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Topic : 2009 General Elections : Key Issues
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Created by : Dayanand Deshpande, Senior Consultant, Ernst & Young  | 03 16 2009 05:29:52 +0000
Industry : Management & Strategy ConsultingFunctional Area : Indian Election 2009(Personal Interests)
Activity:  3901 views;  last activity : 06 17 2012 15:56:20 +0000

Negative voting is the latest buzzword - calling for an option for voters to reject all candidates in a particular constituency. An option saying you don’t want to vote for any of the above. But will this concept work in India?

Any thoughts on this......

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Yes Vs No
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Top Argument

Hi friends,

Rajender you are right to some extent but we need to have that extra choice to make sure this unwanted, untouchable, uneducated, unethical politician are not selected. In fact we should work on its short comings & improvise.

Negative voting might not be considered now but we have to change the system. But what if we dont vote? There is someone usurping out own right, voting on our behalf. Negative voting will at least out a stop to this and we can be sure that with the number of negative votes growing in size, the politician, will one day bend and mend their ways. The day might not be far away, if we all wish it that way.

Why should something be thrust upon us which is against our own will, law, morality. This will be a another version of the whistle-blower. Why cant we give it a try. Now, let us make it work. Lets join hands. Lets publicise this. Let more amir khans & other influential figures be a part of it. We are non-political. What we want is a clean administration functioning and serving the nations interests.

Come one, come all....

Let's Force it..................

Thanks !!!

By Yash Singh, Coresspondent, Star  03 16 2009 08:02:35 +0000
Top Argument

Negative voting is an inchoate concept and should not be adopted.
First,as the term 'Election' signifies;we are electing a candidate and not rejecting one.The exercise would prove useless if such a thing was to take place.It would be a burden on the EC if it has to keep organizing the elections again and again.

Second, the voters rarely vote for the candidate.They vote on the party lines.So the choice of the candidate would not make much of a difference.How many of us know about our candidate or make an effort to know our candidates,like going through their past or have a look into their academic backgrounds.Only a minority of us go into such subtleties.

Therefore negative voting should be discouraged.It will hold our Democracy to ransom.

By Rajender Sharma, Senior Consultant, Softwell  03 16 2009 06:26:48 +0000
Hi, It would be good if the negative voting is included in EVM. By this our country will get the real and great leaders because public would be getting the chance to stop the unwanted and unreliable candidate at the very first stage. So, according to me to have this type of voting before the actual elections would be helpful in building up a great, loyal and efficient government.
By Sowjanya Reddy, team member, Tata Consultancy Services as Assistant Systems Engineer  | 06 17 2012 15:56:19 +0000

Thanks Arijita!

If so then that option must come in EVM itself.

Dear Rajinder! elections are not only to elect they are also reject. If this definition does not apply in the present system then let us correct the definition.

 Dear Sachin! What you are suggesting is even more infeasible than negative voting (if the later is at all not feasible). Who is going to do all this? our elected "representatives" isn't it? If we had confidence on them then why this debate....

By Vivek Singh, Project Manager, L&T  | 03 19 2009 12:41:14 +0000

The use of 49-0 and compulsory voting together would be a revolutionary change in the History of Indian election.

Otherwise, the same condition will prevail.....the party having power and money to influence maximum people will rule India.

By Arijita Pal, Manager, Development Support, Child Rights and You (CRY)  | 03 19 2009 07:38:27 +0000

Yes Vivek,

49-0 will ensure that your vote counts and you vote 'nobody' same as the option 'none of them'

if there are 100 people using 49-0 in a booth, where the total voting (not using 49-0) is not more than 100, the poling centre would be cancelled out for counting purpose.....

By Arijita Pal, Manager, Development Support, Child Rights and You (CRY)  | 03 19 2009 07:34:39 +0000

Yes..candidates who are not worthy of standing in elections would get a good lesson if people give negative votes against them...It is rejecting them on permanent basis...we will be able to discourage lot of candidates with criminal background through negative voting...

By Jay Makwana, Media Development Manager, Times of Oman  | 03 19 2009 05:05:18 +0000

49O is not clear that in which condition none of the candidates will represent the electorate. Which means that one of them will still be elected. This shall not be the motto of negative voting.

There shall be a buttton pressing which shall mean "I select none of them". If no of votes in this option increase by, say, 25% of the total votes casted then elction shall stand cancelled with all the candidates disqualified for at least that particular contest. 

By Vivek Singh, Project Manager, L&T  | 03 19 2009 04:32:56 +0000

"49-O" is a system in our constitution, as per the 1969 act, in section " 49-O" that a person can go to the polling booth, confirm his identity, get his finger marked and convey the presiding election officer that he doesn't want to vote anyone!
Yes such a feature is available, but obviously these leaders have never disclosed it.

