JAC Class 9th Social Science Notes Civics Chapter 3 Electoral Politics

JAC Board Class 9th Social Science Notes Civics Chapter 3 Electoral Politics

→ Overview

  • In a democracy, people do not govern directly. They govern through their elected representatives.
  • Governing through elected representatives is the most common form of democracy.
  • This chapter will develop understanding about the election of representatives, the need of elections and how to make elections democratic.
  • It also involves examining the role of the Election Commission in ensuring free and fair elections.

→ Assembly Elections in Haryana

  • Haryana had been ruled by Congress Party since 1982.
  • Chaudhary Devi Lai was an opposition leader. He led a movement called Nyaya Yuddh (struggle for justice) and formed a new party ‘Lok Dal’.
  • In election campaign of 1987 Assembly Elections, Devi Lai promised voters that if his party wins, he would waive the loans of farmers and small businessmen.
  • The people were unhappy with existing government, they were attracted by Devi Lai’s promise. They voted in favour of Lok Dal and its partners won 76 out of 90 seats.
  • Lok Dal alone won 60 seats and thus had a clear majority in the state legislative assembly.
  • Congress got only 5 seats. As the election result was announced, the existing chief minister of congress resigned.
  • The newly-elected members of Legislative Assembly of Lok Dal chose Devi Lai as their leader.
  • The Governor of Haryana invited Devi Lai to be the new Chief Minister. After three days of election result, he took oath.
  • Then his government issued a government order waiving the outstanding loans to small farmers, agricultural labourers and small businessmen.
  • Lok Dal ruled the state for 4 years. In 1991 election, party did not win people’s support. This time, congress won the election and formed the government.

JAC Class 9th Social Science Notes Civics Chapter 3 Electoral Politics

→ Why do we Need Elections?

  • The mechanism by which people can choose their representatives at regular intervals and change them if they wish to do so is called Election.
  • The elections are needed for any representative democracy because : (i) They solve problem of assessing people on the basis of education, knowledge or experience. (ii) They help in analysing that the people like their representatives or not. (iii) They ensure that the representatives rule as per the wishes of the people and make sure that those
  • Who are not working for the people, do not remain their representatives.
  • 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

  • A simple list of the minimum conditions of a democratic election: (i) Everyone should be able to choose representative. (ii) There should be several candidates to choose from. (iii) The choice should be offered at regular ntervals. (iv) The candidate preferred by the people should get elected. (v) Elections should be conducted in a free and fair manner.

→ Is it Good to have Political Competition?

  • Regular electoral competition provides incentives to political parties and leaders. They know that if they raise issues that people want to be raised, their popularity and chances of victory will increase in the next elections. But if they fail to satisfy the voters with their works they will not be able to win again.

JAC Class 9th Social Science Notes Civics Chapter 3 Electoral Politics

→ What is Our System of Elections?

  • In India, Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha (Assembly) elections are held regularly after every five years. This is known as general election.
  • Sometimes, election is held only for one constituency to fill the vacancy caused by death or resignation of a member. This is known as by-election.

→ Electoral Constituencies

  • The country is divided into different areas for election purposes. These areas are called electoral constituencies.
  • For Lok Sabha elections, the country is divided into 543 constituencies. The representative elected from each constituency is called the Member of Parliament (MP)
  • Each state is divided into a specific number of Assembly constituencies. In this case, the elected representative is called the Member of Legislative Assembly or an MLA.
  • Each Parliamentry constituency has, within it, several assembly constituencies.For Panchayat and Municipal elections each village or town is divided into several ‘wards’, that are just like constituencies.

→ Reserved Constituencies

  • Constituencies that are reserved for the weaker sections, i.e., for people belong to the scheduled castes (SC) and scheduled tribes(ST) are called Reserved Constituencies.
  • Scheduled tribes can contest an election from a constituency reserved for SC/ST.
  • In Lok Sabha, 84 seats are reserved for the Scheduled Castes and 47 for the Scheduled Tribes.
  • In many states, seats in rural (Panchayat) and urban (municipalities and corporations) local bodies are now reserved for Other Backward Classes (OBC).
  • One-third of the seats are reserved in rural and urban local bodies for women candidates.

→ Voters’ List

  • In a democratic election, the list of those who are eligible to vote is prepared much before the election and given to everyone. This list is officially called the Electoral List and is commonly called as the Voters’ List.
  • A complete revision of the list takes place every five years to ensure that it remains up to date.
  • An EPIC (Election Photo Identity Card) has been given by the government to every person on the voters’ list. The voters are required to carry this card when they go out to vote so that no one can vote for someone else.

JAC Class 9th Social Science Notes Civics Chapter 3 Electoral Politics

→ Nomination of Candidates

  • Anyone who is a voter can also become a candidate in elections. The only difference to be a voter is that the minimum age to vote is 18 years, while to be a candidate in an election, the minimum age is 25 years.
  • There are also some other restrictions on criminals but these apply in very extreme cases.
  • Political parties nominate their candidates who get the party support and symbol. Party’s nomination is often called party ticket.
  • The candidate has to fill a nomination form and give some amount as security deposit.
  • Every candidate has to make a legal declaration, giving full detail of: (i) Educational qualifications of the candidate,(ii) Detail of the assets and liabilities of the candidate and his/her family, (iii) Serious criminal cases pending aganist the candidate.
  • This information has to be made public.

