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Kerala Plus One Political Science Chapter Wise Questions and Answers Chapter 3 Election and Representation
Election and Representation Questions and Answers
Distinguish between direct democracy and indirect democracy.
indirect democracy people directly involve themselves in law-making activities. But in indirect democracy, people elect their Representatives. The representatives carry out different things needed for the people by democracy.
Mention any two merits and demerits of direct democracy.
- People directly take part in the discussions and decisions.
- Since decisions are taken fast, no wasting of time.
- Not suitable for big nations.
- Common people won’t have the expertise to make policy decisions.
Mention any two merits and demerits of indirect democracy.
- Suitable for large nations.
- Elected representatives will be responsible to people.
- Election process is very expensive.
- The influence of money and power will be visible in the election.
Adult franchise should be regarded as the basis of representative government. Comment.
Merits and demerits of Adult franchise :
The following are the merits pointed out by its supporters:
i) Adult franchise is essential for the success of democracy. Since democracy is the government of the people, forthe people and by the people, for its success Adult franchise is a must.
ii) It leads to national unity: Adult franchise is essential to maintain the unity of the nation. If a section of people is denied the right to vote, they will be reluctant to obey the government. It will ruin the unity of the country. With Adult franchise, all people will think the nation is their own.
iii) It nourishes self-respect: When all the people vote they feel that they are also participating in decision making and they are an integral part of the society. This will nourish their self-respect and will prompt them to be loyal and obedient citizens.
iv) Suitable for the Principle of Equality: Adult franchise holds fast to the principle of equality in political rights. It does not allow controlled franchise which brings inequality. Thus it is highly suitable for the Principle of Equality.
v) An instrument of political education: Adult franchise plays a big role in giving the people political education. Since all the people take part in the election they get an opportunity to think about the nation’s problems. Political parties explain to people their views regarding various issues. This helps in forming strong public opinion and consensus.
vi) It protects minority rights: Adult franchise helps the minorities to play their role in elections. In limited franchise, their rights are not given due respect.
vii) Reduces the chances for revolutions: Adult franchise represents all the people. If the government goes wrong, the people can change it. Thus it reduces the chances for violent revolutions.
viii) It distinguishes between citizens and foreigners: Adult franchise system is not applicable to foreigners. Only the citizens have political rights. Thus Adult franchise distinguishes between citizens and foreigners.
Construct a table showing the merits of Universal Adult Franchise.
The merits of Universal Adult franchise:
- It is necessary for the success of democracy.
- It leads to national unity.
- It nourishes self-respect.
- Suitable for the Principle of Equality.
- An instrument of political education.
- It protects minority rights.
- Reduces the chances for revolutions.
- It distinguishes between citizens and foreigners.
What are the features of First Past the Post (FPTP) System and Proportional Representation?
First Past the Post System: Its features :
- The entire country is divided into separate constituencies.
- For each constituency, one representative is elected.
- The candidate who gets the highest number of votes in the constituency is declared as the winner.
- In this system, a candidate who gets more votes than the other candidates wins.
- It is not necessary for a candidate to have a majority (50%+1) to win.
- This system is also known as plurality system,
- This is the system suggested by the Constitution.
a) A large area is considered as a constituency.
b) There are two different methods in this system:
i) In some countries, the entire country is considered a constituency. Depending on the votes received by each party in the national election, seats are distributed, (e.g. Israel, Netherlands).
ii) In the second method, the country is divided into multi-member constituencies, (e.g. Argentina, Portugal).
c) Each Party prepares a list of candidates for each constituency.
d) It is possible to elect more than one candidate from one constituency.
e) The Voters vote for the Party and not for the candidates.
Point out the salient features of the election system in India.
- Adult franchise
- Direct election
- One member constituencies
- Secret ballot
- FPTP system
- Proportional Representation
- Reservation of constituencies
Why did India adopt the FPTP system?
India adopted the FPTP system for the following reasons:
- It is a simple system without much complication.
- For a huge sub-continental country like India, it is the most suitable.
- Voters have the freedom to choose the candidate of their choice.
