Making voting compulsory unfeasible: QuraishiDecember 9th, 2010 - 8:24 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Dec 9 (IANS) Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Quraishi Thursday opposed the idea of introducing compulsory voting, saying it was “neither desirable nor feasible”.
“Democracy and compulsion don’t go together,” Quraishi said at a press conference called to release consultation papers on electoral reforms.
Quraishi said that educating people was a better option than making voting compulsory for bringing people to the polling booth.
The just-concluded Bihar assembly elections witnessed an increase in the voter turnout by 16 percent, he said, citing it as an example of voter education.
Among other issues, the consultation papers dwell on the subject of criminalisation of politics, role of money power, state funding of political parties during elections, adjudication of election petitions and review of the anti-defection law.
Referring to the consultation papers, Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily said that in the last six decades, there were piecemeal attempts to reform the electoral system.
Admitting that there was no unanimity over the reforms, he said that political consensus on the issue could only be arrived at by building public opinion.
“Strong public opinion will force the political parties to change their stand,” Moily said.
Quraishi said that the entire world was baffled by the way elections were held in India and results declared within 12 hours from the commencement of the counting.
But at the same time, we had to hang our heads in shame when asked about the presence of criminals in our legislatures, he said
Quraishi regretted that all the political parties in unison rejected the Election Commission’s proposal not to give tickets to criminals accused of heinous crimes.
The law ministry is holding seven regional conferences on electoral reforms starting with Bhopal Dec 12, 2010. The other conferences will be held in Kolkata, Bangalore, Guwahati, Mumbai, Lucknow and Chandigarh.
The regional conferences will culminate in a national consultation conference in New Delhi April 2-3, 2011.
A core committee of nine eminent lawyers and other experts has been set up to act as a nodal agency for comprehensive electoral reforms. Additional Solicitor General Vivek Tankha is the committee chairman.
- Poll panel for hiking candidates' expenses - Feb 12, 2011
- Quraishi opposes state funding of elections - Jan 30, 2011
- Poll panel for voters' right to reject candidates - Nov 01, 2011
- Paid news, opinion polls cause concern - Feb 04, 2011
- Negligible progress on poll reforms, RTI plea reveals - Jun 21, 2012
- PM to address meet on electoral reforms in Guwahati - May 26, 2011
- Will push for electoral reforms, says Sampath - Jun 11, 2012
- Ban opinion polls after model code imposed: Quraishi - Jan 10, 2011
- Paid news very disturbing trend, says election commissioner - Jan 20, 2010
- Government plans all-party meeting on poll reforms - Nov 19, 2011
- 21 election commissioners to discuss reforms - Jun 26, 2011
- Moily commends ECI' s role in Indian democracy since inception - Sep 12, 2010
- If you love democracy, don't hate politicians: CEC - Feb 21, 2012
- Paid news an emerging challenge: Quraishi - Apr 30, 2012
- Poll panel seeks more powers to rein in errant parties - Jun 12, 2011
Tags: adjudication, assembly elections, bhopal, chief election commissioner, compulsory voting, consultation papers, defection, election commission, election petitions, electoral reforms, electoral system, heinous crimes, law minister, law ministry, money power, political consensus, polling booth, regional conferences, unanimity, veerappa