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Negative Vote – A good Idea??

March 23, 2009

With Elections round the corner and the debate about negative voting going on, I finally deicded that I should let out my ideas on this topic.

I found this petition online. Though it sounds absolutely practical to have an option of choosing none of the above in an election, I personally do not think it to be a good idea. Negative Voting, is an option given to the voter where he/she can decide to vote against ‘none of the candidates’ contesting in the elections. That is if we do not like any of the candidates contesting in the election, instead of refraining from the elections, we can go ahead and use this option and convey our message that we do not like any of the candidates.

I do agree that it would be a good option wherein if we do not consider anyone worth the position they are contesting for, we do not elect them. But doesn’t that lead to wastage of lots of money and time of many people.
Let’s see a scenario where-in there are 4 contestants from a constituency and I think none of them deserves to be a MLA/MP, and then I go ahead and choose none of the above. If more than 50% of the voters follow this, then as per the petition, these candidates should be debarred from contesting the next re-poll. Then the election commission has to reschedule and conduct elections again. And this time let us assume that the parties send in a different set of politicians who are as good as the earlier ones. Standing by our principle, we repeat our act and let us assume the result is also same. This would lead to another re-poll. And as far as my knowledge, the 1st 4 candidates will become eligible now and the whole process is repeated.

If we analyze this situation,
1. A lot of money is being wasted (at least half of which will be the money we pay through taxes) in the whole process. Some of it for organizing the elections, a lot of it for election campaigns.
2. Infrastructure. Organizing an election takes in a lot of effort. A lot of people like election commission, government employees who help in organizing the election at different booths, police force which tries to ensure free- and-fair elections.
3. Most important of all. Time. When the elections are being held once in 5 years the voting percentages are decreasing time after time (part of it can be attributed to the lack of good politicians). And if elections are held at this frequent rate, the voting rates are bound to go even lower.

All in all, even if this option comes into effect, we cannot be sure that the whole of our political system will change because of this. It has been here for years and it will take a lot of years to change the system.

I do agree that more than 95% of the people contesting in the elections have criminal cases against them/ resolve to vote bank politics and raise communal tensions in the country. But then, we can’t change it by casting a negative vote.

I read a blog about this. I do agree with the writer that it is difficult to choose between Narendra modi, D P Yadav, Pappu Yadav, Taslimuddin and Mohd. Shahbuddin or any of the sundry criminals. But then if we look out carefully we do find people like mallika sarabhai. There is always good and bad. It’s up to us to decide which is good and which is bad. And if the decision is not so easy then we have to decide which is comparatively better or lesser bad when compared to other.

As a responsible citizen we should cast our vote, but then what’s the point if we waste that golden opportunity given to us. It is our responsibility to not only go to the polling booth and cast a vote but, also to vote it to someone who is at least half better than his counterparts. All the time we crib and complain that all politicians are useless and all but when we don’t want to come out of our comfort zone and contest in the elections then whats the harm in choosing the best among the worst?

Remember Rang De Basanti, we loved the movie so much because it reflected the present scenario. The words of Madhavan , which Siddarth repeats later ‘Nothing is going to change by blaming the system in place. We should try to become the change to change the system. Join IAS, IPS… Join politics and try to change the country if you can’.

Similarly, when we take the little effort required to go to the polling booth and cast a vote, then why waste it by casting it to none of the contestants. Why don’t we take in a little more effort and then choose a better among the worst. They say something is better than nothing. Then why don’t we resort to it?

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. Santhosh permalink
    March 23, 2009 5:48 PM

    nice analysis and great thoughts!…. keep up the good work!…and yeah i agree with your opinion too!….The mantra is “Stop whining! Do Something!”

  2. Mystery permalink
    March 23, 2009 7:37 PM

    @santhosh.
    nice mantra “Stop Whining! Do Something!” good that you liked my thoughts

  3. bunny permalink
    March 24, 2009 8:57 AM

    haaan agreed…so rads are u gonna be voting tis time around atleast [:P]?

  4. Mystery permalink
    March 24, 2009 11:59 AM

    @bunny
    i already voted once 😛

  5. stari permalink
    March 25, 2009 2:50 PM

    ya.. good work…
    something is better than nothing
    but
    nothing is better than nonsense..

    we cant look for better person among bad kada

  6. Manu permalink
    March 25, 2009 4:31 PM

    We should go ahead with negative vote. i do support this and i have apost on my blog regarding this

  7. Mystery permalink
    March 25, 2009 4:45 PM

    @stari.
    i do not agree with you. when all of us want oursleves to be sitting in our confort zone refusing to come out of it, we are left with no option but to vote for the better amongst the worst. I do agree that, its also bad. But i feel that it is better than not having to vote/ negative vote in which case even if we do vote, the worst of all wins because of his dirty tricks. so whats the point in casting a negative vote.

    It’s our responsibility as a voter that we ensure the win of a deserving candidate and prevent the post going into the hands of undeserving candidates.

  8. Mystery permalink
    March 25, 2009 4:48 PM

    @manu
    It’s my personal opinion that we should not allow negative vote. you may feel otherwise. go ahead and support your cause and i will support mine.

  9. sravanthi permalink
    March 29, 2009 9:36 PM

    hey rads..nice work dude..chaala analysis chesaav ..got to learn from u yaar..
    but this funda that money and infrastructure gets wasted doesn’ sound right yaar..see, its 5 years of india’s future that is at stake..ppl’s money is meant to be put in for such basic elements of democracy. And, come on yar, indians are not so crazy that 50% would cast a negative vote if there were actually a eligible person..if they did, then we can’t just put off the decision of 50% of ppl, and u are right when u say choose the better one..but how do u define ‘better’..a robberer is better than a murderer..well with the current politics I consider this example would be apt..any way nice work rads!!keep up!

  10. Mystery permalink
    March 30, 2009 12:49 PM

    @sravanthi
    i do agree that it’s 5 years of India’s future at stake and people’s money is meant to be used for ensuring democracy. As i said money is one of the few things that are wasted. People’s money is meant to be used for ensuring democracy but that doesn’t mean that it can be used/spent only for conducting elections.

    The point i was trying to make is that, none of us(at least the educated ones)think there is an eligible person(which, in most cases, is true). so the chances that 50% cast a negative vote can’t be ruled out. And if there is such situation there is no other option left other than canceling that election and conducting it again.

    When we(and by we i include myself too) do not want to enter politics, then obviously we are left with no other option but to choose among the better of the worst: be it a robber or a murderer.

  11. Anand permalink
    April 1, 2009 12:29 PM

    Well written.
    Wot do u think about Sanjay Dutt not being allowed to contest, btw??

    Ill visit u more.
    Anand. 😉

  12. Mystery permalink
    April 1, 2009 3:24 PM

    hey anand. welcome to my blog.
    about sanjay dutt. well i just love munnabhai mvies not sanjubaba-the politician.

  13. vishnu permalink
    April 5, 2009 10:56 AM

    ah.. full of analysis and thoughts..
    even i do agree wid u..
    but one imp thing.. to vote for any candidate, our name shld be in the voter-list na..
    the basic criteria.. When i dont find my name, how can i vote..?? forget abt selecting a person..

    huh.. hope i get my Voter ID card as soon as possible.. so tat i can contribute my part for my country..

  14. Mystery permalink
    April 5, 2009 2:26 PM

    @vishnu
    u dont have Voter id card till now?!! very bad.
    you wont have the opportunity to vote for another 5 years then.

  15. April 30, 2009 11:24 AM

    Greatings, Super post, Need to mark it on Digg
    Robor

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