The challenge of keeping elections fair and representative


basis of elections around the world Emotions, hopes, conflicting ideologies and sometimes incidents of violence represents a complex mixture of.

Ancient Electoral Practices

  • Ancient Athens: An early form of election could be seen in ancient Athens about 2,500 years ago, where a candidate's victory depended on his luck. One was selected at random from all suitable candidates.
    • The winning process was random, so publicity or candidate influence could not be taken advantage of in the election.
  • Kudavolai system by Chola rulers: 'Kudavolai' system from tenth century Chola inscriptions at Uthiramerur, Tamil Nadu Through this we get information about the practice of electing village representatives.
    • Among the candidates people voted for, one was randomly selected and the final candidate was selected.

First Past the Post System

  • Introduction: It is an electoral system in which voters can vote for only one candidate, and the candidate with the most votes wins the election.
    • It is one of the simplest and oldest electoral systems.
  • Process: Voters are presented with lists of candidates nominated by various political parties or contesting the elections as independents.
  • Voters marking their ballot paper or electronic voting machine any one candidate Give your vote to. The candidate receiving the most votes in a constituency is declared the winner.
    • This system means that The winner does not need to get a majoritybut simply to get more votes than all the other candidates.
  • Approval Voting System: This system, adopted in India, USA, UK and many other countries, has been called approval voting system followed by random choice by social theorists and mathematicians.

Drawbacks of FPTP

  • Discrepancies between popular vote and seat allocation: Critics have pointed to the notable discrepancy between seat share and the vote share received by a political party after many elections.
    • For example, in the 2015 Delhi Assembly elections, the Aam Aadmi Party got 54% of the popular votes and won 96% of the seats, while the Bharatiya Janata Party could win only 4% of the seats despite getting 32% of the votes.
  • Challenges of vote share: Typically, the winning candidate receives less than 50% vote share. Till date, no government in India has ever been able to cross 50% vote share in the Lok Sabha elections, despite having an overwhelming majority.
    • FPTP as a process of selecting candidates Fails to fully reflect the will of the people Lives.
    • Only once since 1918 has a government in Britain had a vote share of more than 50%, in 1931. It can be said that if conclusions are drawn on the basis of vote-share instead of parliamentary seats, India and Britain have always been ruled by 'minority' governments. Used to be.

Mathematical analysis to create a better electoral system

  • Condorcet Systems
    • Introduction: The winning candidate in this electoral system absolute majority of the total number of formal votes Have to achieve. This means that each winning candidate More than 50 percent of total formal votes should meet.
    • Analysis of Voter Preferences through Preference Ranking: In this, voters make a list of candidates on the basis of preference ranking. Next, each candidate is compared to every other candidate.
    • Broad procedure for the two-stage election process: It outlines a comprehensive procedure for a two-stage election process.
      • This electoral system guarantees that each winning candidate receives more than 50% of the votes against the other candidates and is the most preferred candidate.
    • System related concerns: However it is difficult to call the Condorcet system better than FPTP and it is not used in any national election because This system restricts voters from electing a particular candidate. Does.
  • Borda System
    • Rank-based Voting System (RVS): in this system Allows voters to rank each candidate on the ballot And through the process of vote redistribution, the winner is guaranteed to get at least 50% of the votes.
    • Strategies for Vote Redistribution: Redistribution of votes can take many other forms along with the prevalent method. For example, second and sometimes third preference votes get accumulated, resulting in no candidate obtaining 50% vote share.
      • RVS system of election of the President of India Happens from.
    • Implementation Challenges: Like the Condorcet system, the Borda system is complex and challenging to implement in major elections in a large country like India.
      • In 1969, none of the 15 presidential candidates received 50% of the first preference votes.
      • After adding the second preference votes, V.V. Giri (who had 48% of the first preference votes) touched the mark of 50.8% and was declared the winner, defeating Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy.

Mathematics and technology help in keeping elections fair

  • Disclosure of form in electoral processes: Analysis of election data has revealed patterns reflected in the distribution of important factors of the electoral process.
    • The arithmetic of votes makes clear the inconsistent nature of election processes.
  • Gradual Flexibility: Despite apparent chaos in elections, voting patterns can be seen to be resilient as they remain unaffected by nuanced complexities such as geographical locations, voting patterns or cultural contexts.
    • Thus, mathematical analysis provides a better understanding regarding the electoral process, while the technical perspective is helpful in implementing the process in a systematic manner.

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