5th November 2018
A very important suggestion regarding the scope of anti-Defection law
Comment received here.
This is a very important comment that raises fundamental questions about the meaning of a political party. I’m going to make note of it for future consideration by SBP. Thanks, Mr Regi Antomy.
The Anti defection bill brought in Parliament did seem to be good as far as govt stability is concerned. But does it do any good for the voter? In the present situation – No. Why, because the party itself has no proclaimed policy, so who is defecting from what..!!? Eg. Today a party – to get more votes will quote in its Election Manifesto that they will try to bring down the consumption of alcohol if brought to power. After coming to power suppose the party becomes opportunistic (all Indian political parties in fact are opportunistic) and they go against their policy and a MLA/MP questions the party for deviation from its policy the particular MLA/MP will be ousted – for showing allegiance to the original party policy…!!! Why did this happen, because the party’s Election Manifesto has not been registered with the Election Commission. They can deviate from or forsake its policy at any time. This should stop.
All EMs of all parties should registered with the EC. Let them bring out long term and short term policies for the poor ordinary voters of India. Let them study every aspect of our nation and sincerely do their job, let them show they are committed. Gradually the people will come to know which party is sincere and on which one can depend.
Those parties which deviate from their own policy should be found irresponsible to the people and should be debarred from the next election. I hope this will bring a change in our democratic set up which will eventually benefit the VOTER…!!!
Dear Sanjeevji I hope the Swarna Bharat party can promote this with refinements.
SBP’s current position
Refining the anti-defection law
Our understanding of defection should be framed by the understanding that in a democracy, the people are the masters (principal) and MPs and MLAs their agents (representatives). At the same time, we must defend freedom of speech for legislators, as enshrined in Article 105 of the Constitution.
The people of India are given two options while voting: either pick an independent candidate or pick a political party candidate. Where they elect a political party candidate, an implicit sovereign contract comes into place between them and their representative that limits the legislator’s freedom of expression and power to defect.
While independent candidates should have full speech rights, these rights must be reasonably curtailed for political party candidates. Unfortunately, the current anti-defection provisions are too harsh and empower a High Command culture in political parties. The party whip can be issued on virtually any matter. As a result, instead of legislatures being a forum for serious debate, meaningless aggression and shouting has become the norm. With the final outcome known in advance, speeches on the floor of the house have lost their importance.
The anti-defection law needs to be amended in two ways. First, freedoms under Article 105 must prevail for political party candidates except in the case of a motion of confidence, no-confidence and money bills, as suggested by the Dinesh Goswami Committee on Electoral Reform. Second, the sovereign contract with the master – the people – must be recognised and no party legislator should be able to violate these motions without forfeiting his seat.