Essays on Election! This essay is purely related to election and democracy.
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- Elections are used by various groups and societies to choose their leaders.
- By far the most important elections are political elections which are held to choose or change government leaders.
- Elections are not a new concept; they were known and used by the people of ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. The British Parliament, the mother of all parliaments, dates from 1295.
- America got independence in 1776, she wrote and ratified her Constitution in 1788 by virtue of which common people were given the right to choose their rulers.
- Before the election, candidates are selected and voters’ lists are prepared.
- Voters cast their votes through secret ballot.
- Elections are of two types; direct and indirect.
Human beings have been living together in various kinds of well-knit tribal groups or loosely formed societies for a very long time. These societies and groups cannot exist of their own. They need leaders who will guide them and run their affairs in a smooth, orderly and organized manner. Apart from tribal groups or societies, people get together for limited purposes as well. They organize themselves in smaller groups, such as political parties, business associations, trade unions, social clubs, professional or student bodies. These societies and parties also need leaders so that they could function in a proper manner. These leaders can be chosen in many ways. They can be appointed, they can inherit their offices, they can be chosen by lot, or they can be chosen by vote. In various situations these various methods of choosing leaders are considered valid, but in modern times, election, by common consent, is thought a much better and fairer method in most cases.
Choosing government leaders through elections is not an innovation of modern times, though, at present, it has acquired an almost universal approval. It was prevalent more than two thousand years ago in ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, though only on a limited scale because only the free citizens were allowed to vote. Early Muslim Caliphs were chosen with the consent of people, though in an informal manner.
The British Parliament, the mother of all parliaments, dates from the year1295whenEdward I decided to put all power of raising taxes in the hands of the “Model Parliament”. Real power, however, rested with the hereditary peers. The United States of America got independence in 1776, and then wrote and ratified its own constitution in 1788. In 1789 the French Revolution overthrew the monarch and was responsible for the spread of the ideas of “fraternity, equality and liberty” throughout the world. Now the people of many countries have got the right to elect their own leaders, and those who haven’t, are striving to get it.
Before citizens can vote for any candidate, candidates themselves have to be chosen. In the developing countries they are usually nominated by the central leadership of political parties. In Britain they are chosen by local committees, themselves elected by the local units of parties and in America they are chosen in primary elections in which all the voter-members of a party have a chance to vote. Some independent candidates also jump in the arena.
Before the elections take place, all adult persons are registered as voters by the election commission. Their names and addresses are entered in the electoral rolls. Only registered voters can vote in the election.
Officials can be elected for different length of time. These lengths of time are called terms of office. In America the term of office of the President and Vice-President is four years. After that they will seek election anew. The Senator is elected for six years and a member of the House of Representatives for two years. In Pakistan and many other parliamentary democracies the members of the Lower House (in Pakistan the National Assembly) are elected for five years and of the Upper House (in Pakistan the Senate) for six years.
Elections are of two types: direct and indirect. In a direct election all voters can vote for candidates who are running for office. In an indirect election only the members of an electoral college can vote. In Pakistan the members of national and provincial assemblies are elected by direct vote of common people, however, the members of the Senate are elected indirectly by the provincial assemblies who serve as electoral colleges.
When citizens vote, their vote is secret. A secret vote is a ballot. The ballot is used in almost every democratic country of the world. The secrecy of vote is an important factor in holding a fair election because it protects a common voter from the threats of a strong or evil candidate; it also gives him a chance to vote exactly as he pleases. Open vote is not looked upon with favour.
On the election day the voters go to the election booth and put a cross (x) or affix the stamp against the name of the candidate whom they want to get elected and whose name appears on the ballot paper and put the ballot paper in the box placed in front of the election staff. In the evening, at the appointed hour, the election staff counts the valid votes cast in favour of each candidate individually in the presence of the candidates or their polling agents. Then the result is declared informally. Formal results can only be declared by a member of the election commission after it has been authenticated.
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