THE HIMALAYAN TALK: INDIAN GOVERNMENT FOOD SECURITY PROGRAM RISKIER

http://youtu.be/NrcmNEjaN8c The government of India has announced food security program ahead of elections in 2014. We discussed the issue with Palash Biswas in Kolkata today. http://youtu.be/NrcmNEjaN8c Ahead of Elections, India's Cabinet Approves Food Security Program ______________________________________________________ By JIM YARDLEY http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/04/indias-cabinet-passes-food-security-law/

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICAL OF BAMCEF LEADERSHIP

[Palash Biswas, one of the BAMCEF leaders and editors for Indian Express spoke to us from Kolkata today and criticized BAMCEF leadership in New Delhi, which according to him, is messing up with Nepalese indigenous peoples also. He also flayed MP Jay Narayan Prasad Nishad, who recently offered a Puja in his New Delhi home for Narendra Modi's victory in 2014.]

THE HIMALAYAN DISASTER: TRANSNATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT MECHANISM A MUST

We talked with Palash Biswas, an editor for Indian Express in Kolkata today also. He urged that there must a transnational disaster management mechanism to avert such scale disaster in the Himalayas. http://youtu.be/7IzWUpRECJM

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS LASHES OUT KATHMANDU INT'L 'MULVASI' CONFERENCE

अहिले भर्खर कोलकता भारतमा हामीले पलाश विश्वाससंग काठमाडौँमा आज भै रहेको अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय मूलवासी सम्मेलनको बारेमा कुराकानी गर्यौ । उहाले भन्नु भयो सो सम्मेलन 'नेपालको आदिवासी जनजातिहरुको आन्दोलनलाई कम्जोर बनाउने षडयन्त्र हो।' http://youtu.be/j8GXlmSBbbk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS LASHES OUT KATHMANDU INT'L 'MULVASI' CONFERENCE

अहिले भर्खर कोलकता भारतमा हामीले पलाश विश्वाससंग काठमाडौँमा आज भै रहेको अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय मूलवासी सम्मेलनको बारेमा कुराकानी गर्यौ । उहाले भन्नु भयो सो सम्मेलन 'नेपालको आदिवासी जनजातिहरुको आन्दोलनलाई कम्जोर बनाउने षडयन्त्र हो।' http://youtu.be/j8GXlmSBbbk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS BLASTS INDIANS THAT CLAIM BUDDHA WAS BORN IN INDIA

THE HIMALAYAN VOICE: PALASH BISWAS DISCUSSES RAM MANDIR

Published on 10 Apr 2013 Palash Biswas spoke to us from Kolkota and shared his views on Visho Hindu Parashid's programme from tomorrow ( April 11, 2013) to build Ram Mandir in disputed Ayodhya. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77cZuBunAGk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALSH BISWAS FLAYS SOUTH ASIAN GOVERNM

Palash Biswas, lashed out those 1% people in the government in New Delhi for failure of delivery and creating hosts of problems everywhere in South Asia. http://youtu.be/lD2_V7CB2Is

Palash Biswas on BAMCEF UNIFICATION!

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS ON NEPALI SENTIMENT, GORKHALAND, KUMAON AND GARHWAL ETC.and BAMCEF UNIFICATION! Published on Mar 19, 2013 The Himalayan Voice Cambridge, Massachusetts United States of America

BAMCEF UNIFICATION CONFERENCE 7

Published on 10 Mar 2013 ALL INDIA BAMCEF UNIFICATION CONFERENCE HELD AT Dr.B. R. AMBEDKAR BHAVAN,DADAR,MUMBAI ON 2ND AND 3RD MARCH 2013. Mr.PALASH BISWAS (JOURNALIST -KOLKATA) DELIVERING HER SPEECH. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLL-n6MrcoM http://youtu.be/oLL-n6MrcoM

Imminent Massive earthquake in the Himalayas

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICIZES GOVT FOR WORLD`S BIGGEST BLACK OUT

