Day 16 – Q 1.Should ‘right to recall’ be added as a feature to India’s electoral democracy? What will be its implications? Is it even feasible in Indian conditions? Examine.
1. Should ‘right to recall’ be added as a feature to India’s electoral democracy? What will be its implications? Is it even feasible in Indian conditions? Examine.
क्या भारत के चुनावी लोकतंत्र की सुविधा के रूप में ‘वापस बुलाने का अधिकार’ जोड़ा जाना चाहिए? इसके प्रभाव क्या होंगे? क्या यह भारतीय स्थितियों में भी व्यवहार्य है? जांच करें।
- Should it be added as a feature? – Why yes and why not.
A recall election is a process by which voters seek to remove elected officials through a direct vote before their term is completed. Voters can petition to have their parliamentary representatives removed from office with a by-election ensuing soon after.
Arguments for Right to Recall:
- Logic and justice necessitate that if the people have the power to elect their representatives, they should also have the power to remove these representatives when they engage in misdeeds or fail to fulfil their duties. There exists no recourse for the electorate if they are unhappy with their elected representative.
- Having such a right offers a mechanism to ensure vertical accountability. It would be a significant check on corruption along with ongoing criminalisation of politics.
Right to recall thus can help in reducing criminalization and increasing accountability and also in deepening of democracy.
Arguments against Right to Recall:
- It will lead excess of democracy where the independence of the representatives will go down due to the continuous threat of being recalled.
- To make themselves free from a recall would demand the representatives to always keep their electorates happy, which would eventually force these representatives to succumb to the populist pressure.
- There will be an uncertainty of the time period for those serving the public. This uncertainty would make it hard to make plans/policies which yield substantial results in long-term.
- The criteria provided for recall viz., the dissatisfaction of the electorate with the performance of the candidate, is vague and provides immense scope for misuse.
- Having a recall system in India would not only create unnecessary chaos due to the recurring recall election but also would unstable the government.
- An additional burden on the Election Commission. It will also place undue pressure on limited resources such as manpower, time, money etc.
Right to recall is rightly an important electoral reform, however before it is implemented following needs to be ensured-
- The recall process should not be frivolous and should not be a source of harassment to elected representatives.
- The process should have several built-in safeguards such as an initial recall petition to kick-start the process and electronic-based voting to finally decide its outcome.
- It should ensure that a representative cannot be recalled by a small margin of voters and that the recall procedure truly represents the mandate of the people.
Best answer: Parul Jain