One thought on “Compulsory Voting GS Blog 1 2013 Batch Mains

  1. In my opinion we should make introduce compulsory voting starting from municipal and local bodies elections and then graduate to state level and national level at later stage. The problem in Indian democracy is that the voice of middle class is not strong enough. If we see the history of various movements in western countries, it was the middle class which brought phenomenal changes in the political system and made it more accountable, transparent and ensured “good governance”.

    Combined with option of voting for “none of the above” or current option of “49-O” compulsory voting can catalyze series of changes in the mindset of political class. If number of votes of 49-O or “None of the Above” votes is higher than valid casted votes then new leaders who do not have money strength but genuinely want to serve people would see incentive to stand as they know at least people are coming to vote and are not sitting in their home just criticizing the system. This can address the “entry barrier” problem of Indian political system.

    At local elections if there is compulsory voting the focus would be more on developmental issues rather than luring the vulnerable, poor people with freebies -like alcohol/cash etc. This is true specially for societies which have emerging middle class, facing urbanization. Because majority of people do not turn out to vote, parties/candidates turn to various caste-creed-religion based engineering for winning the elections even if no one can deny that most of the what majority of people want in most towns and cities is clean and delivering government which can address issues like water, electricity, sanitation, education and health services etc.

    Compulsory voting should be combined with more transparent system for party fund management, electoral reforms – baring criminal elements in participating elections charge sheeted with serious crimes, introducing innovative methods to increase participation such as – online voting, facilitating NRI voting, voting by migrant workers/professionals etc can make strengthen our democracy and can repose faith of the people on the system.

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