Electoral Reforms




Electoral Reforms:

No election system can ever be perfect. And there are bound to be mistakes and barriers in the actual election process. Any democratic society must continue to look for ways to make elections as free and fair as possible. India has attempted to make its election process free and fair by accepting adult suffrage, allowing citizens to run for office, and establishing an independent Election Commission. However, the past 66 years of experience have given rise to numerous suggestions for reforming our electoral system. The Election Commission, political parties, various independent groups, and numerous academics have proposed electoral reform.

Some of these suggestions concern changes to the constitutional provisions as follows:

  1. There should be a special provision to ensure that at least one-third of women are elected to the parliament and assemblies.  
  2. There should be stricter provisions to control the role of money in electoral politics. The elections expenses should be paid by the government out of a special fund. 
  3. Candidates with any criminal case should be barred from contesting elections, even if their appeal is pending before a court. 
  4. There should be a complete ban on the use of caste and religious appeals in the campaigns. 
  5. There should be a law to regulate the functioning of political parties and to ensure that they function in a transparent and democratic manner.

Only if the candidates, parties, and others involved in the election process agree to maintain the spirit of democratic competition can free and fair elections be held.

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