1. P1: Twin Nominations in Election
  2. P2: Primaries Method of nominating candidates

P1: Twin Nominations in Election

[GS2] Q. List the provisions related to Twin nomination in the RPA Act and examine the need for reforms in it. (100 words)
Provisions in RPA:

  1. Section 33: Candidate can contest from two Constituencies.
  2. Section 70: He has to give up one seat, if he wins both.

Misuse of Sec.33 & 70:

  • To increase the odds of winning, some candidates contest from two seats.
  • But if and when he wins, he has to vacate one.
  • This results in a by-election for vacated seat, wastage of manpower & public-money, and erosion of voters’ faith & interest in electoral process.
  • Therefore, Twin nomination is against the fundamental principles of representative democracy.

Suggested reforms:

  1. Repeal the provision of twin nomination from RPA Act OR
  2. Make the candidate bear entire cost of by-election.

~110 words.

P2: Primaries Method for nominating candidates

  1. (GS2) Comparing Constitution: Examine the merits & demerits of replacing first past to post method with primaries method in Indian elections.
  2. (Interview question) What do you understand by Rahul Gandhi’s “Primaries” method for giving tickets? Why does it work well in USA but fails in India?

Primaries method = a way to shortlisting the contestants. There are 4 types of primary election methods in USA, with difference in each state. But, I am taking the two most common:

Closed primary election

  • Only “Karyakarta” (Party-workers) can vote for candidates among their own party.
  • The highest voted candidate then contest for run-off election (against other party)..
  • Suppose, Manish Tewari, Kapil Sibbal and Sheila Dixit want to contest from Chandani Chowk. Then Congi workers (from this area), will do internal-voting.
  • if Sibbal gets max votes of local Congi workers, then he will get ticket from this Chandni Chowk. (And fight against BJP, AAP candidates= at that time, entire junta will come to vote).
  • Benefit: increases internal democracy in a party.

Open primary election

  • Everyone in the area, can vote for all candidates in that area. (This is only for shortlisting the “BEST” candidate from each party.)
  • The highest voted candidates from each party then proceed to run-off election. e.g. Sibbal among congies, Harshwardhan among BJP and Kerjiwal among AAP.
  • Benefit: reduces the chances of reduce the chances of hung parliament or coalition government. because “non-serious” candidates are eliminated.

Rahulbaba’s #EPICFAIL

  • Congress party Vice President Rahul Gandhi had decided to give tickets to Congi aspirants via (Closed) primary method. But first he wanted to test this method at few Constituencies, including Vadodara in Gujarat.
  • One Mr. Narendra Ravat won primaries election in Vadodara. So he should be given Congi ticket for this seat.
  • But then Modi himself decided to “Twin” contest from here=> Ravat replced by Madhusudan Mistry.

Anyways names not important- just taking them for explanation. Million dollar question is, WHY primary method works in USA but failed in India (despite Rahulbaba’s best intention for internal democracy within Congress)?

should India adopt this method?
Works in USA because EPICFAIL in India because
  • USA has two party-polity system.
  • So, easier to choose candidate from 2 parties. (whether you adopt open or closed system)
  • India has multi-party system.
  • CLOSED PRIMARY: will be hard/ gimmickry, because sometimes there is no ‘internal’ competition within party. (BSP, RJD etc.)
  • OPEN PRIMARY: will be hard for small parties and minorities to win primary if big parties puts large no of candidates in a ballot.
USA is wealthy and not as populous as India. They can afford this game.
  • IF we amend Constitution to run “open” primaries method, then we’ve to run two stage election -first to shortlist candidates from each party, then second stage election to select final winner.
  • But this will be way too expensive given the sheer number of polling booths and voters.
USA follows personality based politics. “Face/character/persona/policies” of an individual Candidate matters.
  • India follows political ideology based politics.
  • Party and its policies matter.
  • At max, what matters is “CASTE/RELIGION” of the candidate, before giving him ticket
  • MP/ MLAs are merely stamping yes/no/abstain from any motion in legislature depending on party whips.
  • Therefore, it doesn’t matter that much who is ‘local’ candidate- as long as junta has faith in the party. .

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