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- Want to vote ‘none of the above’ in Ontario’s election? Here’s how you can
- None of the Above
In the Indian general election , about 1. NOTA has been described as the maturing of India's democracy.
However, the power of NOTA to express dissent is clearly visible in reports where entire communities decided to democratically protest against governments that have failed to meet their needs. For instance, there have been multiple cases of entire villages deciding to vote for NOTA due to consistent failure of local governments to meet basic requirements like roads, electricity,   inaction towards villagers' complaints about water contamination by industries,  and even reports of sex workers who have been pushing for legalisation of their profession to get themselves covered under labour laws, but have received no government attention, deciding to go for NOTA.
What is unclear is whether so far this protest has translated into compensatory action by the elected Government. Such an option gives the voter the right to express his disapproval of the kind of candidates being put up by the parties.
Gradually, there will be a systemic change and the parties will be forced to accept the will of the people and field candidates who are known for their integrity. A number of groups and individuals have been conducting voter awareness campaigns about NOTA.
It has been observed that some of the highest NOTA votes polled are consistently seen in Reserved Constituencies Constituencies that, based on their demographic composition, are required to field only candidates from Reserved Categories to contest elections. While on the one hand, more votes for NOTA could be interpreted as more expression of the prevailing dissatisfaction in the electorate, there is also the danger that the underlying cause is ignorance about the candidates, uninformed and irresponsible voting, or expression of bias on the basis of caste, as seen in the case of Reserved Constituencies.
Thus, while NOTA is definitely providing a voice to dissent, it needs to be accompanied with efforts to raise voter awareness to prevent the misuse of this measure.
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Some of those suggested improvements include:. However, the Supreme Court responded to these PILs by stating that such a solution is 'unworkable' and stating that "holding an election in our country is a very serious and expensive business". But a tainted candidate who indulges in corruption and malpractices is a greater cost for the country. It is only the desire to continue in power and the greed for money that take prominence over values.
NOTA was not included in the Kerala panchayat elections. But this is the dilemma many face when considering the current field of presidential candidates. Which one is less evil? Certainly, not all are in this position — many do fully support a candidate in the upcoming election for president — but it seems there are more voters now than in previous cycles who are dismayed by the current choices. This predicament is not exclusive to the presidential race.
There are plenty of races down the ballot for which voters may wish to oppose all the candidates.
Want to vote ‘none of the above’ in Ontario’s election? Here’s how you can
When people are faced with such questions, they either tend to not vote in that particular race or — if it is high up on the ballot — not bother to go to a poll at all. At a time when voter engagement is dangerously low and political cynicism is high, we should consider any proposal that has the possibility of prompting all qualified voters to carefully consider the candidates and express their conviction through voting for a candidate or against them all.
This is hardly a new idea. Nevada has a form of "none of these candidates" voting, along with numerous countries around the world, including Sweden, Finland and India.
None of the Above
Voters should be given the opportunity to say none of the options are acceptable. It could lay the foundation for a stronger democracy. Imagine holding an election in which no one wins. And that can put their right to govern into question. Although his chances of success seem remote, I for one hope Rodriguez is successful. But that wish also comes with reservations.