CERI & ICONGO propose A New Electoral System for India
01/05/2012

CERI recently organised a round table/workshop in Berlin which was attended by iCONGO founder Mr. Jeroninio Almeida, Mr. D Raja – Member of Parliament and Left leader from India and various other scholars from across the world who are working globally on electoral reforms for various developing countries.

Online PR News – 05-January-2012 – – In 2008 the founders of iCONGO- International Confederation of NGOs along with the UN, NNFI, PPI and other partners started the thought leadership for electoral reforms and to combat corruption at the 3rd RIGHT every WRONG conclave (now rechristened as REX Conclave- the king of thought leadership for change” . This was done with various thought leaders who shared ideas to fight corruption and have progressive electoral reforms for India and the “Patrons in Chief” fro this conclave were Mr. James Michael Lyngdoh and Mr. Krishnamurthy who are both former Chief Election Commissioners. Everyone unanimously agreed that citizens need to get together to combat corruption and have progress electoral reforms for an egalitarian, just, humane & responsible India. This was done much before Anna Hazare or Team Anna surfaced and the thought leadership at this forum sparked movements like “No Criminals”, “UN ACT against corruption Today”, “Engage Voters” and the “Campaign for Electoral Reforms in India (CERI)” under the leadership of Mr. M.C. Raj a renowned activist, author, social reformer and Dalit Leader who proposed that we work on the proportionate electoral system.

CERI recently organised a round table/workshop in Berlin which was attended by iCONGO founder Mr. Jeroninio Almeida , Mr. D Raja – Member of Parliament and Left leader from India and various other scholars from across the world who are working globally on electoral reforms for various developing countries. Dr. Arshi Khan – India, Prof. Dr. Joachim Behnke – Germany, Mr. de Jong, Ron – The Netherlands, Prof. Fuchs, Martin – Germany, Mr. Hahn, Walter – Germany, Mr. Y L Jayaraj – India, Mrs. Jyothiraj – India, Mr. Khorrum Omer – India, Prof. Krishna Khanal – Nepal, Dr. Krishna Swamy Dara – India, Mrs. Moll, Ursula – Germany, Mr. Muller, Philip – Germany, Dr. Nepia, Gaylene Huia – New Zealand, Dr. v. Prittwitz, Volker – Germany, Mr. M C Raj – India, , Mr. Rayalu Yugalkishore – India, Mr. Scheltens, Jerome – The Netherlands, Mrs. Sukanya Natarajan – India, Mr. Vivek Sakpal – India, Dr. Voll, Klaus – Germany, Mr. Vollan, Kare – Norway, Prof. Wagner, Christian – Germany, Mr. Wiek, Hans-Georg – Germany and many more.

India is the largest democracy in the world. One recognizes that it is a multicultural society, which is in need of very special measures for democratic governance. The complex reality of Indian society makes it difficult even for experts to develop a clear understanding of the undercurrents that guide its destiny. However, India’s electoral system is neither an undercurrent nor a complex reality. The praxis of the First Past The Post (FPTP) electoral system in India has further accentuated the intricacies of its governance. Politically speaking India has arrived at an era of coalition politics. One may not see a reversal of this coalition politics in the near future. It is a well recognized truth that FPTP system of elections is best suited for countries that have two party system.

FPTP electoral system vogue in India is a legacy borrowed from the British. India has come a long way in its political life from the time it got independence from the British. It is now a major player in the Asian economic scenario. However, the representative nature of its democratic governance leaves much to be desired in terms of the results it produces for more than a billion of its people. India, with its multi-party system and coalition politics is in dire need of changing its electoral system to a more inclusive representative system that also addresses the needs of coalition politics in a multicultural society.

Realizing the urgent need for electoral reforms in India towards a proportionate electoral system, the Campaign for Electoral Reforms in India (CERI) and the Platform-Dalit Solidarity in Germany together organized an International Workshop of experts on electoral systems from Germany, Norway, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Nepal and India. The Indian delegation also included a member of the Upper House in India. These scholars were earlier involved in one way or other in the many researches that CERI did in all these countries. This Workshop was held in Berlin on 17,18 and 19 of October. The experts deliberated on the disadvantages of the British model of the First Past the Post (FPTP) for a fast changing India and came to a conclusion that India must move at the earliest towards a Mixed Member Proportionate electoral system (MMP).

Technical details of implementing the MMP to the context of India have also been worked out by experts and will be brought out as a tailor-made policy document for India. Armed with such a document CERI plans to make the next moves for electoral reforms in the Parliament of India.

This workshop of experts reached on the conclusion that all the above listed dimensions of electoral systems that will be tailor-made for India. This workshop is also of the opinion that this Workshop Statement should be later developed in the nature of a full-fledged policy document. This workshop hopes very firmly that such a policy document will become a handy tool for the Parliament of India to further work on and ultimately usher in proportionate electoral system in India in the interest of the best practices of democracy.