Hi Friends,

Even as I launch this today ( my 80th Birthday ), I realize that there is yet so much to say and do.

There is just no time to look back, no time to wonder,"Will anyone read these pages?"

With regards,
Hemen Parekh
27 June 2013

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Electoral Reforms Capsule : A Bitter Pill ?



If the disease is dreadful , a bitter pill is must


Especially if the disease is eating into body vitals and headed for a “ terminal illness “  !


Even as Punjab and Goa went to polls two days ago , it seems all the organs of our Electoral System are failing . Not one after another, but simultaneously !


Following is a brief listing of the  PROBLEMS  of our Electoral Ailment and my SUGGESTIONS , for each

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PROBLEM :

Elections are taking place , all around the country and almost every week
This costs crores of rupees and totally disrupts administration – apart of a loss of billions
of man-hours of productive time


SOLUTION :

Conduct simultaneous elections for Lok Sabha and ALL State Assemblies , on a single day , once every 5 years


I suggest  02 Oct 2019  /  2024  /  2029  …. (  Birthday of Mahatma Gandhi  )



This can be easily done using Mobile App , “ VotesApp

Read its feasibility at :

·         HONEY , I SHRUNK THE EVM !

·         How to save Rs 5511 Crores

    { http://myblogepage.blogspot.in/2015/12/how-to-save-rs-5511-crores.html  }

 


·        *  ONE POLL ; ONE TIME ?

·         One Nation , One Vote ?

          {  http://myblogepage.blogspot.in/2016/11/one-nation-one-vote.html  }

 

·         Reforming Elections and Lok Sabha [ REaL ] 

 

·         http://myblogepage.blogspot.in/2016/12/reforming-elections-and-lok-sabha-real.html  }



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PROBLEM :

Code of Conduct paralyses decision making / policy announcements , of governments


SOLUTION :

Once every 5 year , Code of Conduct will remain in force  between 17 Sept and 02 Oct


During this period , there will be no session of Lok Sabha / State Assemblies


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PROBLEM :


Cash donations to Political Parties breed corruption / black money


SOLUTION :


·         All donations ( even Re ONE ) to be made officially / digitally

·          
·         A single Election Commission web site with a drop-list of political parties

·          
·         Donors ( after entering their details / Aadhar Number ), can select any party and any amount and make online payment using Credit Card

·          
·         Similar arrangement can be made through BHIM App

·          
·         CEC will transfer donations received to designated bank accounts of each party

·          
·         On 1st of each month , parties will be allowed to withdraw CASH equal to 5 % of the  Credit Balance  in their accounts . They can use this for small expenses

·          
·         All parties to pay for goods / services through bank account for major expenses

·          
·         With the data furnished by concerned banks and the data available from its own “ Donation Web Site “ , CEC  to publish a  MONTHLY  statement of donations and expenses for each party with bank balance in each account


Read :

·         Let Us begin at the Beginning 

{ http://myblogepage.blogspot.in/2016/12/let-us-begin-at-beginning.html  }

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·          

PROBLEM :

Inadequate remuneration of MPs / MLAs

This prevents good / honest ( but low income / low wealth ) citizens to come forward to contest elections

This also breeds corruption among elected representatives



SOLUTION :

·         Abolish all different kinds of  “ Allowances / Reimbursements / Subsidies “
·          
·         Raise salaries as follows :

MPs…  Rs 5 lakhs/month ( Fixed Salary ) + Rs 10 lakhs/month ( Variable )

MLAs.. Rs 2 lakhs/month ( Fixed ) + Rs 4 lakhs/month ( Variable )



·         Pay scales to include an annual Salary Increment = GDP percentage of the preceding financial year ( hopefully , this will motivate them for constructive debate and quick passage of economic reforms ! )


There will be a provision to “ freeze “ the salary ( no annual increment ) for those whose performance is judged “ poor “ , as explained later 

   
·         All must pay appropriate Personal Income Tax on their salary income

·          
·         Variable Salaries to be based on Performance of concerned MP / MLA

·         { Just like the compensation of a CEO of any large listed company }

·          
·         A “ Performance Survey “ to be conducted using Mobile App ( RepReward ) , at the end of each year
·          
·         Voters of each Representative’s constituency to be eligible to “ Rate “ ( select the Variable Pay Amount figure ) . Average will be taken for rewarding

----------------------------------------------------------------------·          

PROBLEM :

Poor productivity of Lok Sabha / State Assemblies due to unruly / obstructive behaviour of  Members

Poor participation of Members in debates / Poor attendance / Abysmal performance of duty as a representative of citizens



SOLUTION :

A legally binding provision on the Speaker / Election Commission to disqualify members , based on the outcome of a periodically conducted online POLL / SURVEY , of all the Members’ performance , through a Mobile App called :


·         ROMP – A Panacea  ? 

