Electoral Politics Chapter 4 extra exam Questions
SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
Q.1. What are the choices that voters make in an election?
Ans. In an election, the voters make many choices :
(i) They can choose who will make laws for them.
(ii) They can choose who will form the government and take major decisions.
(iii) They can choose the party whose policies will guide the government and law-making.
Q.2. What is the check on the political leaders which makes them serve the people?
Ans. The check on the political leaders comes from the need to serve the people if they want to win the next elections. Regular electoral competition provides incentives to political parties and leaders. They know that if they raise issues that people want to be raised, their popularity and chances of victory will increase in the next elections. But if they fail to satisfy the voters with their work, they will not be able to win again.
Q.3. Why is there a provision of reservation of seats in the legislatures? [Important]
Ans. The constitution makers were worried that in an open electoral competition, certain weaker sections may not stand a good chance to get elected to the Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies. They may not have the required resources, education and contacts to contest and win elections against the more influential contestants. So seats are reserved for them in the legislature.
Q.4. Mention the provisions laid down under the Model Code of Conduct to regulate the election campaign.
Ans. According to the Model Code of Conduct, no party can :
(i) Use any place of worship for election propaganda.
(ii) Use government vehicles, aircraft and officials for elections.
(iii) Once elections are announced ministers shall not lay foundation stones of any projects, take any big policy decisions or make any promises of providing public facilities.
Q.5. In which way does the Election Commission enjoy the same kind of independence as the judiciary?
Ans. The Election Commission enjoys the same kind of independence that the judiciary enjoys. The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) is appointed by the President of India. But once appointed, he is not answerable to the President or the government. Even if the ruling party or the government does not like what the Commission does, it is virtually impossible for it to remove the CEC.
Q.6. What are the trends of popular participation in India?
Ans. The trends of popular participation in India are :
(i) People’s participation in election is usually measured by voter turnout figures. In India the turnout over all these years has either remained stable or gone up.
(ii) In India, the poor illiterate and underprivileged people vote in larger proportion as compared to rich sections.
(iii) Common people in India attach a lot of importance to elections as they feel that through elections they can bring pressure on political parties to adopt policies favouring them.
Q.7. Write about any three challenges which an ordinary citizen would have to face if he wants to contest an election.
Ans. An ordinary citizen would have to face some of the following challenges if he wants to contest the elections :
(i) Candidates with lot of money enjoy a big and unfair advantage over contestants.
(ii) Sometimes candidates with criminal connections push others out of the electoral race and secure a ‘ticket’.
(iii) Some families tend to dominate political parties.
Q.8. Mention any three techniques of election campaign. [CBSE 2010]
Ans. (i) Candidates contact their voters
(ii) They address election meetings
(iii) Use newspapers and TV for publicity
Q.9. Discuss the importance of elections in a democracy. [CBSE 2010]
Ans. Elections give people a chance to choose the representatives the government and policies they prefer. The democratic way of selecting representatives can be had by holding elections. The voters can make their choice.
Q.10. Discuss the importance of an election manifesto. [CBSE 2010]
Ans. An election manifesto is a statement by a political party explaining its policies, saying what they will do if they win the election.
Q.11. What is a reserved constitueney? How does it strengthen democracy? [CBSE 2010]
Ans. In a reserved constituency only someone who belongs to the scheduled caste or scheduled tribe community can stand for election. In the Lok Sabha, 79 seats are reserved for SC and 41 for ST Communities. This reservation system makes our democracy a representative democracy.
LONG ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
Q.1. What are the demerits of political competition? [V. Important]
Ans. The political competition has many demerits –
(i) It creates a sense of disunity and factionalism in every locality. Different political parties and leaders often level allegations against one another. Parties and candidates often use dirty tricks to win elections.
(ii) This pressure to win electoral fights does not allow sensible long-term policies to be formulated.
(iii) Some good people who wish to serve the country do not enter this area as they do not like to be dragged into unhealthy competition.
Q.2. With reference to ‘electoral constituencies’, state how the elections are held in India.
Ans. For elections, the country is divided into different areas called ‘electoral constituencies’. The voters who live in an area elect one representative. For Lok Sabha elections, the country is divided into 543 constituencies. The representative elected from each constituency is called a Member of Parliament (MP).
Similarly, each state is divided into Assembly constituencies. In this case, the elected representative is called the Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA).
Q.3. Why is there no educational qualification prescribed for the political leaders who hold such an important position of governing the country?
Ans. (i) Educational qualifications are not relevant to all kinds of jobs. Just as a cricketer needs an ability to play well, irrespective of educational qualification, similarly the relevant qualification for an MLA or an MP is the ability to understand people’s concerns, problems, and to represent their interests.
(ii) In our country, putting an educational qualification would go against the spirit of democracy as it would mean depriving a majority of the country’s citizens the right to contest elections. For example, if graduation is made a compulsory qualification, then 90 percent of the citizens will become ineligible to contest elections.
Q.4. How can you say that very few Election Commissions in the world have such wide ranging powers as the Election Commission of India? [Important]
Ans. (i) Election Commission takes decisions on every aspect of conduct and control of elections.
(ii) It implements the code of conduct and punishes any candidate or party that violates it.
(iii) During the election period, the EC can order the government to follow some guidelines, to prevent use and misuse of governmental power to enhance its chances to win elections, or to transfer some government officials.
(iv) When on election duty, government officers work under the control of the EC and not the government.
