Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Home Opinions 'Left liberal' ecosystem pushes proportional system of voting to retain its legitimacy

‘Left liberal’ ecosystem pushes proportional system of voting to retain its legitimacy

In a diverse and in many ways, a fragmented society like India, the left-liberal ecosystem is planning to peddle the idea of a proportional voting system in India. Its main concern is that the Lok Sabha and some assemblies have less representation because of the first past the post system. The idea found recognition at the topmost level for the first time when a parliamentary panel headed by Congress leader Anand Sharma took it up.

Their main bone of contention is that 69% of the people have not voted Modi and hence the system of elections is by itself wrong in India. Their fear increased further when BJP secured 312 seats in 401 member assembly in Uttar Pradesh with a vote share of 39.7%. The matter has been raised again as CPI(M) lost in Tripura even after getting 42% vote.

This is not a good argument because most of these parties have enjoyed power with less than 50% vote share all these years and did not bother to bring up this logic. Now that they are out of power and are becoming more and more irrelevant they have now sought to get at least some number of seats in elected assemblies. At the outset, it may appear that it is fair for someone to gain a definite number of seats for a particular percentage of votes. But in reality, for a fractured society like India, it will do more harm than benefit when it is implemented.

In a recent interview to The Hindu, former chief election commissioner S.Y. Quraishi answered a question on proportional representation as below (emphasis added) :

Q: You had mentioned in an essay that it is time to review the first-past-the-post system (FPTP)? Has the demand for replacing FPTP with proportional representation (PR) become louder after the 2014 general elections?

When I wrote An Undocumented Wonder: The Making of the Great Indian Election, which came out in the middle of the elections of 2014, I had written that FPTP was the best system for its simplicity. I had also discussed various PR systems but dismissed them as not being practical for India. After the 2014 elections, I felt compelled to change my position when we saw that even with the third largest vote share of 20%, one party (the Bahujan Samaj Party) got zero seats. This is not a democracy. I think it is time to have a national debate on this. We could look at the German model where they have a mixed system — half PR and half FPTP.

His comment ‘This is not democracy’ is irresponsible and unacceptable because there is no hard and fast rule that some party with 20% vote has to get a seat. Probably there have been such instances in the past. One can also argue that some party with 10% vote should also get some seats or else, it cannot be a democracy. At what threshold do you call first past the post system as undemocratic? Let us also remember that this rhetoric arises only when a party that the liberals hate comes to power.

In a first past the post system of elections, a party has to build a broad social alliance and come up with an inclusive agenda in its manifesto. The party may or may not be dominated by any single community, but it will have to seek votes of as many communities as possible to get elected. Once it gets elected it has to serve all sections of the society.

It has been pointed out many times in the past, this form of government will assure seats for some percentage of the population and thereby allow parties and politicians to take hardline communal positions based on a percentage of the population. Also, coalition governments formed in India are difficult to run as opposite ideologies will stall many decisions. Proportional voting would institutionalise coalition governments forever and harm public at large in the long run.

It is argued that the proportional voting system was rejected by the constituent assembly because it is complex and not understood by the large illiterate electorate at the time of independence. The fact that India is now better off in literacy is the reason for the proponents of proportional system to argue that the time has now arrived for its introduction. This is again an incorrect argument because we have still not reached 100% literacy and we would be ignoring a large number of voters who may not understand the complexity.

In my opinion, proportional voting suits a homogeneous society (or nearly homogeneous society) which has ideological diversity in its political system. In a political system like India which has both demographic and ideological diversity, it would lead to chaos and more bigotry in our political discourse.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Related Articles

Trending now

“Dawood Ibrahim administrating legal, financial and mental attack on Republic TV, Arnab Goswami may face physical attack”: Former Bureaucrat RV Subramani

RV Subramani speaks on how Arnab Goswami touched the wrong nerve of Dawood Ibrahim and many politicians by reportage on Bollywood drug nexus

TeleMedicine: Technology bridging the doctor-patient gap to strengthen public healthcare system

Telecardiology helps connect cardiologists and patients in remote areas so that they could get timely report leading to proper diagnosis.

Bihar: The shocking story of Jungle Raj hidden in voter turnouts

The shocking story of Jungle Raj in Bihar no one told you.

Munger Police deactivates its Twitter account amidst claims of SP Lipi Singh being suspended over Durga Puja violence

SP Munger had earlier defended police action on devotees during the Durga Visarjan procession, claiming they provoked the force by pelting stones

NIA raids offices of Greater Kashmir and ‘activist’ associated with NGO that called Amarnath Yatra ‘militarised pilgrimage’

The NIA also carried out raids at the offices of another dubious NGO called 'Athroat', a houseboat named 'HB Hilton' in the Dal Lake and on the residence of 'activist' Khurram Parvez.

BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai’s widow writes to Priyanka Gandhi urging her to stop shielding Mukhtar Ansari, accused of killing her husband

Mukhtar Ansari is currently lodged in a jail in Punjab which is governed by Congress party, which has refused to transfer him to UP

Recently Popular

Faridabad: A month after college student Nikita files molestation complaint against Taufeeq, he shoots her dead

As per reports, the accused initially wanted to abduct the victim but killed her when she resisted him.

Nikita Tomar murder: Taufeeq was pressurising her to embrace Islam family alleges

On Monday, 21-year-old Nikita Tomar was shot to death in broad daylight outside the Aggarwal college in Ballabgarh, Faridabad

Charlie Hebdo mocks Turkish President Recep Erdogan in its latest cartoons, shows him lifting a skirt of woman wearing ‘hijab’

The front-page caricature of Wednesday's edition of Charlie Hebdo that was released online on Tuesday night depicts Erdogan in a white T-shirt and underpants, drinking a can of beer and lifting up the skirt of a woman wearing a hijab to reveal her naked bottom.

Nikita Tomar murder: Main accused Tauseef belongs to a family of influential Congress politicians from Nuh in Haryana

The prime accused Tauseef's grandfather, uncles and cousin brothers are all infuential Congress politicians from Haryana's Nuh

YouTuber Lakshay Chaudhary levels serious allegations of fraud against Gaurav Wasan of Swad Official whose video on ‘Baba ka Dhaba’ had gone viral

Gaurav Wasan of Swad Official had uploaded a video about the financial difficulties faced by the elderly couple of 'Baba ka Dhaba'.

Chinese state-run channel shows the portrait of Prophet Muhammad, netizens ask if Muslim nations will boycott China

Arslan Hidayat, an Uyghur Rights Activist, took to Twitter shared a video of a Chinese TV series on Twitter in which it was depicted that an Arab ambassador visiting China during the rule of Tang dynasty gifts a portrait of the Prophet Muhammad to the Chinese emperor.
- Advertisement -

Delhi government begins crackdown on Diwali, 11 anti-firecracker squads to be formed to prevent use of crackers other than ‘Green Crackers’

Delhi govt announced that an anti-firecracker campaign will be launched on November 3 ahead of the Diwali festival

“Dawood Ibrahim administrating legal, financial and mental attack on Republic TV, Arnab Goswami may face physical attack”: Former Bureaucrat RV Subramani

RV Subramani speaks on how Arnab Goswami touched the wrong nerve of Dawood Ibrahim and many politicians by reportage on Bollywood drug nexus

Watch: Pro-India accounts disrupt Pakistan’s anti-India online meeting on Zoom, play pro-Hindu and Indian nationalistic songs

Indic social media users caused embarrassment to Pakistani authorities and diplomats after they raided their online event on zoom

Lord Ram’s effigy burnt in Amritsar on Dussehra, case registered after BJYM and VHP members held protests

In a video of the incident, some people were seen burning an effigy of Lord Ram on the occasion of Dussehra

TeleMedicine: Technology bridging the doctor-patient gap to strengthen public healthcare system

Telecardiology helps connect cardiologists and patients in remote areas so that they could get timely report leading to proper diagnosis.

Adivasis and family of Gond tribal leader Komaram Bheem objects to his Muslim look in the upcoming ‘RRR’ movie

Komaram Bheem’s grandson Sone Rao said that the movie RRR depicting Bheem as Muslim is nothing but a 'distortion'

Bihar: The shocking story of Jungle Raj hidden in voter turnouts

The shocking story of Jungle Raj in Bihar no one told you.

CIC issues show-cause notice and summons after NIC, IT Ministry said in RTI reply that they do not have information on creation of Aarogya...

CIC asked how NIC does not have information about creation of Aarogya Setu App when it says it is designed, developed and hosted by it

UP CM Yogi Adityanath vows to save cows at any cost, warns of stern action against those indulged in cow slaughter

Yogi Adityanath said that the state government was committed to protect cows at any cost and wont allow cow slaughter

Swad Official’s Gaurav Wasan refutes allegations of fraud levelled by YouTuber Lakshay Chaudhary, says he has given all the donations to ‘Baba Ka Dhaba’

Gaurav Wasan said that he has collected Rs 3.35 lakhs through the campaign, and he gave it to Baba ka Dhaba by cheque

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
470,253FollowersFollow
19,500SubscribersSubscribe