Election of Government : Methods

For an electoral process to find true value in a democratic set up of a society and deliver on expected terms, it is imperative that the methods through which an election process for a government is held, must be appropriate. Its appropriateness can be judged only when a detailed and fine analysis of the methods is conducted by going through the advantages and disadvantages.

In this article, we shall discuss the different methods of election in India along with their merits and demits. Also, the various types of elections held in the country are discussed further below in this article.

This is an important topic for aspirants preparing for the upcoming IAS Exam as questions based on the same may be asked in the prelims or mains phase of the examination.

Methods of Election in India

Let us first list down the methods of election process that are performed and learn about the merits and demerits that each carry:

First Past the Post System

In this method, the elections are held for each constituency fixed by the Election Commission and the candidate who gets the maximum number of votes is declared as a winner.

To know the Powers of Election Commission in India, candidates can visit the linked article.

Merits:

  • It is a very simple method of election which is very easy to administer
  • It is an inexpensive method
  • Considering the fact that still not many citizens are literate in the country, it seems to be a very convenient method for the majority of the people

Demerits:

  • Since in India, there are multiple parties and some independent candidates too, who compete for the same seat, it is often the case that a majority of the votes are distributed amongst different parties or candidates and finally the one which gets highest amongst them is declared the winner. This may mean that the winning party or candidate may not have won the votes of the majority
  • In this system, there is a huge possibility that the voices of the minority section is left unheard, thus reducing the very essence of a true democracy

Proportional Representation System

It is a method in which the seats in the legislature are given in proportion to the amount of votes.

Merits:

  • It works well for a multi-party system such as in India which would give weightage to each party irrespective of their size and the total number of votes won
  • The minority voice is not left unheard
  • It gives ample space to all the parties new or old, big or small

Demerits:

  • Since it provides a government which is not in majority, it results in a coalition government, which implies that there may be chances of a weak coalition
  • As stated above regarding the low literacy levels of the majority of the voters in India, this system does not do much justice as it seems like a very complicated system for a simple population

Understanding the complications of the proportional representative system and the very simple nature of the first past the post system, the Law Commission of India recommended the Additional Member System in 1999. It recommended a mix of both the above systems to reap the benefits of both as well get the best possible mixture for an efficient conduct of the electoral process.

Also, read Establishment of Election Commission of India – [January 25, 1950]

Types of Election in India

  • Members of the Parliament in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha – Lok Sabha elections are held after every five years and the state and centre representatives are elected by the people of the country. On the other hand, Rajya Sabha Members are elected by the elected members of state legislative assemblies using a method of proportional representation
  • Members of State Legislative Assemblies
  • Members of State Legislative Councils
  • Members in village panchayats or city corporation councils
  • By-election – Such elections are held if a person of a particular constituency dies, resigns, or is disqualified

To know in detail about the Functions of Parliament in India, aspirants can visit the linked article.

To know more about the different houses of parliament and other administrative powers, candidates can refer to the following links:

IAS aspirants can start their preparation now and can visit the UPSC Syllabus page to know the comprehensive and subject-wise syllabus and exam pattern for the prelims and mains phase of the examination.

For any further information about the upcoming IAS Exam, latest updates, study material or notes and preparation tips and strategy, candidates can turn to BYJU’S for expert assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions on Methods of Election in India

Q 1. What are direct and indirect elections in India?

Ans. Direct elections are when the voters directly elect their representatives. Indirect elections are when the citizens elect a body and they further appoint thee officeholders.

Q 2. What are the different types of voting?

Ans. There are four types of voting, this includes voice vote, division vote, roll call vote and recorded vote.

Q 3. What is the Universal Adult Suffrage?

Ans. Universal Adult Suffrage or Franchise is the right to vote given to all adult citizens of the country, irrespective of their wealth, caste, religion, race, ethnicity etc.

Q 4. Is right to vote a constitutional right?

Ans. Yes, the constitution allows the right to vote to all citizens above the age of 18 years in India to elect their representatives. Article 326 of the Indian Constitution mentions voting as a legal right to the people of the country.

Q 5. What system of election is followed in India?

Ans. Since India is a democracy, the constitution of the country allows every citizen to vote in the Parliamentary General Elections. All elected representatives are called the Members of Parliament and they get a chance to hold their seats for five years for each tenure.

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