July 12, 2018

Simultaneous elections are a bad idea

In this Mint article, Resident Senior Fellow, Vivek Dehejia argues against simultaneous elections in India. Excerpts:


"While one can debate the economic costs and benefits of GST, the analogy with elections is logically flawed. Indeed, the concept of simultaneous elections fundamentally runs against the grain of our Westminster-style federal political union. “One nation, one election” would make sense if India were a unitary state. But we are a union of states, which is philosophically and politically an essentially different conception of the Indian nation-state.


Put more simply, “one nation, one election” is anti-democratic. For why should the election calendar in any given state be synchronized with that of the Centre? Doing so would rob a state of one of the essential elements of Westminster democracy: A government may choose to dissolve itself, or a government may fall if its loses its majority, and then the governor, acting on behalf of the president of the republic, will be obliged either to ask another combine to form a government, or must perforce call fresh elections. Keeping a moribund assembly in a state of suspended animation while the governor rules the state, presumably under guidance from the Centre, until the next predetermined election date rolls around, is nothing other than anti-democratic in spirit. It is inconsistent with the basic tenets of Westminster democracy, which are grounded in a government gaining legitimacy from one election to the next by being able to prove its majority..."


Read the whole article here.

Topic : State Capacity / In : OP-EDS
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