Continuing our series on NOTA, we present to you another article which further explores it.
Story until now
Elections are an integral part of a democratic society. Every vote counts. It is the channel for citizens to express their wish and will. Sadly though, very few turn up to vote. Those who turn up most of the time end up being on the receiving end of some really bad choice of candidates. They are left with no choice other than to choose the least evil of them. This in turn resulted in the election of those candidates that are not capable of being an able administrator. In some cases, such candidates continue to rule and get re-elected again & again for many years.
Time for people power
Thanks to the decision by the honorable Supreme Court of India, people of India now have a powerful weapon in their hand called NOTA (None Of The Above) from the forthcoming elections 2014.
As the time for the big contest is drawing near, all the parties have become cautious about their choice of candidate. Knowing well what a NOTA option can do to their prospects. Candidates with genuinely clean images and reputations have become the darlings of these parties. Some have even started their very own parties and succeeded too. AAP the recent example. What this new electoral option will also achieve is that it will attract those who did not vote earlier either due to lack of interest or any other reason. Now they can voice their acceptance or rejection of a candidate’s choice by the parties through NOTA.
Hits and misses
People will now have a major say in deciding whether they believe in any of the listed candidates to be good enough to be elected. Elections in Delhi recently threw up an interesting fact. Almost 1% of people who voted chose the NOTA option. This clearly affected the outcome of the elections. Some of the benefits of NOTA are:
- Parties will be very careful in choosing the candidate.
- People will not be forced to choose a candidate if they don’t want to.
- It will offer a voice to those who are not happy with their choices and would like to reject them.
- It will force the parties to choose candidates that people want and not what they want.
- It will encourage people to come out and vote & express their opinion.
In the same vein there are certain disadvantages of NOTA that come with it.
- The number of NOTA votes must be more than those given in favour of the candidate. Else there will be no re-election and the candidate will be elected.
- Expenditure to government in conducting re-election, in case NOTA is chosen by majority voters.
- Parties too will suffer on the economic front and cannot go through another major campaigning expenditure.
- Misuse of this option for personal vendetta and maligning image of genuinely good candidates.
Although None Of The Above (NOTA) might not be the perfect choice but it certainly is the right step towards having a fair election. It is clear that NOTA has its fans and critics. The election commission of India needs to have a re-look and weigh its pros & cons. A clear guideline on NOTA which would give more power to people which they can exercise would be a major victory. What is your opinion about this? Share them and let us know what you think.