Why Elections?

Assembly Election in Haryana

  • The state had been ruled by a congress party-led government since 1982.

  • Chaudhary Devi Lal , then an opposition leader, led a movement called ‘Nyaya yudh’ (Struggle for Justice) and formed a new party, Lok Dal.

  • His party joined other opposition parties to form a front against congress in the elections.

  • In the election campaign, Devi Lal said that if his party won the elections, his government would waive the loans of farmers and small businessmen. He promised that this would be the first action of his government.

  • The people were unhappy with the existing government. They were also attracted by Devi Lal’s promise.

  • So, when elections were held, they voted overwhelmingly in favor of Lok Dal and its allies.

  • Lok Dal and its partners won 76 out of 90 seats in the State Assembly.

  • Lok Dal alone won 60 seats and thus had a clear majority in the Assembly.

Why do we need elections?

  • Elections take place regularly in any democracy.

  • There are more than 100 countries in which elections take place to choose people’s representatives.

  • The mechanism by which people can choose their representatives at regular intervals and change them whenever they want to is called an election.

In an election the voters make many choices:

  • They can choose who will make laws for them.

  • They can choose who will form the government and take major decisions.
  • They can choose the party whose policies will guide the government and law-making.

What makes an election democratic?

  • Elections can be held in many ways. All democratic countries hold elections. But non-democratic countries also hold some kind of elections.

  • Minimum conditions of a democratic election:
    1. First , everyone should be able to choose. This means that everyone should have one vote and every vote should have equal value.
    2. 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.
    3. Third, the c hoice should be offered at regular intervals . Elections must be held regularly after every few years.
    4. Fourth, the candidate preferred by the people should get elected.
    5. Fifth, elections should be conducted in a free and fair manner where people, can choose as they really wish.

Is it good to have political competition?

  • Elections are all about political competition. This competition takes various forms . At the constituency level, it takes the form of competition among several candidates.

  • Electora l competition has many demerits. It creates a sense of disunity and ‘factionalism’ in every locality.

  • Our constitution makers opted for free competition in elections because this system works better in the long run.

  • In an ideal world, all political leaders know what is good for the people and are motivated only by a desire to serve them.

  • Here are a few arguments in favor of political rivalry benefiting citizens.
    1. Political parties and leaders have incentives to compete in regular elections.
    2. Political parties are aware that by addressing topics that the public cares about, they can gain support and boost their prospects of winning the upcoming elections.
    3. On the other hand, they won't be able to win again if they don't wow the voters with their work.
    4. Despite this, a political party will be compelled to serve the public if its primary goal is to gain power.
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Davneet Singh

Davneet Singh has done his B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He has been teaching from the past 14 years. He provides courses for Maths, Science, Social Science, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science at Teachoo.