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

#MeToo moment in Hyderabad Urdu varsity? Two girl students seek action against authorities

Counterview Desk
Has the #MeToo movement reached Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MAANU)? It would seem so if a recent letter by newly-appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed to MAANU vice-chancellor Dr Aslam Parvaiz is any indication. Seeking reinstatement of two girl victims of “sexual harassment and humiliation”, the letter specifically names head of the department of the Media Centre for Journalism, suspecting, the problem could be much deeper.
Text of the letter: It is a matter of utmost perturbation for me to receive the two representations from the girls studying in the MCJ (Media Center for Journalism) regarding their sexual and subsequently, mental and social harassment at the hands of Prof Ehtesham Ahmad Khan, the HOD, MCJ.
We do not know, how many girls have been exploited by him and preferred to be silent for saving their family’s honour; however, there are two brave girls who stood to the depraved advances and misuse by Prof Ehtesham and came up with written complai…

"Ineligible" funding of Sardar Statue in Gujarat: CAG tells Central PSUs, it's not a heritage CSR activity

By Our Representative
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, in its recent report on Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE), has qualified public sector undertakings’ (PSUs') funding the 182-metre world’s highest Sardar Statue, currently being constructed in the Narmada river downstream of the Sardar Sarovar dam as an “ineligible” corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity.

Gujarat BJP MLAs, youth leader "incited" attack on North Indians: Cong releases video

Counterview Desk
Senior Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil, currently in charge of Bihar and national spokesperson, All-India Congress Committee, has sent a legal notice to chief minister Vijay Rupani threatening criminal case and civil defamation suit for accusing him with "baseless statement" that he was responsible for attacks on north Indians in Gujarat.

29th "NRC-related" suicide in Assam, as Nirod Baran Das takes his life by hanging on a fan

By Our Representative
Reporting 29th case of National Register of Citizens (NRC)-driven suicide in Assam, one of India’s human rights campaign sites has said that, on October 20, tragedy struck Kharupetia town in Darrang district of Assam, when a retired school teacher and advocate Nirod Baran Das “took his life by hanging himself to a fan in his home.” The report adds, “The NRC process has so far claimed over two dozen such lives in the past four months alone.”

"Highly irregular" for PSUs to fund Sardar Statue under Corporate Social Responsibility

Counterview Desk
In a letter to I Srinivas, secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India, former secretary (economic affairs), Ministry of Finance, EAS Sarma, has raised questions on the funding of the Sardar Patel statue in South Gujarat by Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSUs) relying on the Comptroller and Auditor General report (No 18/2018).

Murder of Tamil Nadu teenage Dalit girl: "Stoic silence" despite #MeToo movement

Counterview Desk
Brinelle D'souza, who is with the Centre for Health and Mental Health, School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, has prepared a strong statement to protest the brutal murder of 13-year-old Rajalakshmi. "Other than a few media reports, this gruesome killing has not caught national attention despite a very vibrant #MeToo campaign currently underway", regrets D'souza.

Post-MJ Akbar resignation: #MeToo movement and fears of backlash

By Sheshu Babu*
For the last few days, #MeToo movement has picked up momentum and many women are coming out with horrific tales of severe harassment in their past lives. They are not afraid anymore to expose famous persons including those at ministerial levels. As a senior journalist Neeraja Chowdhury opined (“An exit, a beginning”, October 18, 2018, indianexpress.com), "The #MeToo revelations are like the eruption of a volcano which was imminent, given the journey working women have covered. It was not easy to make public what they had gone through,and take on powerful men.”

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Bank account frozen, raid on Amnesty office: Govt of India "treating" human rights NGOs like criminal enterprises

By Abhirr VP*
Amnesty India’s bank accounts have been frozen by the Enforcement Directorate, effectively stopping its work. Amnesty India is thus the latest target of the government’s assault on civil society in the country. The accounts of Greenpeace India were frozen earlier this month.

60 ex-civil servants seek release of CAG reports on Rafale, demonetisation before 2019 polls

Counterview Desk
As many as 60 retired civil servants have asked President Ram Nath Kovind to expedite the release of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) reports on demonetisation and the Rafale deal. The letter, signed mainly by former Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service and Indian Police Service officers, regrets that the status of the audit is "unclear”. According to them, “An impression is gaining ground that CAG is deliberately delaying its audit reports on demonetisation and Rafale deal till after the May 2019 elections so as not to embarrass the present government”.