Chapter 4 Electoral Politics

Question 1.
Which of the following statements about the reasons for conducting elections are false?
(a) Elections enable people to judge the performance of the government.
(b) People select the representative of their choice is an election.
(c) Elections enable people to evaluate the performance of the judiciary.
(d) People can indicate which policies they prefer.
Answer:
Statement (c) is false.

Question 2.
Which of these is not a good reason to say that Indian elections are democratic?
(a) India has the largest number of voters in the world.
(b) India’s Election Commission is very powerful.
(c) In India, everyone above the age of 18 has a right to vote.
(d) In India, the losing parties accept the electoral verdict.
Answer:
(a) India has the largest number of voters in the world.

Question 3.
List all the different election-related activities mentioned in the chapter and arrange them in a time sequence, beginning with the first activity and ending with the last. Some of these activities are given below: Releasing election manifesto, counting of votes, making of voters’ list, election campaign, declaration of election results, casting of votes, ordering of re-poll, announcing election schedule, filing nomination.
Answer:
Election-related activities:

  1. Announcing election schedule
  2. Filing nominations
  3. Making of voters’ list
  4. Releasing election manifesto
  5. Election campaign
  6. Casting of votes
  7. Counting of votes
  8. Declaration of election results.
  9. Ordering of re-poll.

Question 4.
Surekha is an officer in charge of ensuring free and fair elections in an assembly constituency in a state. Describe what should she focus on for each of the following stages of election:

  1. Election campaign
  2. Polling day
  3. Counting day

Answer:

  1. Election campaign:
    • Sulekha should ensure that the candidates are not bribing the voters.
    • She should ensure that no candidate appeals for votes in the name of caste and religion.
    • She should make sure that no candidate uses government resources for campaigning.
    • No candidate should be allowed to spend more than 25 lakhs in a constituency for the Lok Sabha elections.
  2. Polling day:
    • Sulekha should ensure that voting takes place in a fairway.
    • No unfair means like booth capturing should take place.
    • Once the polling is over, EVMs should be sealed and taken to a secure place.
  3. Counting day:
    • On a fixed day, only EVMs from constituency should be opened.
    • The agents of all contestants should ensure that counting is done properly.
    • If she finds any foul play, an objection can be raised to the Election Commission, which will verily it and may go for re-polling in that constituency.

Question 5.
The table below gives the proportion of different communities among the candidates who won elections to the US Congress. Compare these to the proportion of these communities in the population of the US. Based on this would you suggest a system of reservation in the US Congress. If yes, why and for which communities? If no, why not?

 

proportion of the community

 

House of Representatives

Population of US

Blacks

8

13

Hispanics

5

13

Whites

86

70

Answer:
Based on the table, a reservation for the Hispanic community is a good idea. This is to make their representation in proportion to the percentage of their population.

Question 6.
Chinappa was convicted of torturing his wife for dowry. Satbir was held guilty of practicing untouchability. The court did not allow either of them to contest elections. Does this decision go against the principles of democratic elections?
Answer:
No, this decision does not go against the principle of democratic elections because:

  1. Chinappa is a criminal as he was convicted of torturing his wife for dowry.
  2. Satbir is also guilty of practicing untouchability, which is a crime.
  3. If there are serious criminal cases pending against candidates they are not allowed to contest elections.
  4. This system has been introduced in the directions from the Supreme Court.