Prepare IAS Coaching
Title : ELECTORAL REFORMS IN INDIA
Date : Dec 18, 2021
GS – II
Topic à Election related issues
- Reforms in the election system are required because:
- Criminalization of politics: 40% of LS MPs and 23% of RS MPs have a criminal record.
- Election outcomes are still influenced by money and brute force.
- In the 16th LS elections, just 66 percent of eligible voters cast ballots. As a result, there is a pressing need to improve voter participation.
- In the 16th LS, women make up only 11.3 percent of the population.
- The EC's role should be expanded, and new powers should be granted. Appointments to the EC should be made in a more transparent manner.
- Political fundraising is a highly opaque and corrupt environment.
- Voter victimisation - via booth and constituency profiling.
- What changes are required:
- Set a limit on how much money political parties can spend, similar to the limit on how much money candidates can spend.
- Consider public funding of political parties (rather than elections), with an independent audit and a complete prohibition on private donations.
- Internal democracy and transparency in the workings of political parties should be enforced. Bring them under the RTI's jurisdiction.
- Create an independent national election fund to receive all tax-free donations. It could be run by the ECI or any other non-governmental organisation.
- Accept the ECI's proposal to provide it legal authority to annul elections if credible evidence of money laundering is discovered.
- Persons accused of serious crimes who are facing criminal charges should be barred from running for office.
- Enable the ECI to de-register political parties that have not contested an election in ten years but have received tax breaks.
- Declare paid news a "corrupt activity" (Section 100 RP Act) and "undue influence" (Section 123(2)) electoral offence punishable by two years in prison.
- The Election Commission of India (ECI) has made the following recommendations:
- Election commissioners, like chief election commissioners, should be guaranteed tenure security.
- The ECI should have the same contempt powers as the Indian courts. The institution's dignity is harmed by frequent disdain.
- The funding of political parties should be open and transparent.
- Under the Representation of People Act 1951, ECI should be given the authority to create rules.
- The ECI should have the authority to audit political party accounts.
- Elections for the legislative assembly and parliament should be held at the same time.
- If a candidate is facing criminal charges, he should be barred from running for office.
- Make paying for news a crime.
- Allowing a single candidate to run in multiple constituencies is prohibited.
- Source à The Hindu à 16/12/21 à Page Number 8
Tags : paid news, national political parties