Politics is one thing that can change the world, for the better or for the worse. And election is process is the backbone of politics in any country. The better the election process in a country, the better will be the political rule in that country. Here, let’s compare the political scene in two of the biggest democracies in the world, US and India. What’ the difference between a political election in US and the same in India? Where do we lack?
US election Process
It is said that the American way of elections is one of the most open and democratic. In most countries, the election phase lasts only for a few weeks, but the American elections go on for months, that is, the presidential candidates have to run a marathon. The US presidential elections are also one of the simplest, as the candidates are directly voted by the people. The US election process
spreads in four steps:
The Primaries: This is the first step in choosing the candidate. In most of the countries, including India, the political party chooses its candidate. But in US, it is the people who choose the candidates. The presidential elections are always held in the month of November in the US. The primaries actually start in January, the preceding.
The Convention : This is one of the most important steps in the presidential process. Each state in the US has its own delegates. During the convention every state arrives to the hall with its own delegates and banners. At this stage, it declares which presidential candidate it supports. The delegates from each state choose their candidate to go ahead in the presidential race. At this point, the candidate with the most delegates wins, and progresses to the campaign.
The Campaign : This is where the rival candidates face each other in a heated debate. This stage of elections is much shorted and more interesting than the long primaries. There is huge publicity for the campaign and lot of money is spent, and the debates between the candidates are televised.
The Election Day: The presidential elections of America are always held on the first Tuesday succeeding the first Monday in the month of November. The votes are counted and an initial result is announced within 12 hours of the close of the polls. After the counting of votes is done, the whole process moves to the Electoral College. Each state has a number of Electoral College members. The candidate who wins the most votes in a particular state wins the state’s entire bunch of Electoral College members. The moment a candidate gets the majority of votes across the states, the elections are over. But still, the formal culmination of the elections happens when the Electoral College members vote for the president.
This is how the election process happens in the USA. Whereas in India, it is not the people, but the political parties that elect their candidate. And we call ourselves a democracy.
A brief about US parliamentary system
The senate of the United States is the upper house of the legislature. This senate, together with the United States House of Representatives forms the United States Congress. The Senate has several powers, which include confirming appointments of federal judges, cabinet secretaries, other federal officials, military officials and ambassadors. The Senate is also known as the world’s greatest deliberative body.
A glance at Indian parliamentary system
The Indian Parliament comprises of the President and the two houses ( Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha ).The President is elected every 5 years. The Lok Sabha, which is also known as the the House of the People, consists of 545 members. Out of this 545, 543 are elected for a 5 year term and the remaining 2 members are to represent the Anglo-Indian community. The other house o the Indian legislature, the Rajya Sabha, which is also known as the Council of States, has 245 members, of which 233 are elected for a 6 year term.
The election process in India
Pre Elections: Before the elections happen, the polling and counting take place at a large scale. It is a national norm that no political party should use the government’s resources for campaigning.
Voting Day: The government schools and most colleges are chosen as the polling stations, and the collector of each district is in charge of the polling in that district.
Post Elections: The electronic voting machines, (EVMs) are stored in a safe and secured room. Once the different phases of elections in different districts are done, a day is chosen for the counting of votes. The candidate with the most votes is declared the winner of the constituency, and the party that has won the most seats will be forming the government.
Where are we lacking?
One drawback of the Indian election system is that the people don’t have the choice to elect their leaders directly. The problem is, in our country people don’t have a proper idea about the power of politics. And it is this ignorance about politics that the politicians try to take advantage of, and that’s the point where corruption is born. To be a true democratic country, we should try to understand what politics can really do, rather than looking at it in a negative eye.