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICIZES GOVT FOR WORLD`S BIGGEST BLACK OUT

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS TALKS AGAINST CASTEIST HEGEMONY IN SOUTH ASIA

Palash Biswas on Citizenship Amendment Act

Mr. PALASH BISWAS DELIVERING SPEECH AT BAMCEF PROGRAM AT NAGPUR ON 17 & 18 SEPTEMBER 2003 Sub:- CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT ACT 2003 http://youtu.be/zGDfsLzxTXo

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fwd: Berlin Workshop Statement



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: M C Raj <mcraj.reds@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Nov 10, 2011 at 8:24 AM
Subject: Berlin Workshop Statement


Friends


Sometime ago I wrote to you about this historic workshop in Berlin. We plan to bring this out as an expanded policy document to be placed in the Parliament of India next year. Please go through this Statement and join the CERI campaign by sending in your feedback. Thanks much. 


The CERI Group


Berlin Workshop

 

International Workshop of Electoral Systems Experts

 

17 – 19 October 2011, Berlin, Germany

 

 

Workshop Statement

 

 

1. Preamble

 

India is the largest democracy in the world. One recognizes that it is a multicultural society, which is in need of very special measures for democratic governance. The complex reality of Indian State makes it difficult even for experts to develop a clear understanding of the undercurrents that guide its destiny. The praxis of the First Past The Post (FPTP) electoral system in India has further accentuated the intricacies of its governance. The international workshop of electoral systems experts, held in Berlin between 17 and 19 of October 2011 recognizes that the FPTP electoral system, vogue in India, is a legacy borrowed from the British. India has come a long way in its political life from the time it got independence from the British. It is now emerging as a major player in the global economic scenario. However, the representative character of its democratic governance leaves much to be desired in terms of the results it produces for more than a billion of its people.

 

 

2. Mixed Member Proportionate System (MMP)

 

Politically speaking India has arrived at an era of coalition politics. One may not see a reversal of this coalition politics in the near future. It is a well recognized truth that FPTP system of elections is best suited for countries that have two party system. India, a multicultural society, with its multi-party system and coalition politics is in dire need of changing its electoral system to a more inclusive representative system that also addresses the needs of coalition politics in a multicultural society. This workshop of electoral systems experts, after due diligence on complex realities of Indian democratic governance has come to the conclusion that the Mixed Member Proportionate Representation System with two votes per voter will address better the changing needs of Indian democracy. It must be recognized that most inclusive democracies in the world have already shifted their electoral system to one or other form of proportionate electoral system. In order to make democracy in such a huge multicultural society as inclusive as possible it is also recommended that India adapted MMP with a ratio of 30% direct seats and 70% party list seats.

 

 

3. Party List System

 

Reflecting on the most appropriate vote system, which is a significant dimension of any electoral system this workshop of electoral systems in the world has arrived at a consensus taking into consideration the predominant view of Indian delegates present that it will be good for India to adopt the two vote system with closed party list as against open party list system.

 

 

4. Counting System and Distribution of Remainder Seats

 

In order that votes may not be wasted in large proportion, as is the case in the present FPTP system in India, the proportional systems are the most adequate ones. Translating votes into seats, however, plays a significant role in establishing proportionality of representation. There are many counting systems in this process of translating votes cast into seats in representative democracies. To make the translation process most accurate, but equally avoiding 'surprise' outcomes, it becomes imperative that the Webster-System be used.

 

 

5. Size of Parliament

 

It is recognized that even comparatively small countries like Germany using MMP and Nepal with its Parallel System, another variant of proportionate electoral system, have more than 600 members in their respective parliaments. Introduction of MMP will call for an expansion of the size of the parliament of any country. India, being a huge country of more than one billion people will have to make an expansion that will be congruent to the size of its population without undermining the need for manageability and an acceptable relation between representative and voter in the seats allotted through the district votes. Therefore, this workshop of electoral systems experts likes to recommend to a later Parliamentary Committee of India that we hope will be set up, to consider all possible complex dimensions and arrive at a number that will be proportionally inclusive and professionally manageable. This will also simultaneously call for the empowerment of the Election Commission of India to determine the number of winnable candidates per constituency taking into serious consideration the size and composition of population and the latent diversity of each constituency.

