difficulties both the standing committee and the NITI Aayog agreed with the idea
that the proposal to hold simultaneous elections should be implemented in two
phases.

The NITI
Aayog note says, “It is suggested that simultaneous elections be
considered in two-phases.

Phase-I
is suggested to be in sync with that of the Lok Sabha elections i.e. April –
May 2019.

Phase II
is suggested approximately mid-way in the term of the Lok Sabha i.e. 30 months
after Phase-I, it around October – November 2021.”

A study done by IDFC3 institute,
a think-tank, analysed electoral data since 1999. They chose all states that
have had coinciding elections with each of these Parliament elections and
compared assembly segment wise winners for Parliament and assembly. In 16 cases
of simultaneous elections from 1999 to 2014, cumulatively 302 million voters
expressed their choices across 2601 assembly constituencies in 6 states. In 77%
of these constituencies, the winner came from the same political party.

 “Contrary to popular notion that the average
voter is acutely discerning of the difference between voting for her state
representative and national, there is very little actual evidence of it,”

 

The
advantages of conducting simultaneous election in India are listed below which
definitely help the conducting the election more fixable, lucid and
transparency.

1. Saving
cost:

The
election procedure is not only tiresome and hectic but also expensive. Parties
individually spend a lot on election campaigning, the amount that could be put
to better use if they have to do that only at once for the general election as
well as the state election. Government also spares no expense when it comes to
wooing the votes of the supporters during the times of elections.

 

2. Saving
time:

Half of
the year is spent by politicians concentrating on strategies for the upcoming
election in one or the other state and debating the actions of the competing
party. The name calling and blame game take a lot of time that could be used
for something productive. On the part of common people too, it would be time
saving to cast both the votes together.

3.
Shunning the vote bank:

When
elections are around the corners, most political parties throw gimmicks to gain
vote bank or to destroy the reputation of the other party. They use issues to
frame policies that would gain the upper hand at the elections. People are
aware of this and more importantly they are tired of this. Building roads and
developing infrastructure all seem to happen only when elections are around the
corners.

 

4.
Encouraging policymaking:

The fear
of losing voters prevent politicians from encouraging the passage of policies
that require immediate attention. They are never united in their decisions
because they are always worried of how best of appease the people they are
expecting highest votes from. A combined election procedure would give them
ample time to concentrate on policymaking without having to worry about the
votes being gained or lost.

 

5.
Lowering vices:

Casteism,
communalism, corruption and partiality prevails because of so many elections
that happen almost every year. This would only stop if elections are held
jointly and odds of gaining or losing prevail at once and for all. The rest of
their term of career, they wouldn’t try inciting the evil that destroy the
peace of the nation.

 

The disadvantages
of conducting simultaneous election in India are listed below which create
hazard in conducting simultaneous election in India.

1. Not
possible:

 Holding the Lok Sabha elections along with
elections to assembly and panchayats is not that easy a process. It will have
various complications as the villages and the cities together gear for voting.
There may also be shortage of administrative staff and security to look after
the procedure. Less care at the voting centres may further incite trouble and
corrupt processes being carried out unchecked. Booth capturing is not something
people would want in exchange for saving on time.

 

 

2. Cost
can still be cut down:

By
putting a strict cap on the election costs for all parties, the overall dilemma
associated with the expense of holding elections separately can be done away
with. They are usually seen spending before the model code of conduct comes
into play. If that can be restricted, there is no way the costs would exceed
normal.

 

3.
Keeping a good check:

Politicians
are kept on their toes when they are regularly worried about the routine
elections that they need to be presentable for. They know they are accountable
for the actions of their party member and anything going wrong could mean
snatching of their powers. This fear is good to keep them in check.

 

4. Makes
them keep up the good work:

 Not many good works go into their books but
the ones they do are usually during elections. Cutting down on elections would
mean making them lazy for the rest of the term and suddenly becoming overactive
during the election year.

