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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Negative voting revisited

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It gives me immense pleasure to inform the followers of my blog that my earlier article on Negative Voting has been referred to by the Economic Times in its article on the same topic.

"Echoes of this sentiment can be heard across websites. The right to a negative vote is being viewed as a demand for more accountability from government . In, Sandeep Bansal says, “The negative voting option has the potential to bring about changes to the overall political system just like RTI is bringing about changes in our bureaucracy,” he writes."
There is one interesting aspect which I had not considered in my earlier article and that has rightly been raised. BJP’s Sudheendra Kulkarni says that it is the democratic right of a voter to choose ‘None of the above’ . ‘‘ But in that case, voting should be made compulsory ,” he says. This is quite logical as a candidate should not be barred from contesting simply because some % of people feel it that ways.

But then can our democracy really make voting mandatory. Imagine if voting is made mandatory, there will be a backlash in a number of regions where people are dissatisfied with democracy. These regions are particularly the Naxal affected regions and Terrorism affected Kashmir. Democracy is supposed to win over people, and not impose itself on them.


  1. First of all congratulations for that ET recognition. Wish you many more.

    As to linking negative voting with compulsory voting, to me it looks to be another attempt by politicians to scuttle much needed changes that are unfavourable to them. If voting is not mandatory for getting elected then how can it be so for getting rejected? How can winning by one vote be fine, if for getting the boot that you deserve you want everyone to vote?

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  3. Congratulation!! Keep on going!
    -ve voting as you said will create accountability to the political parties. And mandatory voting is also right way. But as Vinodji says both are not be linked. And implementation of -ve voting should not be kept in hold because we can not able to implement compulsory voting. % cut off for a candidate to be rejected can be calculated based on voting % and not based on no of voters in the constitute.
    However your mentioned threats can not be overruled. Still it is the accountability of the MP, MLA or local administration itself to establish faith in democracy in his constitute. Otherwise president rule may be the option

  4. Hey congrats :-)

    And how can Voting be made compulsory?I mean, what if Someone doesnt Vote?What next?Will we jail him/her?
    Even worse, what if someone is really sick on that day/week? will he have to produce medical certificates and give it to Govt?:-)..What if someone is in train/Plane?will he have to produce tickets as a prood..?;-)!!

    Not feasible.!!