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A Brief

A Brief

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Published by M C Raj
A tailor made proportional representation electoral system for India. This is a result of researches in five countries and a national campaign in India
A tailor made proportional representation electoral system for India. This is a result of researches in five countries and a national campaign in India

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Published by: M C Raj on Jul 28, 2012
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Electoral Systems
With Specific Reference to PR System in India
M C Raj
A Brief 
Author M C Raj has penned many books on philosophy, psychology,spirituality, politics and a few fiction novels. Now he has come outwith a book on Electoral Systems with specific reference toProportional Representation System in India. This book is the result of two parallel processes in the last five years. The first process is thathe started off with a research on the German electoral system inGermany. This was a long research. He followed it up with a researchon the Sami Parliament and Norwegian electoral system. Norway hasenacted a very special legal provision for safeguarding the rights andculture of the Sami people. The Sami Act also provides room for aseparate Parliament for the Sami people. Jyothi and Raj then took upa research in New Zealand on the electoral system of the country.New Zealand has a provision for separate electorate for theindigenous Maori people. His frequent visits to Nepal also enabledhim to do a research on the Nepalese electoral system that hasbrought about drastic changes in the democratic set up of Nepal.Finally Raj also made a research on the electoral system of theNetherlands, which according to some scholars has the bestproportional system in the world.A common feature of all these countries is that all of them haveproportional representation system as their electoral system. Adiversity in all these countries is that each country has its own uniquefeature in PR system. Germany has reservation for the Danish people,in its Mixed Member PR system while New Zealand, following on theGerman model of PR has made a special provision of separateelectorate for the indigenous Maori people within the MMP. Nepal is apioneer in Asia in adopting the parallel system of elections within theProportional Representation system. The Netherlands has a full PRsystem without the Mixed Member PR system as in other fourcountries. The second process is that M C Raj and his wife Jyothi initiated amajor Campaign for Electoral Reforms in India (CERI), which has nowtaken roots in more than 15 states in India and has also made inroadsinto the parliament of India. India has borrowed its electoral system
 
from the British, which is a colonial residue. The First Past The Post(FPTP) electoral system is fit for any democracy with two parties.India, being a multicultural society with multiparty system is badly inneed of shifting to proportional representation system, as it providesinclusive space for minorities. Here the term minorities will implyDalits, Tribals, religious, ethnic and sexual minorities and alsowomen. The CERI campaign is specifically focused on bringing aboutthis change in India. However, the knowledge bank in India on PRsystem is abysmally low. It is in this context that M C Raj has broughttogether all the questions that were raised by Indian participants inmore than 15 State conferences on PR system, combined it with hisuntiring researches and has brought the present book on ElectoralSystems. The book has three sections and is spread out in ten chapters.
Section 1
deals with the conceptual dimension of Democracy,especially in the way it developed from the period of Enlightenmentin the 16
th
Century and has led to the present modern andpostmodern democratic governance. It has a heavy analytical anglein its presentation. The attempt is to wake up the readers from theirslumber on a naïve assumption that democracy is ‘good’ withouteven knowing its inner personality and character. This section alsodeals with the way Indian democracy evolved especially through thedifferent types of nationalist discourses. Both the global and theIndian democracy converge on one common dimension, which isrepresentative democracy. The question of representationimmediately throws up the challenge of inclusion and share in power.Both these are supposed to be realized through an appropriateelectoral system. When there is no inclusion and no share in power itmust be realized that there is an unfit electoral system.
Section 2
deals with the Majoritarian Electoral system. It lays barethe different variants in the Majoritarian Electoral System one of which is the First Past The Post system that is in vogue in India. Thesystems are dealt with as much academic discipline as possible. Careis also taken to explain the different terminologies of the system thatare used in procedures.
Section 3
deals with the Proportional Representation System and itsapplication to India. The variants of PR system are explained toenhance the general understanding of readers and particularly placethe reality of India. The choice of the Mixed Member Proportional(MMP) system and its various dimensions are not only explained butalso the logic of developing India specific electoral system is broughtinto focus. Being a unique country India cannot afford to borrow anycountry’s electoral system as it is, without applying the same toIndia’s unique social and cultural context. This has been done by agroup of international experts on electoral systems whom M C Rajbrought together in Berlin, Germany. The proposal for PR system in

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