Skip to main content

Electoral reforms: Introduce proportional representation for 70% of Lok Sabha seats, demand activists

By Our Representative
The Campaign for Electoral Reforms in India (CERI), a network of NGOs working on electoral reforms and related issues, has put forward the demand which has been in air for quite for decades now. It wants proportionate electoral system (PES) to be implemented as the main cornerstone of electoral reforms in India. In Delhi, the event was organised at Mandi House, where activists formed a human chain. A CERI statement claimed, it had been “campaigning with this demand for the last seven years”, adding, “A similar human chain putting forward the demand was also formed in six other cities of India.”
The statement said, “Mandi House in Delhi circle saw jubilant and festive mood, when people holding hands with colourful banners and placards formed human chain. Political parties, students group, trade unions, and people from the marginalized communities living in slums, resettlement colonies, waste pickers and homeless gathered to demand their space in democracy.” The placards had slogans such as “PES ensures power in the hands of excluded people”, “PES is ideal for multi-party democracy”, and “Political participation of women is must for Nation Building”.
The term proportional representation (PR) characterizes electoral systems in which each party's share of the seats in an elected assembly approximates its share of the vote. If 30% of the electorate support a particular political party then roughly 30% of seats will be won by that party. The essence of such systems is that all votes contribute to the result, not just a plurality or majority of them. It requires the use of multiple-member voting districts, as it is not possible using single-member districts alone, according to experts.
Talking with newspersons, Dharmendra Kumar from Lok Adhikar said that India needed change in the electoral system, and the present system is not fit for multi-party democracy. Leena Dabiru, national coordinator, CERI added that denial of representation has already resulted in amassing resources of the country. 
“The marginalised and vulnerable sections of society are suffering due to non-representation. Only 10 per cent of the powerful communities have ruled India since independence. More than 89 democratic countries in the world have already adopted PES. Countries in western Europe with 20% and above women's representation in the parliament have adopted PES.”
The statement, however, believed that CERI did not want to completely do away with the present electoral method, which is called first-past-the-post (FPTP), under which the candidate receiving more votes than any other(s) wins. It said, there should be a mix of FPTP (30% of candidates) with PES (70% of candidates). It is not known why CERI wished such a mix. It further said that each voter should have two votes, one for the candidate and one for the party, and each party should prepare a list of candidates in the order of priority.
Campaigning for electoral reforms since October 2008, CERI said, those who participated included Praveen Pradhan, National, vice president of the Janata Dal (United) and Supreme Court advocate Ashwani Bakshi, apart from sveeral women from activist group representatives. Similar demonstrations were held at Imphal, Manipur; Bhubneshwar, Odisha; Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh; Raipur, Chhattisgarh; Ranchi, Jharkhand; and Bangalore, Karantaka.

Comments

TRENDING

India performs 'poorly' in Quality of Life Index, ranks 62nd out of 64 countries

Counterview Desk “Expat Insider”, which claims to be one of the world’s most extensive surveys about living and working abroad, in a survey of 20,259 participants from around the globe, has found that of the 64 destinations around the globe, has found that while Taiwan is the best destination for persons living outside their native country, closely by Vietnam and Portugal, India ranks 59th.

Youngest of 16 activists jailed for sedition, Mahesh Raut 'fought' mining on tribal land

By Surabhi Agarwal, Sandeep Pandey* A compassionate human being, always popular among his friends and colleagues because of his friendly nature and human sensitivity, 33-year-old Mahesh Raut, champion of the democratic rights of the marginalised Adivasi people of Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, has been in prison for over two years now.

India's GDP down by 50%, not 23%, job loss 200 million not 122 million: Top economist

By Our Representative  One of India’s topmost economists has estimated that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline was around 50%, and not 23%, as claimed by the Government of India’s top data body, National Statistical Organization (NSO). Prof Arun Kumar, who is Malcolm S Adiseshiah chair professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, said this was delivering a web policy speech, organised by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi.

Human development index: India performs worse than G-20 developing countries

By Rajiv Shah A new book, “Sustainable Development in India: A Comparison with the G-20”, authored by Dr Keshab Chandra Mandal, has regretted that though India’s GDP has doubled over the last one decade, its human development indicators are worse than not just developed countries of the Group of 20 countries but also developing countries who its members.

Stan Swamy vs Arnab Goswami: Are activists fighting a losing battle? Whither justice?

By Fr Sunil Macwan SJ* It is time one raised pertinent questions over the courts denying bail to Fr Stan Swamy, who was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), and granting it to Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of the Republic TV, arrested under the charge of abetting suicide of Avay Naik, who ended his life in 2018. It is travesty of justice that a human rights activist is not only denied bail but is also made to wait for weeks to hear a response to his legitimate request for a straw to drink water, while Arnab Goswami walks free.

India among heavily impacted by Covid-19, China 'notoriously' evading transparency

By NS Venkataraman* With the year 2020 inevitably ending in the next few weeks, the thought amongst the people all over the world is whether the coming year 2021 will be free of Covid-19 (often dubbed as Wuhan virus, as it known to have spread from Wuhan in China).In the early 2020, many people thought that Covid-19 would be a localized affair in China but later on, it proved to be a global pandemic.

Namaz in Mathura temple: Haridwar, Ayodhya monks seek Faisal Khan's release

By Our Representative As many as 23 members of the Hindu Voices for Peace (HVP), including the founder president of the well-known Haridwar-based Matri Sadan Ashram, Swami Shivananda Saraswati, and a one of its top monks, Brahmachari Aatmabodhanand, have expressed their “dismay” over the arrest of Khudai Khidmatdar chief Faisal Khan and three others on charges of “promoting enmity between religions” and “defiling a place of worship” after they offered namaz in Mathura’s Nand Baba temple premises on October 29.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Government of India 'refuses' to admit: 52% of bird species show declining trend

Finn's Weaver  By Our Representative The Government of India has been pushing out “misleading” data on the country’s drastic wildlife decline, says a well-researched report, pointing towards how top ministers are hiding data on biodiversity losses, even as obfuscating its own data. It quotes “State of India’s Birds Report 2020” to note that of the 261 out of 867 bird species for which long-term trends could be determined, 52% have declined since the year 2000, with 22% declining strongly.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.