Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: FPTP, Electoral Bonds
Mains level: A possible future Electoral Reform
Discussions on “different systems of elections”
- An all-party Parliamentary panel is exploring “different systems of elections”, other than the first-past-the-post (FPTP) system
- FPTP is currently followed in the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls
- The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice, has sent a six-page “Questionnaire on Electoral Reforms” to all parties and the Election Commission
What is ‘First Past the Post’ system?
- A first-past-the-post (abbreviated as FPTP, 1stP, 1PTP or FPP) voting method is one in which voters indicate on a ballot the candidate of their choice, and the candidate who receives most votes wins
- First-past-the-post voting is one of several plurality voting methods
- It is a common, but not universal, feature of electoral systems with single-member electoral divisions; in fact, first-past-the-post voting is widely practiced in close to one third of the world’s countries
- Some notable examples include the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, India and most of the colonies and protectorates either currently or formerly belonging to these countries
Why is the PSC exploring different systems of elections?
- According the PSC, in recent years the FPTP system is not the best suited system as is evident from the recent Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh
- Many Opposition leaders have reminded the BJP that it won the 2014 Lok Sabha polls because of the FPTP system
- As the party polled only about 31 per cent of the vote share
Other issues discussed by the panel
- The views of parties and the EC have been sought under five heads: (1) ‘Electoral Funding’, (2) ‘Systems of Elections’, (3) ‘Media/ Free Airtime’, (4) ‘Internal Democracy in Political Parties’, and (5) ‘Miscellaneous’
- On the issue of electoral funding, the panel has sought views on the electoral bonds and on the proposal regarding state funding of elections