 

5.
National and State issues:

 Holding both the elections together will also
mean mixing up the national issues with those of the state. The national issues
would overpower the state which in turn would get less priority from the
politicians.

 

6.
Constitutional Amendments:

To pass
these amendments, they require special majorities in Lok Sabha & Rajya
Sabha. This would be a challenging task for the Govt. to build consensus among
various political outfits, which have certain biases.

 

To avoid
frequent elections it is necessary to have stable elected bodies. It is
pertinent to note that a no-confidence motion is not mentioned in the
Constitution or any law, for that matter. It finds place in Rule 198 of the
Rules and Conduct of Business of the Lok-Sabha, which states that 50 or more
members can move a no-confidence motion. If it succeeds, the government has to
resign and if no other party or parties can form the government, premature elections follow.

The Law Commission of India in its
report of 1999 has dealt with the problem of premature and frequent elections.
It had recommended an amendment of this rule on the lines of the German
Constitution, which provides that the leader of the party who wants to replace
the chancellor has to move the no-confidence motion along with the confidence
motion. If the motions succeed, the president appoints him as the chancellor.
If such an amendment to Rule 198 is made, the Lok-Sabha would avoid premature
dissolution without diluting the cardinal principle of democracy that is a
government with the consent of the peoples’ representatives with periodical
elections. It will also be consistent with the notion of collective
responsibility of the government to the House as mentioned in Article 75 (3) of
the Constitution.

 

This
will bring stability and transparency in the system.

1.
Elections can be held over a period of time (two months or so), this would give
ample time to provide staff, security and equipment. Logistics can also be
managed to conduct elections without any hiccups.

2.
Politician’s complacency can be addressed by having mid-term elections, where
voters in a constituency have the right to reject the minister. This would make
them accountable for what they have promised in the manifesto. Similar solution
was proposed by BJP MP from Pilibhit4,
Varun Gandhi. It is also duly addressed when Zilla Parishad, Mandal Level &
Gram Panchayat elections are held at different times.

 

3. One
Nation One Election would be a good change if it could be carried out with the
proper implication of policies and rules and taking care of the rising need for
good administrative staff and security officials. Without the required
facilities, it is bound to create more problems than it would solve. The
initiative is well received and supported by many. Only if it gets the right

 

4. One
Nation One Election would be a good change if it could be carried out with the
proper implication of policies and rules and taking care of the rising need for
good administrative staff and security officials. Without the required
facilities, it is bound to create more problems than it would solve. The
initiative is well received and supported by many. Only if it gets the right
requisites, there is no reason why it wouldn’t prove to be good for the
electoral procedures of the country.

 

Conclusion:

One
nation one election is an interesting concept but whether it will decrease the
evils that the nation/government wants to get rid of needs to be debated
thoroughly. To be sure, there are multiple issues that will need to be
addressed if the country intends to move in this direction. The concerns and
suggestions of different stakeholders will have to be debated in order to build
political consensus around the idea. That said, the proposal will not only have
economic benefits but will free up precious political space for policy
discussions. It will also help in taking forward the process of economic
reforms as decisions will not always be hostage to assembly elections. An
Indian election would be a good change, if it could be done with the
appropriate involvement of policies and rules, and care of the growing need for
good administration officials and security forces. Without the necessary
facilities, it is bound to create more problems than it solves. The initiative
is welcomed and supported by many. Only if the appropriate requirements will be
provided, there is no reason why it would not be good for the electoral process
in the country.

 

1 “What is a
‘Goods and Services Tax – GST'” (Goods and Services Tax – GST 2017)
accessed November 10, 2017

2 Jain S, ‘NITI Aayog
In India’ (Economics discussion, 2015)
accessed 9 November 2017

 

3 IDFC Limited,
‘Advantages of Conducting Simultaneous Election in India ‘ (Research Work 2014)
accessed 8 November 2017

4 Wikipedia, ‘Pilibhit City’ (Encyclopedia 2012)
accessed 8 November 2017