Topic outline

    • Electoral Politics

      Q73. How are results declared after an election in our country?

      Ans. Declaration of Result

      1. Once the polling is over, all the EVMs are sealed and taken to a secure place. A few days later, on a fixed date, all the EVMs from a constituency are opened and the votes secured by each candidate are counted.

      2. In a general election, usually the counting of votes in all the constituencies takes place at the same time, on the same day.

      3. The candidate who secures the highest number of votes from a constituency is declared elected.

      4. Television channels, radio and newspapers report this event. Within a few hours of counting, all the results are declared and it becomes clear as to who will form the next government.


      Q74. What are the minimum conditions of a democratic election?


      What are the essential conditions for a democratic election?


      How can we ensure that elections are held in a democratic manner?


      What are free and fair elections?


      Explain any three conditions which make the election more democratic.

      Ans. Minimum conditions of a democratic election are:

      First, everyone should be able to choose. This means that everyone should have one vote and every vote should have equal value.

      Second, there should be something to choose from. Parties and candidates should be free to contest elections and should offer some real choice to the voters.

      Third, the choice should be offered at regular intervals. Elections must be held regularly after every few years.

      Fourth, the candidate preferred by the people should get elected.

      Fifth, elections should be conducted in a free and fair manner where people can choose as they really wish.


      Q75. How is campaigning done for elections held in India?


      1. In our country such campaigns take place for a two-week period between the announcement of the final list of candidates and the date of polling. 

      2. During this period the candidates contact their voters, political leaders address election meetings and political parties mobilise their supporters. 

      3. This is also the period when newspapers and television news are full of election related stories and debates. But election campaign is not limited to these two weeks only. Political parties start preparing for elections months before they actually take place.

      4. In election campaigns, political parties try to focus public attention on some big issues. They want to attract the public to that issue and get them to vote for their party on that basis.


      Q76. How are polls conducted in India?


      1. The final stage of an election is the day when the voters cast or ‘poll’ their vote. That day is usually called the election day. 

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

      3. 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. 

      4. An agent of each candidate is allowed to sit inside the polling booth and ensure that the voting takes place in a fair way. 

      5. 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.



      Q77. What are the challenges of the Indian election system?


      Write any four challenges of Indian elections?


      What are the challenges of elections in India?


      Describe the challenges to free and fair elections in India.

      Ans. Following are the limitations and challenges of Indian elections:

      1. Candidates and parties with a lot of money may not be sure of their victory but they do enjoy a big and unfair advantage over smaller parties and independents.

      2. In some parts of the country, candidates with criminal connection have been able to push others out of the electoral race and to secure a ‘ticket’ from major parties.

      3. Some families tend to dominate political parties; tickets are distributed to relatives from these families.

      4. Very often elections offer little choice to ordinary citizens, for both the major parties are quite similar to each other both in policies and practice.

      5. Smaller parties and independent candidates suffer a huge disadvantage compared to bigger parties.


      Q78. Why do we need elections?


      Why election is needed in a democracy?


      Why are elections important to democracy?

      Ans. We need election because of the following reasons:

      1. A rule of the people is possible without any elections if all the people can sit together everyday and take all the decisions. But this is not possible in any large community. Nor is it possible for everyone to have the time and knowledge to take decisions on all matters. Therefore in most democracies people rule through their representatives.

      2. A place where representatives are selected on the basis of age and experience or a place where they are chosen on the basis of education or knowledge, there could be some difficulty in deciding on who is more experienced or knowledgable. 

      3. Election is a mechanism by which people can choose their representatives at regular intervals and change them if they wish to do so. This mechanism is called election. Therefore, elections are considered essential in our times for any representative democracy.


      Q79. How can we check the quality of election process?

      Ans. The quality of election process can be checked in the following ways:

      Independent Election Commission - One simple way of checking whether elections are fair or not is to look at who conducts the elections. Are they independent of the government? Or can the government or the ruling party influence or pressurise them? Do they have enough powers to be able to conduct free and fair elections? Do they actually use these powers?

      Popular participation - Another way to check the quality of the election process is to see whether people participate in it with enthusiasm. If the election process is not free or fair, people will not continue to participate in the exercise.

      Acceptance of election outcome - One final test of the free and fairness of election has in the outcome itself. If elections are not free or fair, the outcome always favours the powerful. In such a situation, the ruling parties do not lose elections. Usually, the losing party does not accept the outcome of a rigged election.