Table of Contents
First Past the Post System
- Elections to Lok Sabha & legislative Assemblies, are held in accordance with First-Past-the Post (FPTP) system
- Elections to Rajya Sabha and Legislative Councils are under the system of proportional representation through single transferable vote
How First-Past-the Post System Works
- Voters vote for one candidate => candidate polling highest number of votes is declared elected.
Advantages of First-Past-the Post system
- It is easy to understand for electors.
- Counting is simple.
- Leads to stable governments in diverse country like India
- There is an identified representative for each constituency, accountable to his electorate.
- Makers of our Constitution also felt that Proportional Representation based election may not be suitable for giving a stable government in a parliamentary system
Disadvantages of First-Past-the Post system
- Winner takes all approach
- Parties having diffused base are not able to win even a single seat
- Results in Minority Democracy ruling the country. Eg : Present NDA Government got 37.4 % Vote (17th Lok Sabha)
Why we adopted First-Past-the Post system
- Simplicity – Low literacy levels at the time of independence, and unable to understand the complexity of the Proportional Representation SYSTEM.
- Familiarity – Before independence several elections were held regularly on the basis of First-Past-the Post system
- Proportional Representation SYSTEM establishes party as a major center of power whereas First-Past-the Post gives an individual as a representative of the people
Why Opposition now
Opponents of First Past-The-Post (FPTP) system advocate the introduction of Proportional Representation System because of issue like in diverse country like India all people don’t get their legitimate representation. Eg in the general election of 2014, party like the BSP ended up without a single representative despite over 20 per cent vote share in state.
First Past the Post versus Proportional Representation
System : two
systems are merged into one combining the positive features from more than
one electoral system.
- Total seats are divided into Halves . Half of the seats in Parliament are filled by First Past the Post and Half seats by Proportional Representation
- System is running successfully in Germany, New Zealand and Italy.
- In Germany, while voting, Person cast two votes, one to Candidate and other to the Party .
- Need of this system
- Parties with even 20% share of votes in state don’t even get one seat (as happened in 2014 National Votes in UP with BSP)
- Law Commission’s 170th and 255th report also have suggested that 25% more seats should be added to the present Lok Sabha and be filled by Proportional Representation.
- System running successfully in many European nations
- Better compromise between FPTP System and PR System