·         Same survey could be used to “ freeze “ the Annual Salary Increment of a Member

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PROBLEM :

Voters do not have readily available info / data on sitting Members and candidates contesting elections , in order to decide who to vote for ( or NOTA )

SOLUTION :

A Mobile App based around ;

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PROBLEM :

Pre-poll surveys are “ sponsored “ by political parties ( of course , at a huge cost ) , to dish out “ Voter Preference “ statistics , favouring the party footing the bill


SOLUTION :

Ban all pre-poll surveys for 6 months preceding the elections ( ie: from April 2019 )


If any survey gets conducted earlier , citizens are bound to forget those statistics !

Even if conducted before April 2019 , results cannot be published / debated after April 2019


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PROBLEM :

Exit polls ( of voters coming out of polling booths after casting their votes ) , tend to influence other voters who have yet to cast their votes


SOLUTION :

Although this is currently banned , it can get worse when there are no polling booths , nor a single voter on the street ( if voting gets done through Mobile App “ VotesApp “ )


Political parties interested in influencing the voters can enable “ fictitious polls “ to go viral on Social Media ( especially WhatsApp )


There is no particular difficulty for the Government to persuade the Social Media to go “ Offline “ for the day of voting through “ VotesApp


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PROBLEM :

Political parties “ bribe “ poor voters with promise of freebies / gifts in their Election Manifestos or Vision Documents


SOLUTION :

Strict implementation of the Supreme Court directive in this matter


Since next simultaneous election is proposed for 02 Oct 2019 , all political parties must first submit  their Manifestos to the Election Commission , latest by April 2019 , for approval


CEC will return the Manifestos to Political Parties , after removing all “ freebie promises “


Only thereafter , parties can release / publish their Manifestos


Read :

·         We are not bribing the Voters !

         {  http://myblogepage.blogspot.in/2017/01/we-are-not-bribing-voters.html  }

 

·         Model Code of ( Hypocrite ) Conduct ?

·         { http://myblogepage.blogspot.in/2017/01/model-code-of-hypocrite-conduct.html  }

 

·         A Freebie That Cannot Be Faulted ?

·         http://myblogepage.blogspot.in/2016/12/a-freebie-that-cannot-be-faulted.html  }

·          

·         One Up on Free Wi - Fi ?

·         { http://myblogepage.blogspot.in/2015/02/one-up-on-free-wi-fi.html  }

·          

·         Bribing the Voters ?

·         { http://myblogepage.blogspot.in/2014/03/bribing-voters.html  }

·          

·         Selling Rainbows ?

·         { http://myblogepage.blogspot.in/2014/01/selling-rainbows.html }

·          

·         Perennial Poll Promises

    { http://myblogepage.blogspot.in/2013/12/perennial-poll-promises.html  }

 

·         Selling Dreams ?

·         { http://myblogepage.blogspot.in/2013/11/selling-dreams.html  }

 

·          

·          
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PROBLEM :

Members of Lok Sabha / State Assemblies , having court cases pending against them for serious crimes , continue to occupy their seats with scant regard / fear of law


SOLUTION :

As directed by Supreme Court , constitute  15  SPECIAL COURTS , exclusively for trying and completing these pending cases WITHIN ONE YEAR


Read :

·         All Seasons Are Election Seasons


·         Sun never  Sets

·         Crime Does Not Pay ?


·          
·         Your  Move


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PROBLEM :

Irrespective of the merits of a Government proposal , opposition parties believe that their job is to “ Oppose – Anything and Everything “ !

Most of the time, they are thinking about “ empowering “ their parties and their members and refuse to act so as to “ Empower the People / the Nation


SOLUTION :

We must find a method whereby all parties cooperate with the government , to expeditiously pass legislation that solves problems of our country


Such a solution must give to all parties , a “ Sense of  Enlarged Participation “ in the process of governing the country / building the Nation


And that solution is :


A GOVERNMENT IN WHICH , ALL OPPOSITION PARTIES GET “ MINISTERIAL POSITIONS “ , IN PROPORTION TO THEIR PERCENTAGE STRENGTH IN THE LOK SABHA / STATE ASSEMBLIES !


For details , read :

·         A Constitutional Coalition Government ?

·         { http://myblogepage.blogspot.in/2016/10/a-constitutional-coalition-government.html  }

·          

·         Constitutional Coalition Aftershocks !

·         { http://myblogepage.blogspot.in/2016/10/constitutional-coalition-aftershocks.html }

·          

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Dear  Narendrabhai :


As of now , people of India have lost all trust inElections as a Process


Unless our political parties agree to swallow the bitter pill described above , I am afraid our citizens will lose all faith in Democracy as concept of Good Governance “  


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06  Feb  2017

www.hemenparekh.in / blogs


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