Topic: Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
3) who is an independent candidate in the elections of India? Discuss the issues associated with independent candidates and their contestations in the elections. Are they unimportant for political representation? Critically analyse.(250 words)
Why this question:
The question is around the fact that Independent candidates are often deemed ‘frivolous’ or ‘spoilers’ by mainstream political figures and authorities, although there is little to no evidence on their effect on elections. It is often found that independent candidates decrease the chances that a Lok Sabha constituency elects a member of the party or coalition that forms the national government. It suggests that participation by independents has a high price – a lesser role for the constituency in policymaking.
Key demand of the question:
The answer must discuss who is an independent candidate? Role in deciding election results, pros and cons what are the general recommendation by various committees about it like the law commission report etc.
Critically analyze – When asked to analyze, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgement.
Structure of the answer
write a few introductory lines explain who is an independent candidate in an election.
Answer should have the following dimensions covered:
- Role of independent candidates in elections of India.
- How do they effect the results?
- Should independents be discouraged from participating as candidates in elections? – results for voter turnout and the distribution of vote shares are also consistent with the idea that independents give voters better opportunities to express their preferences.
- This can improve political representation, as independents are free from the dictates of a party line, and have the flexibility to represent local preferences in a way that party-affiliated candidates often do not. To answer the question of whether independents should be discouraged, we would need to know if these advantages are outweighed by the disadvantages of not electing candidates from the governing party, or coalition of parties, that forms the national government.
- What needs to be done?
Conclude with significance and what should be the way forward.