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Election Commission as Custodian of Electoral Reforms

Elections are a prerequisite for the exercise of sovereignty by people and to provide legitimacy to the authority of government. Indian constitution in its Preamble declares that we are a democratic republic. Regular elections are needed to safeguard this democracy. This necessitates that we must have an institution that ensures free and fair election for our democracy. The formation of Election Commission (EC) was conceptualized on these lines by our constitution makers and the responsibility to conduct elections after independence was entrusted Read more...

Electoral Reforms: Challenges and Suggested Solutions

The biggest test of a democracy is how well democratic institutions are able to represent the will of people. The idea is to make the polity inclusive so that say of people is reflected into the policies that are made for them. Health of democratic institutions (particularly legislature and executive) mainly depends on this. The whole concept of elections is embedded into the concept of democracy to fulfill this criterion and to instill the element of legitimacy and accountability into our governance structures. Read more...

Funding of Political Parties: A Brief Note

Strong political parties are essential to open, competitive democratic politics, particularly in emerging democracies. Parties need funding in order to survive, compete, and perform their democratic functions, both during and between election campaigns. Yet political money and those who donate it are widely seen as problematic—at times, even, as threats to democracy. There is no consensus on how parties should be funded, or on the regulation of contributions, expenditures, and public disclosure. Read more...

Internal Party Democracy: A Necessity for Electoral Reforms

An election presents voters with different choices. The voters can choose their own candidates/representatives. These candidates may belong to different political parties (national and local) or can be even independent. However, many choices in this regard are made even before voters vote for the candidates. The candidates are already chosen for a particular constituency by the parties and voterís choice is restricted in terms of voting for the people already chosen by the parties. Thus limits on the choices of the voters are already imposed even before the process of Read more...

Political Corruption and Electoral Reforms

Human weakness for riches and wealth is not vey uncommon and many a times it overcomes our moral and ethical values and is the progeny of the temptation to amass unaccounted and unexpected wealth. The most plaguing problems of administration and commercial dealings arise when people engaged in it are made to compromise their duties and responsibilities by bribing them. However, when this phenomenon interferes with the election process for electing a popular government on the basis of free and fair election by the electorate, it becomes a matter Read more...

Electoral Reforms in India

- Subhash Kashyap, Constitution Expert

In representative democracy, common masses are ruled by people elected by them. In such a set up the election process assumes prime importance. It should be ensured that through elections capable candidates get elected and work selflessly in public interest. There are several problems that bother our electoral system but I think representational legitimacy is the foremost. Today, more votes are polled against a winning candidate. In this Lok Sabha there are 78% MP who got less vote than their opponents put together. Read more...

Summary of Interactive Session with Prof. Jagdeep Chhoker, Founding Trustee, ADR

(17th March 2012, Aravali Lounge, Jawaharlal Nehru University)

Prof. Jagdeep Chhoker preferred to have an all throughout interactive session with the people present in JNU. He started by analyzing the political situation of the day and the policies of the government for reforms in the election system. The various responses to the questions posed in the hour long interactive session were answered by Prof. Chhoker bringing in the issues of inner party democracy and financing of the political parties. Read more...

Report of Panel Discussion on Political Corruption and Electoral Reforms

A panel discussion was organized on the topic Political Corruption and Electoral Reforms on 1st April, 2012 in Noida. Swadesh introduced the subject of political corruption in India and electoral reforms and briefed about the objective and activities of the organization. Read more...