 

 

6. Reservation

 

This workshop of experts on electoral systems deliberated extensively on the question of reservation/separate electorate for Dalits, Adivasis/Tribals, Women and Minorities in the new MMP and took into serious consideration the historical exclusion of these communities of people in many spheres of governance. It is well possible to accommodate proportional representation in the party list system under the MMP and we suggest that at least the presently given reserved seats will have to be reflected in the list of any party, running in the election (e.g. every 4th candidate on any party list will have to be a SC-person, or every 3rd a woman etc.). The workshop was well aware that it is quite possible that political parties could manipulate this mechanism, but we trust that a healthy competition will emerge between the parties on which of them will take these reservations really seriously and try to be the most inclusive one in the choice of their candidates. The same reservation mechanism as with the party lists will also apply to the candidates running for election in the FPTP constituencies. Such a provision within the MMP can be continued till a time when proportionate representation of hitherto excluded communities becomes a natural reflection through the party list system.

 

 

7. Threshold

 

A widespread healthy democratic practice in most countries with proportionate electoral system is the introduction of 'threshold'. This is done with the avowed purpose of discouraging unhealthy and unnecessary fragmentation of parties as well as to prevent the entry of small groups of undemocratic forces into a democratically elected parliament of any country. Taking into consideration the need for including legitimate aspirations of small communities of people in India and its large population, it is realized by this workshop of electoral systems experts that for India's MMP a threshold of 1% of overall polled votes or a win of three directly elected seats will be the most appropriate one.

 

8. Gerrymandering

 

All ruling parties in almost all countries engage themselves in gerrymandering, if the FPTP-system prevails. It is to be noted that gerrymandering is not just a matter of redistricting, which may be necessary after some new census. Gerrymandering is always associated with manipulative redistricting. So there may be a "genuine need" for redistricting but never for gerrymandering.  Therefore, this workshop is of the opinion that if there is a genuine need for redistricting, it should be done by the Election Commission, following only technical criteria such as population numbers, size of constituencies, administrative boundaries etc., but never political considerations. However, this problem is practically irrelevant under MMP, as the basis for the number of seats, won by a party will always be distributed according to the number of votes under the party-lists.

 

 

9. "Extras"

There are issues that pertain to the FPTP system and have no relevance to PR system and vice versa. However, in view of the fact that various issues were raised during the different State Conferences in India on electoral reforms it is the responsibility of this workshop to take stock of all such issues. This workshop wishes to inform the Indian public that certain issues like negative voting and recall of elected candidates will not have relevance in electoral politics if the Mixed Member Proportionate system is ushered in India.

 

9.1. Financing of Elections

 

This workshop of electoral systems experts is of the view that financing of parties in elections through direct Corporate funding will lead to unhealthy practices of democracy and negatively impact governance. In situations specific to India there are communities whose parties may be at a comparative disadvantage to campaign for legitimate success in elections. Therefore, it becomes imperative that State funding of elections is put in place to curb corruption by wealthy parties and to support resource crunched parties. 

 

 

9.2. Internal Party Democracy

 

This workshop took into serious consideration that in a democracy, parties should have utmost freedom of how they want to conduct the affairs of their party without the government exercising much normative control. However, taking into serious consideration the existence of feudalism, nepotism and tendencies to perpetuate dynastic control over parties, this workshop also highlights the utmost importance of ensuring inner party democracy in every electoral system, be it FPTP or PR system.

 

 

9.3. Direct Democracy

 
This workshop realizes that the question of direct democracy is fast spreading in many countries of the world and India will have to face it sooner than later but as of now it is not an immediate need to add to the already ambitious shift from FPTP to MMP. However, It will be important to think of how some elements of direct democracy can be built in the MMP system.

