Comparing Elections in India and the United States
The Republic of India and the United States of America are two functioning democracies around the world, however, the way they hold elections and the organization of their government are vastly different. Democracy is an inclusive form of government that allows people to vote for candidates in elections to decide who comes into power and what policies will be implemented.
Difference in Political Parties
- One of the main differences between the electoral process in India and the USA is the nature of their party systems. The United States has two dominant parties, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, with strong ideological differences that are the source of conflict and debate during elections. Although smaller parties such as the Libertarian Party and Green Party exist, they are considered independent entities and cannot quite compete with the two major ones.
- India, on the other hand, has many parties that operate on the state level and only a few that successfully operate on the national level. The two largest parties are the Indian National Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party, with differing ideologies.
- Regional parties also supply many deserving candidates, and in some states like Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, regional parties have a strong presence, such as AIADMK and Trinamool Congress. These regional parties often have dynamic policies that are based on the needs and responses of the people of their state, and do not always have a clear-cut ideology on their manifesto.
Difference in Voting Systems
- Another significant difference between the two countries is the voting system. India allows voting through Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) on the day of polling, with the option of proxy voting for those who are overseas. The United States, however, has a more flexible voting system, with multiple methods such as going to a polling booth, absentee voting through the mail, and early voting being approved. However, the scanning and vote counting process is similar in both countries.
Difference in Voter Turnout
- India has a higher voter turnout than the United States. In the recently concluded elections, India's voter turnout was 66.38%, while the United States' was 61.4%. Additionally, voter turnout in the United States is primarily composed of people above the age of 65, with this demographic voting 25% more than the 18-24-year-old population.
while the principle of democracy is similar in both India and the United States, the organization of government and the electoral process are vastly different. The nature of party systems, voting systems, and voter turnout all contribute to these differences.
Written by IAS POINT