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The right kind of electoral process... By Hussain

11 December, 2012

I wonder why, in our land of the pure, those in power and carrying the responsibility of leading the nation do not have the time to find a simple solution for the holding of elections. All stakeholders agree that democracy is the most suitable political system for the prosperity and progress of the country, and that it is the people's right to elect their rulers through their vote. About 60 percent of the voters live in rural areas with a very low literacy level but they hold the power of being able to sway the vote because of sheer numbers. Those who are living in cities can usually boast having a better level of education and have relative freedom to choose their representatives. As we have seen, for the last three decades, the MQM has remained a major political party in Karachi, having a maximum number of its members elected by the educated classes in Karachi.

Now the SC judges, in all their wisdom, have ordered that the election commission of Pakistan (ECP) should verify the voters of Karachi by launching a door-to-door verification drive with the help of the Pakistan army. I suggest that politicians and the ECP adopt an out-of-the-box system of voting to replace the constituencies-based election with a proportional voting system in which the voters cast their votes for political parties instead of voting for the constituency candidate. The registered voters should be able to cast their votes anywhere throughout the country, irrespective of whether the voter's residence address and the one present on the national identity card are different. The number of votes received by a political party should then determine, on a district basis, its number of elected MNAs and MPAs; the party with the most elected MNAs and MPAs should be considered for the Assemblies and there will be no need of constituency demarcation. It is only then that there will no violence and clashes between contesting candidates. This system will also help to remove the domination of feudal families.

S T HUSSAIN
Via e-mail

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