 

 

9.4. Bicameral Parliament

 

This workshop takes note of the seriousness of the bicameral parliament in India. However, it desists from delving deep into this question in this workshop, as this is more of a Nation State subject and not an electoral system subject. We respect the wisdom of the Indian State to deal with this issue.   

 

 

10. Other Related Issues

 

This workshop of experts on electoral systems dealt with certain specific issues taking into account the Indian situation and arrived at a consensus in the following manner.

 

10.1.     Voting age: This workshop insists on the need for making the youth take part in electoral practices at an early age. However, the present praxis of 18 years as voting age is a universally accepted principle and there is no reason to change it as of now. However, this workshop is of the strong opinion that there should be no disparity between the eligibility criteria for voting and contesting. The eligibility for voting and for contesting should be same.

 

10.2.     One Day Poll: This workshop is of the firm view that the present practice of polling on one day is an appropriate one for India. However, it recommends counting of votes at the earliest possible time after the voting day without efforts to prolong the counting of votes.

 

10.3.     Electronic or Paper Voting: This workshop of experts on electoral systems is of the view that even if electronic voting system is in place, there should be a paper trail for the voter. Experience in countries with electronic voting machines has proved that it becomes extremely complicated in countries with two vote system.

 

10.4.     Compulsory Voting: This workshop of electoral systems experts sets aside any recommendation on the issue of compulsory voting, as it is more an ideological and political question than a question of electoral procedures. The workshop is, however, of the opinion that the MMP itself will lead to more participation and, thus, a high level of polling.  

 

This workshop of experts has agreed that despite differences of opinion on certain issues among experts, consensus has been reached on all the above listed dimensions of electoral systems that will be tailor-made for India. This workshop is also of the opinion that this Workshop Statement should be later developed in the nature of a full-fledged policy document. This workshop hopes very firmly that such a policy document will become a handy tool for the Parliament of India to further work on and ultimately usher in proportionate electoral system in India in the interest of the best practices of democracy. 

 

 

Experts and Delegates

 

The following are the experts and delegates in the workshop of electoral systems experts held in Berlin, Germany from 17 to 19 October 2011.

 

01. Dr. Arshi Khan - India

02. Prof. Dr. Joachim Behnke – Germany

03. Mr. de Jong, Ron – The Netherlands

04. Prof. Fuchs, Martin – Germany

05. Mr. Hahn, Walter – Germany

06. Mr. Y L Jayaraj – India

07. Mr. Jeroninio Almeida, India

08. Mrs. Jyothiraj – India

09. Mr. Khorrum Omer – India

10. Prof. Krishna Khanal – Nepal

11. Dr. Krishna Swamy Dara – India

12. Mrs. Moll, Ursula – Germany

13. Mr. Muller, Philip – Germany

14. Dr. Nepia, Gaylene Huia – New Zealand

15. Dr. v. Prittwitz, Volker – Germany

16. Mr. M C Raj – India

17. Mr. D Raja – India

18. Mr. Rayalu Yugalkishore – India

19. Mr. Scheltens, Jerome – The Netherlands

20. Mrs. Sukanya Natarajan – India

21. Mr. Vivek Sakpal – India

22. Dr. Voll, Klaus – Germany

23. Mr. Vollan, Kare – Norway

24. Prof. Wagner, Christian – Germany

25. Mr. Wiek, Hans-Georg - Germany

 

 

 


--
M C Raj
REDS, REDS Road
Shanthinagar
Tumkur 572102
Karnataka, India

Phone: ++91-816-2277026
Fax:     ++91-816-2272515
Mobile: ++9845144893

Vist my blog: http://dalitashram.blogspot.com

Please visit my Blog at: http://www.authormcraj.com

Email for electoral reforms: ceri.reds@gmail.com

Email for REDS: jyothi.dalitreds@gmail.com






--
Palash Biswas
Pl Read:
http://nandigramunited-banga.blogspot.com/

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