HOW TO OVERCOME MONEY POWER AND MUSCLE POWER IN ELECTIONS ?
In many ways, India’s efforts at democracy have been an amazing success. Despite low levels of literacy and human development, vast social divisions, and a massive population, India has remained relatively stable, peaceful, and democratically governed. However, due to the pressing (and often divisive) concerns of the many demographic groups in India and the increasing distrust that the electorate has for its leadership, major reasons for concern about Indian democracy still exist. MONEY POWER
According to a recent study by CSDS, money is a key factor in Indian elections. Although the 122 candidates studied ranged from “Super Rich” to “Lower Middle” class, All major parties preferred to back the richer candidates who could fund their own election expense. When the relative success of these candidates is examined, the real advantage of money power becomes clear. Of the candidates who secured their deposits by winning at least one sixth of the votes, 87% were Very Rich or Super Rich. In addition, these two groups, representing between 1-2% of the Indian public together, dominated the elections as winners and runners-up in most cases . Of the winners themselves, in 23 out of 24 constituencies, the seat went to a Super Rich, Very Rich or Rich candidate. The Super Rich had an incredible success rate- 7 out of 10 candidates won.
Muscle power in elections is possibly an even more alarming factor in Indian politics. Across the country, we find trends of increasing numbers of candidates and 8 elected officials with criminal backgrounds. According to one newspaper in 1997, at least 40 members of the Lok Sabha and about 700 of the 4000 plus legislators in various states were “either history sheeters or had been charge sheeted in criminal case” . Party Corruption- Solution: Democratization of Parties Party corruption is, more than all of these other concerns, a problem that may not be so easily addressed through electoral reform alone. In addition, career politicians could retain power indefinitely by having high positions on party lists, and therefore, be nearly impossible to vote out of office. The Green party in Germany has attempted to minimize this problem by rotating the positions of candidates on party lists in each election, but the problem can persist without such internal efforts of parties . However, this increased power given to parties and party officials is accompanied by increased accountability of parties to voter. If parties go too far in any of these practices, they could potentially lose seats across the state or the nation in favor of smaller but more honest parties.
While the increased checks of voters in a MMR systems could prevent certain actions by parties, this process may not be enough in the short term. A new MMR electoral system in India would best be accompanied by political party reforms in terms of nominations, funding, and democratic internal functioning. The best types of reforms and methods of implementation are a separate and equally intricate topic as that of electoral reform, and are equally necessary to ensure democracy in India. Separation of power
In order to guard against what one of the Founding Fathers
called an "excess of democracy," the Constitution was built with many
ways to limit the government's power. Among these methods were separating the three branches, splitting the legislature so laws passed are carefully considered, and requiring members of Congress to meet certain criteria to qualify for office.
Separation of power was very effective; The three branches of government (executive, legislative, and judicial) are kept separate, and each has different powers. Congress has legislative, or law making, powers; the President has the power to carry out, or execute, the laws; and the Judicial branch had the judging power, used to...
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