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


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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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