Tag: Indian Elections 2009

Vote counting on 16/5/2009

It was supposed to begin at 8.00 a.m. and over by 10.00 a.m. However even till midnight many results had not been declared. What caused the delay? If the counting for all Lok Sabha seats did not begin at 8.00 a.m. why it did not begin? If it began at 8.00 a.m. why did it take so long to declare results?

P. Chidamambaram and Maneka Gandhi were first declared losers and after recount declared winners. How did that happen with EVMs? The figure should have been the same. If the candidate first declared winner and after recount declared loser wants another recount what happens?

Election Commission owes an explanation to the nation.

Predictions of exit polls went wrong. In 1984 and 1989 MARG had made correct predictions. Now nothing is heard of MARG. Various agencies make predictions. Relying on exit polls has proved a risky proposition for political parties

Electoral Reforms

On 30/4/2009 after casting his vote Lal Krishna Advani spoke about electoral refoms. He wanted compulsory voting, fixed tenure of five years for Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies, no voting in summer and one day voting.

Compulsory voting is neither desirable nor practical. How can people vote if their names are not on electoral rolls, they are sick or out of station? If people think no candidate deserves their vote they are free not to vote.

Fixed tenure of five years for Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies is possible if we switch over to presidential system. It is good to switch over to presidential system.

Winter is a better time for voting. Voting for all Lok Sabha, Legislative Assembly, municipal and panchayat seats can be held on 4th November and counting on 7th November. If 4th or 7th November comes on Sunday voting or counting can be held on 5th or 8th November. New Lok Sabha, Legislative Assembly, municipal and panchayat bodies can be constituted effective 11th November whether it is Sunday or not.

One day voting for all constituencies is good and possible. It used to be two phase polling for Lok Sabha with three days separating two phases. In 1989 there was three phase polling with two days separating one phase from another. After that the situation changed. Number of phases and gap between phases increased. Security became an excuse. We should have tough punishement for people who disrupt poll process.

Presidential system requires elections for the posts of president, vice president, governor and lieutinent governor. The present system for election of president and vice president should be continued. For the posts of governor and lieutinent governor there should be elections. The elections should be when the terms expire or when the post falls vacant due to death or resignation or impeachment. It need not be with other elections.

To hold Legislative Assembly elections together with Lok Sabha elections terms of some Legilsative Assemblies need to be extended and of some to be curtailed.

Parliament should discuss and bring about electoral reforms.

Voting Percentage

Newspapers and TV channels come up with voting figures which are guestimates. The figures differ from newspaper to newspaper and channel to channel. How the figures are arrived at is not mentioned. One channel mentioned 41% voting in South Bombay.

Voting percentage has to be based how many voters whose names were on electoral rolls had voted. Many times people who are eligible to vote do not find their names on electoral rolls. In my society in one house husband’s name was on voting list, wife’s was not. In another house the case was opposite.

Sometimes residents of buildings find their names are not on voting lists. Election Commission cards are of no use in such cases.

April and May are vacation for schools and colleges. Many people go to other places at that time.

In Bombay and suburbs voting was on 30/4/2009. Maharashtra day followed. May 2 and 3 being Sunday many people had four days leave at a stretch. They could have gone out of station.

Gerson da Cunha said you can not sell a bad product how much may be the advertisement. If people are cynical about elections and politicians it can not be helped.

Some thought 26/11 will cause people to come out in large numbers to vote. People’s anger had dissipated after Shivraj Patil, Home Minister of India, Vilasrao Deshmukh, Chief Minister of Maharashtra and Raosaheb Patil, Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister of Maharashtra, had resigned.

Next time Newspapers and TV channels come up with voting figures they should mention the total number of voters on electoral rolls in a constituency and the total number of voters who have voted.