ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Weight of a Vote

NOTA as a passive device absolves individuals of their responsibility to engage with the political reality.

It is needless to mention in an electoral democracy that the right to vote is of seminal importance. The votes that are exercised can decide not only the immediate winning prospects of the contesting candidate, but have decisive bearing on the very future of democracy. Thus, the normative weight of a vote in such a democracy is enormous. But, in recent times, the right to vote has become a matter of interesting debate. The consideration of the right to vote as a valuable asset and the anxiety to lose this asset seems to have prompted some candidates, even from the dominant political parties, to extract votes by issuing threats to voters. 

On the other side of the spectrum, a suggestion has emerged from some enlightened political leaders that finds value not in the exercise of votes in favour of a particular candidate, but in not exercising it in favour any of the candidates from among the set listed in the electronic voting machines (EVM). The NOTA (none of the above option) obviously assumes high morally evaluative standards for the candidates. NOTA essentially tends to rest the moral initiative with a voter, who can then enjoy moral authority over their constitutional duty. Further to it, NOTA is treated as moral protest and hence has its basis in negative responsibility, which would mean that my NOTA vote is the result of the poor quality of the candidates, for which I am not responsible. 

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Updated On : 22nd May, 2019
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