Q.5. Explain how the outcome of elections is a final test of free and fair elections.
Ans. (i) The ruling parties routinely lose elections in India both at the national and state level. In fact, in every two out of the three elections held so far, the ruling party lost.
(ii) In the US, an incumbent or ‘sitting’ elected representative rarely loses an election. In India, about half of the sitting MPs or MLAs lose elections.
(iii) Candidates who are known to have spent a lot of money on ‘buying votes’ and those with known criminal connections often lose elections.
Q.6. What are the main functions of the Election Commission of India? [CBSE 2010]
Ans. It takes decisions on every aspect of conduct and control of election. It implements code of conduct. It orders guidelines for the government to prevent misuse of power to win elections. It EC feels unfairness in polling it orders a repoll.
Q.7. Explain the term constituency. Give reasons why the system of reserved constituencies was introduced by our constitution makers. [CBSE 2010]
Ans. The country is divided into different areas for purposes of elections. These are called ‘constituencies’. The voters who live in an area elect one representative. For Lok Sabha elections the country is divided into 543 constituenes. The representative elected is called an MP. Similarly, each state is divided into a specific number of assembly constituencies. In this case the elected representative is called an MLA.
To give protection to the weaker section, the makers of our constitution thought of reserved constituencies. These are reserved for people who belong to SC or ST. The Lok Sabha has 79 reserved seats for SCs and 41 for STs.
Q.8. What are some of the activities undertaken by political parties to carry out election campaign? Mention any three activites. [CBSE 2010]
Ans. In election campaigns, political parties try to focus public attention on some big issues, e.g.. the Congress party led by Indira Gandhi gave the slogan of “Gharibi Hatao” in the Lok Sabha elections of 1971. “Save Democracy” was the slogan of Janata Party in the Lok Sabha election of 1977. Secondly, political leaders contact their voters, address election meetings, promise to remove the grievances of the people. Thirdly, support of media – TV Channels and newspaper columns – is also taken by the political parties to further their cause to gather more votes.
Q.9. Define elections. Explain the nomination process as practised in Indian elections.
Ans. Every candidate who wishes to contest an election has to fill a nomination form and give some money as deposit. According to recent directive from Supreme Court every candidate has to make a legal declaration giving full details of assets liabilities, educational qualification & details of any serious criminal cases pending against them.
Q.10. Describe any four demerits of electoral competition. [2011 (T-2)]
Ans. An electoral competition has many demerits.
(i) It creates a sense of disunity and factionalism.
(ii) Different political parties level allegations against each others.
(iii) Long-term policies cannot be formulated.
(iv) Some good people who wish to serve, do not enter this arena.
Q.11. Explain any four conditions that make an election democratic. [2011 (T-2)]
Ans. (i) Every section of citizens should get equal representation.
(ii) Every one should get an equal opportunity to choose representatives.
(iii) Voters’ list which is revised every five year.
(iv) Election Photo-Identity Card.
Q.12. What is a reserved constituency? Why did India introduce this system? [2011 (T-2)] Ans. In a reserved constituency only someone who belongs to the SC/ST or weaker section can stand for election. This was done to give a fair representation to the weaker section who did not stand a good chance to get elected to the Lok Sabha.
Q.13. Explain any four challenges faced by election system in India. [2011 (T-2)]
Ans. (i) A few candidates may win purely on the basis of money money power sun four weans.
(ii) Are peoples preferences based on real knowledge.
(iii) Are the voters getting a real choice.
(iv) Is Election leally level playing field for everyone.
Q.14. Explain any four powers enjoyed by Election Commission in India. [2011 (T-2)]
Ans. (i) Election Commission takes decisions on every aspect of conduct and control of elections from announcement of elections to declaration of results.
(ii) It implements the code of conduct and punishes any candidate or party that violates it.
(iii) During Elections EC can order the government to follow some guidelines to use/misuse governmental power, its chances to win.
(iv) When on election duty, government officials work under control of EC.
Q.15. What is Secret Ballot System? Give three reasons why Secret Ballot System is good.
Ans. A ballot paper is a sheet of paper on which the names of the contesting candidates along with party names and symbol are listed.
(i) The voter can vote in secricies
(ii) The voter feels secure, safe and fearless
(iii) The voter is free of threat and coercion.
Q.16. How does our Election Law regulate campaigns? [2011 (T-2)]
Ans. Election campaigns take place to have a free and open discussion about who is a better representative, which party will make a better government or what is a good policy. These campaigns take place for a two week period between the announcement of the final list of candidates and the date of polling. During this period, the candidates contact their voters. political leader address election meetings and political parties mobilise their supporters.
Q.17. What are the conditions which make an election democratic? [2011 (T-2)]
Ans. (i) The presence of an independent and very powerful Election Commission (EC). It enjoys the same kind of independence that the judiciary does.
(ii) The Chief Election Commissioner is not answerable to the President or the government.
(iii) It is virtually impossible to remove the CEC, once he is appointed.
(iv) When election officials come to the opinion that polling was not fair in some booths or
even in an entire constituency, they order a repoll.
Q.18. Enumerate any four challenges to free and fair elections. [2011 (T-2)]
Ans. (i) Inclusion of false names and exclusion of genuine names in the voters list.
(ii) Misuse of government facilities and officials in ruling party.
(iii) Excessive use of money by rich candidates and big parties.
(iv) Intimidation of voters and rigging on the polling day.