Topic outline

    • Electoral Politics

      Q64. Enumerate the demerits of an electoral campaign.


      Describe any five demerits of electoral competition.


      What are the demerits of electoral competition?

      Ans. An electoral competition has many demerits. 

      1. It creates a sense of disunity and ‘factionalism’ in every locality.

      2. Different political parties and leaders often level allegations against one another. Parties and candidates often use dirty tricks to win elections.

      3. Some people say that this pressure to win electoral fights does not allow sensible long-term policies to be formulated. Some good people who may wish to serve the country do not enter this arena. They do not like the idea of being dragged into unhealthy competition.


      Q65. Is it good to have political competition? Justify your answer. 


      Why it is good to have political competition?

      Ans. Yes, it is good to have political competition because of the following reasons:

      1. Elections are all about political competition. If there is no competition, elections will become pointless. 

      2. Political competition is the way to select our future leaders. This system works better in the long-run. So, all political leaders are motivated to work for the betterment of the people. 

      3. Political competition helps to force political parties and leaders to serve the people.


      Q66. How can you say that free and fair elections are held in India?

      Ans. The outcome of India’s elections speaks for itself:

      1. The ruling parties routinely lose elections in India both at the national and state level. In fact in every two out of the three elections held in the last fifteen years, the ruling party lost.

      2. In India about half of the sitting MPs or MLAs lose elections.

      3. Candidates who are known to have spent a lot of money on ‘buying votes’ and those with known criminal connections often lose elections.

      4. Barring very few disputed elections, the electoral outcomes are usually accepted as ‘people’s verdict’ by the defeated party.


      Q67. Give three reasons why the system of reserved constituencies was introduced by the constitution makers in India.

      Ans. The maker of constitution introduced the system of reserved constituencies for the following reasons:

      1. The Constitution makers were worried that in an open electoral competition, certain weaker sections may not stand a good chance to get elected to the Lok Sabha and the state Legislative Assemblies. 

      2. They may not have the required resources, education and contacts to contest and win elections against others. 

      3. Those who are influential and resourceful may prevent them from winning elections. 


      Q68. How can you say that Election Commission of India is independent and powerful?

      Ans. Election Commission of India is independent and powerful because:

      1. Election Commission can reprimand the government and administration for their lapses.

      2. When election officials come to the opinion that polling was not fair in some booths or even an entire constituency, they order a repoll.

      3. Even if the ruling party or the government does not like what the Commission does, it is virtually impossible for it to remove the CEC.

      4. When on election duty, government officers work under the control of the EC and not the government.


      Q69. Describe the procedure of voting on polling day.

      Ans. Procedure of voting on polling day

      1. Every person whose name is on the voters’ list can go to a nearby ‘polling booth’. 

      2. Once the voter goes inside the booth, the election officials identify her, put a mark on her finger and allow her to cast her vote. 

      3. Nowadays electronic voting machines (EVM) are used to record votes. The machine shows the names of the candidates and the party symbols. All the voter has to do is to press the button against the name of the candidate she wants to give her vote.


      Q70. How is voters list prepared for elections?


      1. In our country, all the citizens aged 18 years and above can vote in an election. Every citizen has the right to vote, regardless of his or her caste, religion or gender. 

      2. It is the responsibility of the government to get the names of all the eligible voters put on the voters’ list. 

      3. As new persons attain voting age names are added to the voters’ list. Names of those who move out of a place or those who are dead are deleted. 

      4. A complete revision of the list takes place every five years. This is done to ensure that it remains up to date.


      Q71. What is the role of the Election Commission of India?


      What are the functions of an election commission?


      Mention any two functions of election commission.


      Write the powers and functions of Election Commission of India.


      Describe the wide ranging powers of Election Commission of India.


      What are the main functions of Election Commission of India?

      Ans. Powers and functions of Election Commission of India are:

      1. EC takes decisions on every aspect of conduct and control of elections from the announcement of elections to the declaration of results.

      2. It implements the Code of Conduct and punishes any candidate or party that violates it.

      3. During the election period, the EC can order the government to follow some guidelines, to prevent use and misuse of governmental power to enhance its chances to win elections, or to transfer some government officials.

      4. When on election duty, government officers work under the control of the EC and not the government.


      Q72. Ramesh was not in class when this chapter was being taught. He came the next day and repeated what he had heard from his father. Can you tell Ramesh what is wrong with these statements?

      a Women always vote the way men tell them to. So what is the point of giving them the right to vote?

      b Party politics creates tension in society. Elections should be decided by consensus not by competition.

      c Only graduates should be allowed to stand as candidates for elections.

      Ans. (a) The statement is wrong. Women are fully capable of taking decisions on their own and selecting the candidate they like.

      (b) Even though party politics creates tension in society but there is no option. Elections cannot be decided by consensus in large community because it is not possible for all the people to sit together everyday and take all the decisions.

      (c) Educational qualifications are not relevant to all kinds of jobs. the relevant qualification for being an MLA or an MP is the ability to understand people’s concerns, problems and to represent their interests. Whether they can do so or not is examined by lakhs of examiners — their voters — after every five years.