Gujarat first state to make voting must in local body elections

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Ashutosh Lokhande, Nov 11, 2014.

  1. Ashutosh Lokhande

    Ashutosh Lokhande Senior Member Senior Member

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    GANDHINAGAR: The Gujarat Local Authorities Laws (Amendment) Bill-2009 which makes voting in local body elections compulsory has been approved by the state's governor OP Kohli. The same Bill also provides for 50% reservation for women in all local body elections.

    State assembly secretary D M Patel said on Sunday that the Governor had signed the Bill and given sanction to the state government for its implementation. The Bill was sanctioned by the governor three days back, Patel said. After the Bill was approved by the Governor, the state government issued a notification clearing the way for its enforcement. With this Gujarat has become the first state in the country where voting in local body polls has been made mandatory.

    The controversial Bill empowers the state government to take punitive action against those who do not vote in local body elections. However, it does not specify the type of action that would be taken against a defaulter.

    Earlier, the Bill had to passed twice by the state assembly as the previous governor, Kamla, had returned it for reconsideration in April 2010 after it was cleared by the House in December 2009. However, even after it was passed for the second time in March 2011, she did not give it her assent and the bill lay unapproved all through her tenure at Raj Bhavan. It received approval only after Kamla was removed by the Modi government at the Centre and OP Kohli was made governor in her place.

    Dr Kamla had objected to the bill on the ground that it violates the "freedom which a citizen is entitled to enjoy under Article 21 of the Constitution."

    "Government should not have entered into a controversy to compel voters to act against their conscience by means of coercion," she had stated in the letter she had written in April 2010 asking the state government to make amendments in the bill. Dr Kamla had also asked the state government to separate the issue of women's reservation in local body polls from the issue of compulsory voting.

    In its current form, the Bill is likely to be opposed again by the Congress. The opposition party has been in favour of 50% reservation for women in local bodies but it is against the compulsory voting provision which is included in the same bill.

    The BJP, on the other hand, has called the Bill "revolutionary". The statement of objectives and reasons in the Bill says: "It is observed that due to low turnout of voters to discharge their duty by exercising their right to vote, the true spirit of the will of the people is not reflected in the electoral mandate."

    Under the provisions of the bill, if a voter fails to vote for reasons other than those mentioned in the rules, he may be declared a "defaulter voter" and would face consequences for which rules will be framed. These rules will then be placed before the assembly for its approval.

    The new legislation may prove crucial for the ruling BJP in the statewide local body elections to be held next year. Voting will now be mandatory in all elections to municipal corporations, municipalities, and district and village panchayats. Further, there will be 50% reservation for women.

    Gujarat first state to make voting must in local body elections - TOI Mobile | The Times of India Mobile Site
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2014
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  3. Ashutosh Lokhande

    Ashutosh Lokhande Senior Member Senior Member

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    there are many pros and cons of this cumpolsory voting bill. although i feel pros outweigh the cons.

    The typical arguments for having compulsory voting are that voting is a civic duty and that it is important to have the voices of all people heard.

    In a democracy, people say, it is important for all people to vote so that the vote will accurately reflect the desires of the whole population.- Therefore, it is good to have voting be mandatory so that no one's voice will be left unheard.

    It is also said that citizens in a democracy should vote because that is what makes a democracy.- If you people do not vote, they become disengaged and no longer care about their country.- By requiring them to vote, you make them more likely to be engaged in the civic life of the country.- This makes your country stronger in terms of having a population that is involved and interested in its public affairs.
     
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  4. Ashutosh Lokhande

    Ashutosh Lokhande Senior Member Senior Member

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    Con-

    Mandatory voting does not enhance legitimacy of govt.

    Mandatory voting pushes ignorant to vote.

    Not voting is often a form of political expression

    Mandatory voting may increase hold of established parties

    Forcing a vote is as bad for democracy as poor turnout.

    Mandatory voting undermines the "right" to vote .
     
  5. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Mandatory voting may increase hold of established parties ???? How
     
  6. abhi_the _gr8_maratha

    abhi_the _gr8_maratha Senior Member Senior Member

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    this is stupidity........if you have right to speech , it doesn't means you should give a speech. Same with vote, voting shouldn't be compulsory as compulsion is a sign of dictatorship not democracy.
     
  7. SLASH

    SLASH Senior Member Senior Member

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    I have to compulsory file my IT return, even though it is not part of the constitution. It is my hard earned money, why should the government have any part of it? Is it a sian of dictatorship?

    Many countries have compulsory voting, and it not considered as a sign of a dictatorship. Voting should be a duty. Fines should be imposed on people who do not have a valid reason for not voting.
     
  8. ladder

    ladder Senior Member Senior Member

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    When you develop/have technology to register your vote through ATM ( with biometric verification) over a period of 7 days, at a time of your convenience, then voting can be made compulsory and failure to do so should attract punishment.

    Now, we don't have any requirement as voluntary voting percentage is above 60%. Which further can be increased by awareness (carrots) and not sticks.
     
  9. Vishwarupa

    Vishwarupa Senior Member Senior Member

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    voting should be made mandatory, by doing this every section( at least majority) of the society will cast their vote & in turn we will get to know what is the public mood.

    If people do not like any of the candidates let them vote for Nota( none of the above). But people have to vote.
     
  10. Ashutosh Lokhande

    Ashutosh Lokhande Senior Member Senior Member

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    sirjee that point was in context with US govt and not state gujrat.

    the political system in America is concentrated in two parties, with only minor successes of alternate parties. These two parties, as opposed to eight competitive parties in Australia, spend millions of dollars annually encouraging their members to vote in elections. With the implementation of compulsive voting, the political parties would instead spend those millions trying to convince non-party members of the superiority of their respective positions. Instead of saving money, the two parties would only increase in power as more members join their folds, reducing the power of smaller parties to democratically compete.
     
  11. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Even US doesnt has complusosry voting

    And US has been dominited by two parties since its inception there mey be one or two instances where 3 party may have been formed..

    Indian at center level is headed for 2 party-coaltion like system
     
  12. abhi_the _gr8_maratha

    abhi_the _gr8_maratha Senior Member Senior Member

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    cause voting is a right........ you have right for occupation then it doesnt means you should compulsarily do occupation........ and what if all the candidates are immoral?
     
  13. Bangalorean

    Bangalorean Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    If all the candidates are "immoral", you still have the NOTA option. No one prevents you from voting for "NOTA".
     
  14. Free Karma

    Free Karma Senior Member Senior Member

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    They havent specified what action will be taken. I hope they have thought this through completely. What happens if the person is unable to vote due to some genuine reason.

    Also there also some issues in the system, for example , entire colonies not figuring in the voters list, so without correcting those, implementing this will be very hard.
     
  15. abhi_the _gr8_maratha

    abhi_the _gr8_maratha Senior Member Senior Member

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    lol so you would waste your fuel,then got in traffic jam then have to stand in long que and result is you would vote none......... instead sit at home.
    .
    just a question..... if the the highest voted candidate gets 23% of total votes and if 24% voted for nota then why not there is a re-election but simply the highest voted candidate is winner.
     

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