One India One Election - Pros and Cons
Every year one or the other state is geared for an election. The tiring process of campaigning and the cost incurred is often very high. Moreover, the frenzied procedure tires everyone out. PM Modi has always been calling for uniting the state and general elections to compromise on the cost of holding the elections and reducing the chaos attached with it.
Recently, we saw President Pranab Mukherjee also showed support to the One India One Election initiative of PM Modi. India actually is in a perpetual election mode that goes on to hamper long-term policymaking. Everything that is done is seen as intent to gain vote or show the other party down. Is India ready to shun the traditional election mechanism and make way for One India One Election?Pros1. Saving cost:
The election procedure is not only tiresome and hectic but also expensive. Parties individually spend a lot on election campaigning, the amount that could be put to better use if they have to do that only at once for the general election as well as the state election. Government also spares no expense when it comes to wooing the votes of the supporters during the times of elections.2. Saving time:
Half of the year is spent by politicians concentrating on strategies for the upcoming election in one or the other state and debating the actions of the competing party. The name calling and blame game take a lot of time that could be used for something productive. On the part of common people too, it would be time saving to cast both the votes together.3. Shunning the vote bank:
When elections are around the corners, most political parties throw gimmicks to gain vote bank or to destroy the reputation of the other party. They use issues to frame policies that would gain them upper hand at the elections. People are aware of this and more importantly they are tired of this. Building roads and developing infrastructure all seem to happen only when elections are around the corners.4. Encouraging policymaking:
The fear of losing voters prevent politicians from encouraging the passage of policies that require immediate attention. They are never united in their decisions because they are always worried of how best of appease the people they are expecting highest votes from. A combined election procedure would give them ample time to concentrate on policymaking without having to worry about the votes being gained or lost.5. Lowering vices:
Casteism, communalism, corruption and partiality prevails because of so many elections that happen almost every year. This would only stop if elections are held jointly and odds of gaining or losing prevail at once and for all. The rest of their term of career, they wouldn’t try inciting the evil that destroy the peace of the nation.Cons1. Not possible:
Holding the Lok Sabha elections along with elections to assembly and panchayats is not that easy a process. It will have various complications as the villages and the cities together gear for voting. There may also be shortage of administrative staff and security to look after the procedure. Less care at the voting centers may further incite trouble and corrupt processes being carried out unchecked. Booth capturing is not something people would want in exchange for saving on time.2. Cost can still be cut down:
By putting a strict cap on the election costs for all parties, the overall dilemma associated with the expense of holding elections separately can be done away with. They are usually seen spending before the model code of conduct comes into play. If that can be restricted, there is no way the costs would exceed normal.3. Keeping a good check:
Politicians are kept on their toes when they are regularly worried about the routine elections that they need to be presentable for. They know they are accountable for the actions of their party member and anything going wrong could mean snatching of their powers. This fear is good to keep them in check.4. Makes them keep up the good work:
Not many good works go into their books but the ones they do are usually during elections. Cutting down on elections would mean making them lazy for the rest of the term and suddenly becoming overactive during the election year.5. National and state issues:
Holding both the elections together will also mean mixing up the national issues with those of the state. The national issues would overpower the state which in turn would get less priority from the politicians.
One India One Election would be a good change if it could be carried out with the proper implication of policies and rules and taking care of the rising need for good administrative staff and security officials. Without the required facilities, it is bound to create more problems than it would solve. The initiative is well received and supported by many. Only if it gets the right requisites, there is no reason why it wouldn’t prove to be good for the electoral procedures of the country.