Why should you go and say " I VOTE NOBODY"... because, in a ward, if a candidate wins, say by 123 votes, and that particular ward has received "49-O" votes more than 123, then that polling will be cancelled and will have to be re-polled. Not only that, but the candidature of the contestants will be removed and they cannot contest the re-polling, since people had already expressed their decision on them.
This would bring fear into parties and hence look for genuine candidates for their parties for election. This would change the way; of our whole political system.... it is seemingly surprising why the election commission has not revealed such a feature to the public....
Please spread this news to as many as you know...
Seems to be a wonderful weapon against corrupt parties in India ... show your power, expressing your desire not to vote for anybody, is even more powerful than voting... so don't miss your chance. So either vote, or vote not to vote (vote 49-O) and pass this info on...
Use your voting right for a better INDIA

By Arijita Pal, Manager, Development Support, Child Rights and You (CRY)  | 03 18 2009 06:52:26 +0000

people's choice is the ultimate role in the election. If you are not satisfied with all the candidates then you have a right to reject him. But that provision is not popular in our country.That is RULE 49 O OF CONDUCT OF ELECTIONS RULES, 1961

49-O.   Elector  deciding  not  to  vote.-If  an  elector,  after  his electoral  roll number has been duly entered in the register of voters in  Form-17A and has put his signature or thumb impression thereon  as required  under  sub-rule (1) of rule 49L, decided not to  record  his vote,  a remark to this effect shall be made against the said entry in Form  17A  by  the  presiding  officer  and  the  signature  or  thumb impression of the elector shall be obtained against such remark.

By R.Chandrasekar , Lawyer/Attorney, M/s.P.V.S.Giridhar & Sai Associates  | 03 16 2009 16:04:30 +0000

It will work out definitely here, if person is secured. Better do not vote.

Even one guide line can be imposed that if voting is below 65% or negative voting is more that 40%, election will be on hold unless get a acceptable candidate otherwise handed over this seat to local administration.

By Nitin M Aras, Head/VP/GM-Tech. Support, ODTIN Food Solutions Pvt Ltd  | 03 16 2009 11:42:30 +0000


It would be good idea to have negative voting.

But the concept should be clearer to everybody before they jump on conclusions.

What I can make out is before the actual elections different parties should introduce its candidates to the public and after that they can ask people to vote if they want to reject any of them as the representative for them.

By this our country will get the real and great leaders because public would be getting the chance to stop the unwanted and unreliable candidate at the very first stage.

So, according to me to have this type of voting before the actual elections would be helpful in building up a great, loyal and efficient government.



By Rohini Kaushal, HR Executive, Etech, Inc pvt ltd  | 03 16 2009 11:24:47 +0000

The voter should be allowed to register his protest and apart from that it should also be taken into consideration in deciding the majority. If a majority of the voters reject the candidates a fresh poll with new candidates should be held. Given the political atmosphere that is prevailing now in India, wherein all sorts of candidates with criminal background are selected by the political parties (both at national and state level) this kind of special privilege when given to the voter will to some extent prevent the political parties selecting candidates with criminal backgrounds. Such an option will attract even the dissatisfied and disillusioned voter to come to the booth and exercise his franchise and register his protest

By Neelam Mishra, Software Developer, BEA Systems  | 03 16 2009 06:12:25 +0000

It is a universally accepted voting option. There are no obvious reasons to make us assume that it would fail in India.

By Ahmed Sultan, ITC, Airline Consultant  | 03 16 2009 05:40:58 +0000

Yes, Negative voting is required for the current political situation. The parties are giving tickets to the persons who has criminal records. The people are forced to elect the one who is best among the worst.

If the negative voting is made as an option in the voting machine itself, it will be secret poll. Now we have to fill a form (I think it is 'O' form) to say that we not voting to any of the contesting persons, which is not secret polling.

I agree that during the initial phase on introduction of Negative voing it will be difficult to take some decisions (which is the case for any new system). But after a few elections, it will get used to all, including political parties.

By Dayanand Deshpande, Senior Consultant, Ernst & Young  | 03 16 2009 05:29:52 +0000

Till the day when political parties start fielding meritorious candidates instead of present trend of wealthy and musclemen nothing is going to change. Very few will exercise "negative voting" and no party is worried about this trend.

By Prasad PN, Zonal Sales Manager  | 12 05 2009 11:53:48 +0000

No becuase every election is a huge process in india. So the people have to vote very carefully at an election. Once they elect one candidate after some time recall him back is not possible a country like india although it is not silly game it is a serious matter.

By Reni sebastian, Assistant Engineer, State government of Keralam  | 11 08 2009 16:26:20 +0000

No, it is not feasible. I totally agree with Rajender. This is as good as 'none of the above'. What will happen if "negative votes get majority voting"? Who will be held responsible. Do we have to go in for another election at an enormous cost? What will happen if we get into a similar situation again?
Instead, it is better to bring in long pending electoral reforms suggested by Sri L K Jain and other statesmen; let us adopt RECALL OF THE UNFIT with suitable amendments to laws that govern elections. We have passed enough amendments to our Constitution and a few more will not matter much but will definitely help in proper running of the country with elected representatives being transparent and accountable. Also, let us eliminate and debar criminals from politics and get over the ignominy of electing some criminal who is serving various terms in Jails.
Also, make voting compulsory. Let us first of all ensure that our names exist in the electoral lists that have been dubbed by the media as "Mother of all frauds".

Let us get up, go to booths and exercise our voting rights, stop passing sad remarks about the bad governance.

By Sachin Gautam, Credit/Control Manager, ICICI Bank  | 03 18 2009 13:07:15 +0000
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