→ Educational Qualifications for Candidates

  • There is no educational qualification required for being an MP or an MLA. However, the relevant qualifications for candidates is the ability to understand peoples’ concerns, problems and to represent people’s interests.

→ Election Campaign

  • In our country, election compaigning takes place for a two week period between the announcement of the final list of candidates and the date of polling.
  • In election campaigns, political parties try to attract public attention on some big issues. They want to attract the public to that issue and get them to vote for their party on the basis.

→ Polling and Counting of Votes

  • The day, when the voters cast or poll their vote is called the election day. Every person whose name is on the voters’ list go to a nearby polling booth and cast his/her vote through a secret ballot.
  • Now, Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) are used to record votes, where voter presses button against the name of that candidate, in favour of whom he/she wants to cast his/ her vote.
  • Once the polling is over, all the EVMs are sealed and taken to a secure place.
  • A few days later, on a fixed date, all the EVMs are opened and the votes secured by each candidate are counted.
  • The candidate who secures the highest number of votes from a constituency is declared elected.

→ What Makes Elections in India Democratic?

  • There are many factors which ensure that elections held in India are democratic:

→ Independent Election Commission

  • In our country, election are conducted by an independent and very powerful Election Commission. It enjoys the same kind of independence that the judiciary enjoys.
  • Election Commission takes decisions on every aspect of conduct and control of election.
  • Government officers on election duty, work under the control of Election Commission and not the government.

→ Popular Participation

  • People’s participation in election is usually measured by voter turnout figures.
  • In India, the poor, illiterate and under-privileged people vote in larger proportion as compared to the rich and privileged sections.

→ Acceptance of Election Outcome

  • If elections are not free or fair, the outcome always favours the powerful. In such a situation, the rulling parties do not lose elections.
  • Usually, losing party does not accept the outcome of a rigged election.
  • Except some disputed elections, the electoral outcomes are usually accepted by the defeated party as people’s verdict.

→ Challenges to Free and Fair Elections

  • Some candidates with criminal records are able to secure party tickets from major parties due to their political connections.
  • Candidates and parties with a lot of money may not be sure of their victory, but they do enjoy an unfair advantage over smaller parties and independent candidates.
  • Elections offer only little choice to ordinary citizens, all the major parties are quite similar to each other in policies and practice.
  • Due to some challenges to free and fair election, there is demand of reforms in our electoral system by citizens, social activists and organisations.

JAC Class 9th Social Science Notes Civics Chapter 3 Electoral Politics

→ Election: The mechanism by which people choose their representatives at regular intervals is called election.

→ Political party: A political party is an organized group of people who seek to capture political power through an election in order to run the affairs of a country; it often puts forward candidates for public office.

→ Constituency: Voters in a geographical area who elect representatives to the legislative bodies.

→ Factionalism: It refers to splitting up of a group in small factions. In this political concept, a group of persons form a minority in a larger group.

→ General election: In India, Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha (Assembly) elections are held regularly after every five years. This is known as general election.

→ By election: If a representative from a constituency dies while in office or if the office falls vacant because of reasons like resignation, fresh elections are held in that particular constituency. Such an election is called by election.

→ Electoral Constituencies: An area-based system of representation is followed where the country is divided into different areas for purpose of election. These are called electoral constituencies.

→ MP: Member of Parliament.

→ MLA: Member of Legislative Assembly.

→ Electoral Roll: it is the voters’ list prepared by a door to door survey to include only bonafide voters and minimise the role of bogus voters.

→ Universal Adult Franchise: Every Indian citizen of eighteen years and above has the right to vote, irrespective of caste, creed or sex.

→ Code of Conduct: A set of norms and guidelines to be followed by political parties and contesting condidates during election time.

JAC Class 9th Social Science Notes Civics Chapter 3 Electoral Politics

→ Polling booth: A make shift place where people go to caste their votes on the election day.

→ EVM: Electronic Voting Machine. It is voting using electronic means to either aid or take care of the chores of casting and counting votes.

→ Rigging: Fraud and malpractices indulged by a party or candidate to increase its votes. It includes stuffing ballot boxes by a few persons using the votes of others; recording multiple votes by the same person; and bribing polling officers to favour a candidate.

→ Election Commission: The entire process of election in our country is -conducted, controlled and supervised by an independent body called the Election commission.

→ Turnout: The percentage of eligible voters who cast their votes in an election.

→ Rigged Election: Election on the basis of fraud or malpractices.

→ Incumbent: The Current holder of a political office. Usually, the choice for the voters in elections is between the incumbent party or candidate and those who oppose them.

→ Level Playing Field: Condition is which all parties and condidates contesting in an election have equal opportunities to appeal for votes and to carry out the elections campaign.

→ Election Manifesto: A document published by each political party before elections, containing the policies and programmes of the party.

JAC Class 9 Social Science Notes

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