Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription Access
Total views : 203

Direct Vs Indirect Election to Grama Panchayat President: Reflections and Implications

Affiliations

  • CPIGD, ISEC, Bengaluru, India
  • CMDR, Dharwad, India

Abstract


This discussion paper is a qualitative analysis built on opinions. Though there is no one-to-one link between performance and service delivery of grama panchayats (GPs) and method of election to GP president, the paper talks about opinions, which support direct election. There is a discussion going on at the policy level in States like Karnataka whether to go in for direct election of the president of the gram panchayat or not. Although the overall preference of stakeholders and people is for direct election, the empirical data and the opinions of those with whom we interacted fail to clearly bring out the justification for direct or indirect election of GP president. The reasons are many: the differences in structure and size of the panchayats across selected States, linkages with higher level of PRIs, their financing mechanism and devolution of powers. In the absence of counterfactuals with similar panchayati raj system in States with direct election it is difficult to say which system is better than the other. Though the differences are not very significant, resource mobilisation, efficiency in delivery of services and utilisation of funds appear to be better in States with direct election. And, quick decisions, higher social auditing, higher social equity, satisfaction with election system and low incidence of no-confidence motion, dominance of caste are also the features noted in States with direct election. On the other hand, cooperation and collective decision, weightage to the institution rather than the individual, competition among members for getting benefits to their wards are some of the merits of indirect election. After weighing the merits of both the systems, direct election clearly stands out as a preferred system.

Full Text:

 |  (PDF views: 1)

References


  • Altman D (2014), “Direct Democracy Worldwide”, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Anil Kumar,Vaddiraju and Shagun Mehrotra (2004), “Making Panchayats Accountable,”Economic and Political Weekly, Vol.39, (37):4139-4141.
  • Behar, A (2003), “Experiment with Direct Democracy” in ‘Decentralization and Local Governments: The Indian Experience’edited by Raghunandan T.R (2012), Orient Blackswan Private Limited, New Delhi.
  • Barber R.Benjamin (2003), “Strong Democracy: Participatory Politics for a New Age,” Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press.
  • Bardhan, P and D. Mookherjee (2006), “Decentralization and Accountability in Infrastructure Delivery in Developing Countries.”Economic Journal,116: 101–27.
  • Bardhan, P(2002),”Decentralization of Governance and Development.” Journal of Economic Perspectives, 16 (4): 185–205.
  • Fields, Joseph A., Klein, Linda S., and James M. Sfiridis (1997) “A Market Based Evaluation of the Election versus Appointment of Regulatory Commissioners,” Public Choice, 92:337-351.
  • Formby John, Mishra Banamber and Thistle Paul (1995),”Public Utility Regulation and Bond Ratings Public Choice,” 84 (1-2):119-36.
  • Gang (1999), ‘’Bird in a Cage- Elections in Contemporary China’’ [Available at Elections in China home.olemiss.edu/~gg/paperhtm/elctchin.htm accessed on 18-9-2014].
  • Korf B, “Governing Bottom-up in Rural Development: The Legitimacy Dilemma” in ‘Rural Governance, International Perspectives,” Edited by Cheshire L, Higgins V and Lawrence G., (2007), Oxan Routledge.
  • Lupia Arthur and John Matsusaka (2004), ‘’Direct Democracy: New Approaches to Old Questions,’’ Annual Review of Political Science, 7: 463-482.
  • Matsusaka, J. G(2004),”For the Many or the Few: The Initiative, Public Policy and American Democracy,”Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Matsusaka John (2005), ‘’Direct Democracy Works,”Journal of Economic Perspectives,19 (2):185–206.
  • Mohanty P. K Parigi V. K and Vyasulu, Vinod (2004),”Interstate Study on Rural Decentralisation,” Centre for Good Governance, Hyderabad [available at http://www.cgg.gov.in/publicationdownloads2a/inter%20state%20study%20on%20Rural%20decentralisation.pdf accessed on 16/1/2013].
  • Musgrave R. (1959),”The Theory of Public Finance,” New York, McGraw–Hill Book Company Inc.
  • Mullen D.Rani (2012), “Decentralization, Local Governance, and Social Wellbeing in India: Do Local Governments Matter?,”Oxan Routledge.
  • Olken B. A. (2010), “Direct Democracy and Local Public Goods: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Indonesia, ” American Political Science Review,104 (2): 243-267.
  • Rajashekar D, Devendra Babu M. and Manjula R (2011),”Elite and Programme Capture in Karnataka’s Panchayats,” Report submitted to National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), New Delhi [available at http://www.ruralgov-ncaer.org/images/event/pdf/ 0_1835088679_Elite_capture_report_(Final_May_28_2011).pdf accessed on 16/1/2013].
  • Richard Cook (2003), ”Decentralization and Good Governance,” Ottawa, Canada: Forum of Federations.
  • Woods M, Edwards B, Anderson J and Gardner G., “Leadership in Place: Elites, Institutions and Agency in British Rural Community Governance” In ‘Rural Governance International Perspectives, Edited by Cheshire L, Higgins V and Lawrence G’ (2007), Oxan Routledge.

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.