- Since in the FPTP system representatives are chosen from one particular area, they can’t run away from their responsibilities.
- It is excellent for the formation of stable governments.
- It unites different sections of people. It is a suitable system for serving national interests.
- Proportional Representation system has many shortcomings and thus FPTP is better.
Match the following:
|Female Voting right||Indian Constitution||1950|
|Hare System||Quota||Proportional Representation|
|Female Voting right||Indian Constitution||1950|
Differentiate between public voting and secret voting.
There are two ways to vote: Public and Secret. People like Montesquieu and J.S. Mill supported public voting. They argued that voting is a public responsibility and so it should be done in public. Theoretically, public voting might be good, but it has practical problems. Noting by secret ballot is the most popular form today.
Who is the Chief Election Commissioner of India?
Illustrate how Proportional Representation works in the Rajya Sabha elections?
Single Transferable Vote is the basic concept of Proportional Representation. We follow this system in the Rajya Sabha elections. Accordingly, each State is given a quota to the Rajya Sabha. For a candidate to win, he should get the proportional share of the votes. The equation tp decide the quota is as follows:
The number of total candidates to be elected +1 )
For example, for the election to the Rajya Sabha, the voters from Kerala are the 140 members of the Kerala Assembly. According to the equation for deciding the quota:
The number of total members from Kerala to the Rajya Sabha is 9. One-third of them (that is 3) complete their term every two years. So each time 3 members are elected.
Name the Constitutional institution authorized to conduct elections in India.
The Election Commission
Examine the election procedure in India,
Normally in India elections to the Lok Sabha take place every five years. For each election, there is a long procedure.
a) Preparing the Voters List – This is the first step. The names of adults living in a constituency for more than a certain period are included in the list.
b) Deciding the boundaries of the constituency: Normally, after each census the boundaries of the Constituencies are decided. This is because of the change in the number of the people.
c) Appointment of the Election Officials: The Election Commission appoints Chief Election Officers, Returning Officers, Presiding Officers, Polling Officers, and Polling Assistants.
d) Fixing polling stations and booths.
e) Notification and Nominations
f) After the notification, Political Parties publish their manifestos.
g) Election Propaganda – After the notification political parties start their Election Propaganda.
h) Voting -Two days before the voting, propaganda has to be stopped. On the voting day, voters go to the booths and vote.
i) Counting Votes
j) Taking the Pledge – The elected members have to take the. pledge before they become members of the House.
k) Presenting election accounts
l) Election-related complaints-Any candidate or voter can give complaints about the election. Such complaints are to be filed in the local High Court.
The electoral system in India faces a number of challenges like communalism, influence of caste, criminals, money and muscle power. The election rules are to be modified to deal with these negative forces. Suggest the reforms to be implemented to streamline the election process in India
i) To prevent money and muscle power:
- The election expenses must be borne by the Nation.
- Candidates and parties must present audited accounts of their election expenses.
- Limit should be put to the election expenses. Those who exceed the limit should be disqualified.
- Criminals should not be allowed to contest.
- Strong actions against violent acts like booth-capturing.
ii) To control political parties:
- In the political parties, democratic and secular values should be stressed.
- Registration of the parties should be made compulsory.
- Party officers are to be elected from time to time.
- Accounts should be audited and published.
iii) To reform the election process and conduct of the
- Election Commission should be broad-based. Its number should be increased.
- Identity cards with photos should be made compulsory for voting.
- Voters’ list must be up-to-date and complete.
- Make voting compulsory.
iv) For Women Representation:
- Make reservations in the Assembly and Parliament seats.
- Give women responsible positions in parties.
- Take steps to overcome the attitude of the society to keep women away from public and political activities.
- Political parties must let more women candidates contest.
What do you mean by political minority?
The party that got less seats than the winning party is the political minority party
Indian election system is not free from limitations. Explain.
