Hyderabad: India’s first-past-the-post electoral system has outlived its utility and needs to be changed, former Chief Election Commissioner T S Krishnamurthy said Monday.
This system, in which the candidate who receives the most votes wins, should be replaced by any other that political parties want after arriving at a consensus, Krishnamurthy, who oversaw the 2004 Lok Sabha elections as CEC, said.
But he lamented that no party is taking any interest in any electoral reform.
“I don’t know what authority they have got to question (the electoral system) unless and until they come out with some plans; nobody talks about electoral reforms,” Krishnamurthy said in a telephonic interview to PTI.
Political parties in India are the weakest link in our democracy, he claimed and said they should get together, take initiative, and come out with some proposals for electoral reforms.
“So far all the electoral reforms have come through courts. Of course, duly supported by the Election Commission and various NGOs. They (political parties) should look for long-term development of Indian electoral system”, he said.
“All of them are interested in status quo because one way or other, some body is helped by that; it may not help all the political parties but one party or other is helped by confused electoral system that we have,” Krishnamurthy claimed.
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India needs to implement instant run off elections. It will help heal the divisions in the society and lessen the caste and communal divisions.
A sad commentary on our political parties. They are upto fleecing the citizen promising and not providing achche din. Citizens should teach a lesson to these uncouth politicians by not electing them for the second time. Then only they will think of taking up electoral reforms.
It is difficult enough getting the numbers to form a stable government – 2014 will prove to be an exception – with the first past the system. India’s polity is not ready for a system of proportional representation. However, what is possible and desirable is for governments formed with a minority of the popular vote – just 31% last time – to govern with a sense of moderation, reaching out to those who did not vote for them, recognising the legitimacy of their views.
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