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Sunday, April 07, 2013

Post #1000: My ideas on election reforms

Post no 1000 on enidhi.net

This post outlines my wishlist for election reforms in India. At present there’re no qualifications to become a politician and no process to ensure their accountability. This has spoiled the entire community of politicians and I needn't elaborate further on that.

What can be done to clean up the system a bit?

Setup Qualification guidelines
1.       Minimum education: a diploma or degree level education from a recognized institution is a must and should be treated as must have to file nominations
2.       All prospective applicants should clear an exam. There’re exams for Bank clerks, IAS/IPS posts and almost every other job. All individuals aspiring to serve the people should exhibit their basic and general knowledge by clearing an exam, which can be conducted by election commission. This exam will cover questions around history, administration, decision making/analytical skills, social concerns and other topics of general/common importance. Only those who qualify this exam with 60%+ should be allowed to file nomination for an election
3.       Age limit: Limit the upper age at 55 years. If one is too old, he/she may take the role of a mentor for the party, instead of getting involved in active politics.
4.       One election, one individual, one nomination. Do not allow an individual to file nominations at multiple constituencies. Such activities are done with a fear of losing and is sheer waste of money and effort. Sonia Gandhi contested from Amethi and Ballary, won at both and eventually abandoned Ballary.
5.       Candidate should have a motive to serve people: To contest from a constituency, a candidate should have either born there or should have lived for at least 5 years in the constituency. Without these, he/she will not have any understanding of local problems. Coming from somewhere else and contesting here, just because they didn’t get a ticket elsewhere or for some other reasons should be prevented.
6.       Those who’ve resigned in past 1 year shouldn’t be allowed to re-contest. MLAs and MPs resign to change parties, to seek some other position, to blackmail party high command and for various other reasons most of which are not in the interest of people. Such people should be barred from contesting allocation for next 1 year (or more)
7.         Those seeking re-election should clear additional requirements- like 60%+ attendance during assembly/parliament sessions etc

Guidelines for election campaigns
1.       Public debates: A debate should be organized in places like town halls or other public places, wherein different candidates can share their thoughts, priorities, preferences and so on. Television channels should facilitate debate between prospective candidates
2.       Election commission releases bulletins outlining each candidate’s profile- education, experience, parties changed, promises made earlier and so on
3.       Ban all public rallies. Most of the current population is educated enough and can decide about a candidate’s abilities by reading, instead of listening. There’s no need for massive rallies

Polling
1.       Enable online voting for NRIs
2.       Enable online voting for residents of a constituency settled elsewhere in India and can’t travel for voting

Other accountability measures:
Timesheet. Make all representatives fill in a timesheet outlining their activities. Time spent of party work, time spent at resorts, time spent in assembly/parliament, time spent abroad etc should be clearly captured and documented

Analytics: Thanks to current day technologies, data capture is easy and doable. Capturing % of poor people over time, capturing progress of public works, capturing data on several other things and making them public at the end of term. This data can help determine how effective the representative has been.

Prevent backdoor entry: Many CMs and few PMs never faced elections and got selected via backdoor- i.e they are made MLCs or members of Rajya Sabha and then subsequently inducted into ministry. This includes our own Manmohan Singh and Sadananda Gowda. Need to prevent this path

Basic qualifications for minister: Health minister should have completed at least MBBS (or if that is too much, may be nurse training?), Home minister should have studied law or cleared IAS/IPS exams. Similarly for other posts, certain basic criteria should be defined.

9 comments :

Raveesh Kumar said...

Congrats on 1000th post

Sheshadri said...

Good one nidhi... hope u replace the position the TNS which has lost its sheen from the date he is out of the post

Team G Square said...

Congrats on 1000 posts , may u write many more posts . You made some really valid points on electoral reforms .

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Raveesh, Sheshadri and TGS

Vishal Rathod said...

Nice Compilation of the points . If these points are implemented much of the problems cane solved.

Travel India

Vishal Rathod said...

Nice Compilation of the points . If these points are implemented much of the problems cane solved.

Travel India

rupam sarma said...

Many many Congratulation :)

debarpita mohapatra said...

A seasoned one it is Shri... And congratulations on 1000th post again :)

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Rupam, Vishal, deb