Defects of the Indian election system:
a) Influence of money: According to the Company Law 1956, companies can give any amount of money as contributions to the candidate or the political parties. The influence of these rich people will be found in the elected candidates and naturally, they won’t be just or impartial in their decisions.
b) Violence in Politics: Politics becomes an arena where muscle power plays a role. There is impersonation and booth capturing. Agents of rival candidates are attacked. People are threatened and so some people prefer not to vote. With this kind of activities, even criminals and criminally minded people get elected.
c) Influence of Caste and Religion: According to law, no candidate can seek vote in the name of religion, caste, community or language. But many candidates somehow try to exploit these emotions in the voters. Recently the election of a candidate in Punjab was canceled by the Supreme Court as he canvassed votes in the name of religion.
d) Concessions given during Election Time: Governments often embark on people-friendly projects just before the election. There are loan-melas, mid-day meals, and distribution of grains at low prices. This is very unhealthy. Collecting votes by spending public money is very bad.
e) The paradox between votes and seats: In most elections, we see that a party may get more seats but their total votes will be less. In the 1984 election Congress party got only 49.1% of the polled vote and only 30% of the total vote. But in the Lok Sabha, it had % majority. The Assembly elections also give the same picture. This is against the principle of democracy where majority decides things.
f) Defects in the Election Procedure: Lakhs of Indian citizens are denied their voting rights as their names are left out of the voters’ list. Many parties resort to violence and booth capturing.
Limitations of the present election system in India point towards the necessity for electoral reforms. Give suggestions for electoral reforms.
See the answer to Question Number 15.
List the major functions of the Election Commission of India.
Major functions of the Election Commission of India:
a) Preparing the voters’ list correctly and scientifically. Giving appropriate instructions for its preparations and supervising its making.
b) Conducting the election of the President, Vice President, MPs, and MLAs.
c) Preparing time tables for elections.
d) The Commission has the right to cancel the polling of a particular booth or even the entire constituency if malpractices are detected. Threatening the voters, burning booths, taking away ballot boxes, etc. are very big crimes. If such things happen, the election in that constituency can be canceled. If such things happen only.in some booths, the polling there can be cancelled. On 23 November 1984, the Election Commission ordered re-polling in 78 booths all over the country.
e) The Commission appoints Returning Officers and Asstt. Returning Officers.
f) The Commission allots different political parties their symbols.
g) It is the Commission that approves political parties to contest in the election. It decides what kind of recognition is given to each political party, whether State Level or National Level. In the November 1989 Lok Sabha elections, the Commission recognized 9 parties as National level Parties.
h) The Commission ensures that only those who have voting rights vote. It also has to prevent impersonation during voting.
i) It is the duty of the Commission to establish booths at convenient places so that voters won’t have to
travel long distances.
j) The Commission has to make sure that ballot boxes are collected after the election and kept away securely. It also has to ensure that the counting of votes is done fairly and declare the results.
k) The Commission brings out the code of conduct for the political parties and independent candidates.
l) It also has to control and guide the Officers appointed by the Union Government and State Governments to conduct elections.
m) All election results are declared by the Election Commission.
Explain the features of Hare System.
The system of Single Transferable Vote is known as Hare system. The person who invented this system was Thomas Hare, a British man. He mentioned this system in his book “Machinery of Representation” in 1851. Later in his book “The Election of Representatives” he elaborated this concept. Andrea, who was the Finance Minister of Denmark, used this system in his country. Then it was also known as the Andrea System. In giving his vote, the voter gives his preferences and therefore this system is also called Preferential System. In the Republic of Ireland, South Africa and Canada this system is followed.
List the category of people having no voting rights in India.
The Indian Constitution gives equal and non- discriminatory voting rights to its citizens. But there are some conditions in which citizens are denied this right. The following groups have no voting rights:
- Those who have not reached the voting age.
- Those who do not stay in India.
- Mentally afflicted people.
- Criminals (who are punished for corruption and election malpractices).
- Those whose names do not appear in the voters’ list.
The Direct Representational System prevailing in India
First Past the Post System
By what name is the FPTP known?
a) Simple Majority System
b) Relative Majority System
c) Plurality System
d) All of the above
All of the above
In 1881, ………… suggested the method for finding the Quota.
Henry Richmond Droop
The proponent of the Hare System is …………
The first Election Commissioner in India is