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Advani favours compulsory voting

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - 15:52

New Delhi: Observing that voting
percentage among the educated section was far lower than that
in the lower rungs of society, senior BJP leader L K Advani
has favoured compulsory voting as a remedial measure.

"If a survey is taken of the comparative percentage of
voting in different sectors of the society, classified
education wise, I have little doubt that voting percentage
among the graduates, post graduates and those in the still
higher categories, would be far, far lower than at the lower
rungs of society," Advani says in his latest blog.
Arguing that such a situation is bound to affect the
quality of Indian democracy, he said, this can be changed
through the simple measure of compulsory voting.

"...I feel it can be (changed). One simple way is the
innovative measure adopted by Narendra Bhai Modi ? compulsory
voting," he said.

Advani said Gujarat has introduced this measure for
all local body elections. "The Law has been passed by the
state Assembly, but it is still to be implemented. The rules
etc. are still being worked out".

The senior BJP leader goes on to say that many people
in India would not be aware that as many as 25 countries
inhabited by more than 700 million people today have
compulsory voting even for their parliamentary election.

These countries include Australia, Argentina, Italy,
Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, Thailand and Singapore. "I feel
political thinkers in India also must apply their mind to
The former BJP President said that in contemporary
political literature, a lot of concern is being expressed
about the fact that in some of the important democracies of
the world like Canada, UK, and France, voter turnout has been
gradually declining.

"Compulsory voting, it is being increasingly felt, may
be a remedy," he said.

Advani also cites the history of electoral reforms in
Britain to dispel the "general cynicism prevalent in India"
that there is no real remedy for the growing influence of
money power in elections.


First Published: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - 15:52
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