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Joined: 30 Jul 2004
Posts: 194

PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 9:13 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Among the reasons for poor voter turnout in the cities, particularly of the middle and upper classes, is the complaint that they have no real choice considering the poor quality of candidates and the poor public image of the parties these candidates represent. Secondly, many citizens believe that their votes are not really going to make a difference.

Since in the ensuing elections there is no provision for indicating rejection of candidates on the ballot, except by invalidating the vote by ambiguous voting - that is, putting the stamp on the line separating one candidate's name from another -- the Indian Liberal Group recommends a solution that already exists in the Conduct of Election Rules 1961. This not only gives reluctant voters a reasonable choice, but also ensures that their vote does make a difference.

Rule No. 49(O) in the Conduct of Election Rules 1961 says:

"Elector deciding not to vote - If an elector, after his electoral roll number has been duly entered in the register of voters in Form 17 A and has put his signature or thumb impression thereon as required under sub-rule (1) of rule 49L, decided not to record his vote, a remark to this effect shall be made against the said entry in Form 17A by the presiding officer, and the signature or thumb impression of the elector shall be obtained against such remark. "

Explanation: In other words, a voter can go to the polling station and tell the presiding officer that he/she does not wish to cast her/his vote. The presiding officer will make a remark that the voter does not wish to vote and take the voter's signature against his/her name in the register of voters (Form 17A). At the end of the day, the presiding officer will, in totalling the number of votes cast, also include the number of electors who refused to cast their vote. By doing so, voters make it clear to all political parties that they are not satisfied with the kind of candidates put up by them. Though they have done their duty as citizens by going to the polling station, they have not found anyone on the ballot paper who deserves their vote. This is the Protest Vote.

If large numbers of citizens exercise their franchise in this manner, political parties will be forced to be far more careful in ensuring they do not nominate crooks and criminals or incompetents as their candidates next time round. This in turn will see the emergence of honest and committed candidates getting into Parliament and state legislatures in the long run, thus leading the way to good governance. After the present elections have concluded, the Indian Liberal Group will press for the Protest Vote facility on electronic voting machines the next time round, so that voters have the option to say "None of the Above" after scrutinizing the candidates on the ballot.

The other factor thats involved with this 49(0) section is a scary section for the political parties.

Here's an example. Say there's a candidate standing in City A.

And say out of 100 people only 40 people turn to vote and out of that the Candidate recieves 30 votes. Then by rule, he's been declared as elected. But say, if out of the 100 people 70 turn to vote. and 30 people vote for the candidate and the other 40 people use section 49(0), to say i am not interested in anyof the candidate. Then if, the candidates vote(which the vote he got ie., 30) is less than the vote against him (under section 49(0) - which is 40), then by rule he would not be elected as winner and in turn he would not be able to participate in anymore further elections. And the election for CITY A will be re-held with fresh candidates. Now that sounds great handle for people!!

And i hope that's why many people dont know about section 49(0) and the politicians and the goverment still tries to keep it a hidden secret. But how long? That depends on you'r hands now. .
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Joined: 04 Jan 2003
Posts: 293

PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 3:58 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks for a nice and "right" piece of information... icon_smile.gif

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