Now that the festival of democracy is unfolding in front of us, it is time to take the next big step and implement electoral reforms. Though there have been enough discussions around this, no concrete steps have been taken except for the faulty implementation of NOTA (None of the Above) option.
Below are some of the electoral reforms to place the real power of democracy in the hands of the citizens:
1. NOTA (None Of The Above): The current implementation of NOTA seems to be a half-hearted attempt to allow citizens to vent out their frustration. If NOTA gets the highest number of votes (or more than 50% of the total votes) in an Assembly or Parliamentary Constituency, there should be a re-election and none of the existing candidates who stood for election should be allowed to file their nomination again. This will force the political parties to put up credible candidates.
2. Key Performance Areas (KPAs): It should be mandated by law that all political parties in consultation with the public should define KPAs for all their elected representatives. These should have proper targets which are measurable and verifiable.
3. Annual Report Card: The political parties / elected representatives should be mandated to present an Annual Report card with their performance measured against the set KPAs.
4. Right to Recall: If the elected representative has not met the KPAs, the people of the Assembly or Parliamentary Constituency should have the right to recall their representative and elect a new candidate.
5. Online Voting: Lastly there should be an option for citizens to vote online. If we can implement Aadhaar, we can definitely do this also.
Every sector is going through change and is being made more accountable, so why this exception to the profession of politics?
We claim to be the largest democracy in the world, let us also show the world that we are a responsible democracy.
– Kasi Ganeshan, Metagalli, 27.3.2019
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