Does Elected Candidate Represent a Common Man?
In my opinion the answer is negative. Our Democracy is based on western values & methods. Majority is a key word in democracy. However, there is no right rule to determine majority of citizens. Majority is considered based on votes polled and not on votes in the constituency. There is a need revise election system followed at present. In present system a person may win election by getting support of 15% voters. For declaring winning candidates there is only 1 criterion of maximum votes polled for a candidate. It is observed that polling is around 50% or less. Only in a few constituencies polling is higher than 50%. Generally candidates in the arena are around 5 or more. Therefore, if a candidate gets 30% of polled votes he/she is declared as elected. This means if a candidate gets support of 15% citizens in a constituency he/she gets elected. This is ridiculous that such a candidate is considered as representative of people of that constituency. Ideal would be unanimous election. This is not practicable though. In my opinion minimum 35% of voters from voters’ list for a constituency should be the minimum criteria in addition to the highest votes gained by a candidate in the constituency. This means even if a certain candidate gets highest votes for in a constituency, he/she shall not be declared elected unless votes gained are over 35% of listed voters in the constituency. Percentage of 35 is taken from the general criterion for passing an examination. This could be increased based on experience and studies made from time to time. Those candidates who fail to get elected shall be debarred from contesting any election for a continuous period of 6 years from the date of declaring result of election.
In order to overcome this obstacle our democracy should be based on our experience for centuries and with modifications needed for present conditions. India did have Panchayat Raj system at village level. Members of Panchayat were unanimously elected. All disputes among villagers were settled by Panchayat. King had responsibility to protect citizens’ life from external dangers. Hence we can claim that democracy is not new to India or Indians. In present time it is impracticable to have unanimous elections. Size of villages is increased many folds and many times some people do not know others. Hence, we need here to borrow election system from western countries. While accepting foreign system it is necessary to modify it to suit Indian conditions. Many examples can be given. Indian citizens are not tuned to foreign system. There is necessity to make certain aspects of imported democracy compulsory. Voting is not taken seriously by citizens. Hence, it should be made compulsory to retain citizenship. Those who are not in a position to vote or who get in to such a situation that it becomes impossible for a citizen to vote permission should be granted based on the application of the citizen. Those who have no valid reason and do not vote shall loose all rights of citizenship. This is not the only aspect which needs modifications. There are many more.
Some aspects are qualification of a candidate contesting elections, number of candidates contesting for a particular seat, responsibility and powers of elected members, deciding constituency for a seat etc. India must give priority in taking decision on all aspects and make democratic system most suitable to India. Some of the aspects are explained in details under this article in this blog.
Briefly the changes should beon these lines. SEVAK at various levels like Galli, Village, Tehsil (Taluka), District, State and the Nation should be elected. They should be named as GramSevak (Instead of Panch), TehsilSevak (instead of Amdar), JilhaSevak (Instead of Khasdar), PrabhagSevak (A new post for heading a group of Districts), RajyaSevak (Instead of Chief Minister), VibhagSevak (A new post for heading a group of States), and DeshSevak (Instead of Prime Minister). Presently governance is primarily concentrated at State and Central level. There are demands to carve out states from big state under the presumption that the rulers are far away from citizens. This needs to be given priority in finding a solution for this obstacle. Making a Seven Step governance model would help in addressing this problem. Elected GramSevak should look after his Galli, Whatever difficulties he/she cannot solve should be passed upwards to next Level i.e. MukyaGramSevak. MukyaGramSevak should have powers to certain limits and beyond those limits address the problem (or development work) to TehsilSevak. This should continue till the end of the chain that is DeshSevak. Appropriate houses are needed for discussing various points of difficulties faced by citizens and progress to be achieved at various levels from Gram to Nation. At every stage there should be house for discussions, power up to certain limits and responsibilities proportional to powers should be distributed at each of the levels. This system shall be more effective to solve obstacles of citizens than creating smaller states. Smaller the state higher is the corruption. Hence no more division of states should be accepted.
There is an inescapable need to revise system of governance. Presently leader of a majority political party or coalition of parties is invited to form a Government. This should be replaced as follows. Any political party (or coalition of parties formed to contest election as 1 party) with minimum strength of 35% of strength of house (Strength of house means designed strength not number of constituencies where election held and results declared) shall be eligible for forming government. If more than 1 party (or coalition of parties) is found eligible then rule of simple majority shall be applied. There shall not be opposition party or opposition party leader. Each and every elected member shall be considered as working for the nation. No member shall oppose any thing which is in the interest of the nation. While preparing bills in the interest of the citizens shall be responsibility of every member of the house.
There is a need to redefine collection of taxes at various levels. As far as possible there should be a single agency for tax collection. This agency should deposit share of each government office immediately on receipt of tax. Government should make computer software for maintaining accounts by traders and industrial manufacturers. A single database with independent table for each of the taxes shall solve problem of maintenance of accounts. Government should evolve a method for speedy cashless transaction. Time needed for cashless transaction should be nearly same as needed by cash transaction. Every recipient of money should have a machine which can transfer money in the account of the machine owner only. This will help in proper transactions and avoid mischief.
This is a broad outline of changes needed to make democracy useful to India. This need that we should accept our age old system of democracy with modifications needed based on conditions in India. We should not blindly follow western system of democracy. A committee of MPs, MLAs, and Secretaries of various ministries should be formed to go in to details to bring out changes needed.