Why is proportional representation not adopted for Lok Sabha?

Q.  Which of the following is/are true?

1) It is difficult for common people to understand system of proportional representation.
2) India has single member constituency.

- Published on 02 Mar 17

a. Only 1
b. Only 2
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2

ANSWER: Both 1 and 2
  • Constitution has adopted the system of territorial representation for the election of members to the Lok Sabha.

  • In it, every member of the legislature represents a geographical area known as a constituency.

  • From each constituency, only one representative is elected i.e., a single-member constituency.

  • A candidate who secures majority of votes is declared elected.

  • This simple majority system of representation does not represent the whole electorate.

  • In other words, it does not secure due representation to minorities (small groups).

  • The system of proportional representation aims at removing the defects of territorial representation.

  • Under this system, all sections of the people get representation in proportion to their number.

  • Even the smallest section of the population gets its due share of representation in the legislature.

  • There are two kinds of proportional representation, namely, single transferable vote system and list system.

  • In India, the first kind is adopted for the election of members to the Rajya Sabha and state legislative council and for electing the President and the Vice-President.

  • Constitution has not adopted the proportional representation because of -

    (a) Difficulty for the voters to understand the system (which is complicated) due to low literacy scale in the country.

    (b) Unsuitability to the parliamentary government due to the tendency of the system to multiply political parties leading to instability in government.

    Demerits system of proportional representation -

    (a) It is highly expensive.

    (b) It does not give any scope for organizing by-elections.

    (c) It eliminates intimate contacts between voters and representatives.

    (d) It promotes minority thinking and group interests.

    (e) It increases the significance of party system and decreases that of voter.

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