Gujarat CM Mr. Narendra Modi has fired the first salvo in election reforms by making it COMPULSORY to vote in local body elections in Gujarat.
There may be many critics to this from both the general public and the political class, but I believe this is a step in the right direction. People may say that not voting is also a democratic right, but I believe it is not the case, as it is our fundamental duty to vote and elect the people who govern the country for us. What we do today is sit at home, enjoy the holiday on voting day or even more go on a vacation and then crib at politicians not working for the people. Do we have the right to crib when we do not vote?
By not voting we are ensuring that a person with little support say 30% or less of the total electoral population is also elected.
One move that will make this Law of compulsory voting beneficial is to include the “DO NOT SUPPORT ANY CANDIDATE” or “NO VOTE” option in the EVMs. This way the voter does not have to compromise on revealing this identity while exercising the Rule “49-O” as is done currently.
Compulsory voting can be strengthen by:
a. Disqualifying the candidates who have secured votes less then the “NO VOTE” votes. Their security deposit should also be forfeited.
b. If the difference between the winning candidate and the runner-up is less than half of the “NO VOTE” votes, then repolling with the same candidates excluding the disqualified candidates is to be done.
c. Disqualified candidates must not be allowed to contest any elections for a specified period say 2 years. This way it will ensure that candidates who are not serious and who are not favoured by the public do not contest in other elections for some time. The time is given for them to improve their public rating by exhibiting positive work.
What compulsory voting will do to parties (read ruling party) in Tamil Nadu is that it will force them to pay more to public for voting since now everybody will come out to vote and their is a high change that those who normally don’t vote will vote to the opposition. 🙂