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Proposed   Administrative   Procedure   
#LM.01   :   Partial   Direct   Vote   in   City-Councils   and   Panchayats

Purpose : Reduce nexusproneness in the law-making at city level

Contents
  1. Background
  2. Existing Law-making procedure in City Councils
  3. Flaws in the existing law-making procedure
  4. Proposed ADDITIONAL procedure
  5. Details
  6. FAQs on LM.01 (and LM.02, LM.03)
  7. Draft of the law to enact procedure #LM.01
  8. Letter to Corporator


Background

The purpose is to make India's administration/courts, and hence economy, at par with West. How? By improving record keeping in GoI-offices and reducing nexuses in GoI-offices and courts. How? We would need several laws. Some of the proposed laws are listed here.

LM.01 is the FIRST of these proposed laws. This law will not only improve law-making at city/district level, but would also bootstrap a process that would result into passing 10s of good laws.



The   Existing   Law   Making   Procedure
  1. The citizen-voters residing in the city elect 1 Councilor per constituency for a period of say 5 years, by elections based on simple majority.

  2. Any Councilor can present a Draft in the City Council. The Speaker of the Council may or may not schedule a voting date on the Draft. If the voting date is scheduled, each Councilor can register his YES/NO on the bill.

  3. If majority of the Councilors approve the Bill, the Bill is sent to Urban Affairs Ministry for approval. After Approval of the Urban Affairs Ministry, it becomes a law in that City.

  4. The law-making procedure for the Tahsil/District Panchayat is an identical process.




Flaws   in   the   Existing   Law-Making   Procedure
  • Flaw # 1 --- Nexuses : Over 999 out of 1000 City Councilors, MLAs, MPs etc. become nexused within 6 weeks after they are elected. This is the MOST imporatnt reason why law-making in India is in poor shape . A Councilor's/MLA's term is 5 years which is a long time to form hundreds of nexues. Within 6 weeks after getting elected, City Councilors mostly start focusing on nexuses and bribery rather than law-making. This impairs their judgements at the time of registering YES/NO.

    (Aside : Why are law-makers in West less nexused? In West, the sell-out is far far LESS common, as the in the West, the prosecutions prosecute and courts imprison the Councilors who take bribes or work as per nexuses. Whereas in India, due to lack of Grand Jury System, lack of elected Prosecutors and lack of Jury System, the Councilors, MLAs etc seldom face the prison sentences despite rampant corruption. So the Councilors, MLAs etc of West see less effective advantage in nexuses, bribery while the ones in India see ample advantage in taking the bribes.)

  • Flaw # 2 --- No time : MLAs, Councilors etc have no time for law making. Due to formation of nexuses, the Councilors, MLAs etc spend almost all their time in serving those nexuses and using those nexuses to get their private work done. In addition, almost all MLAs/MPs have a large number of trusts and the MLAs are too busy managing those trusts, and obtaining land/cash grants from private and govt sources. To that, a large number of MLAs/MPs are owners/directors of huge private companies, and are busy seeking bank loans, land and subsidies for those private companies. And they are also spending all the money they have and entertaining themselves. All these activities take away all their time, and so they have NO time for law-making.

  • SUMMARIZING : Due to nexuses, and lack of time due to pre-occupation with managing their trusts, companies etc, most Councilors, MLAs, MPs etc do have time and are not interested in making laws that would improve administration and courts.


Proposed Solution : #LM.01 --- Partial Direct Vote in City Councils and Panchayats

The summary of the procedure LM.01 is as follow
  1. Any citizen can pay a fee and present a bill to the Mayor
  2. The citizens can pay a small fee, say Rs 3, and register YES/NO on that bill. The registration of YES/NO will NOT be confidential.
  3. The City Councilors YES/NO will count ONLY for those who have NOT registered their YES/NO. If the Councilor does NOT vote, his vote is taken as NO.


Details of #LM.01

The details are as follows
  1. The Mayor will appoint an officer titled Registrar.

  2. Any person can pay a fee of say Rs 5000/- , submit a draft to the Mayor and obtain a serial number.

  3. Within next 60 days, any citizen voter can go to the Registrar's office (or his clerk's office), pay a fee of say Rs 2-3, show his voter-ID or ration card, specify the serial number of the Bill, and register his YES/NO on the Bill.

  4. The clerk will enter the citizen's ID number, Bills proposal number, the citizen's choice (YES/NO) etc into the computer and the computer will print 2 reciepts. The clerk will give one reciept to the citizen and on the other reciept, he will take the citizen's finger print and keep it in the records. A sample of the reciept is shown below

    SAMPLE   layout   of   the Reciept
      that   the   citizen   will   get   when   he   registers   his   YES/NO   on   a   Bill

    
                 Registration  of  YES/NO  (Fee : Rs 3)
    
    Dear Mayor, 
            I advice you to efficvely consider 
    my opinion on the following bill.  
                                - The Citizen.  
    
        Reciept Number  3245-345-01                 
                  Date  28/03/2001
      Citizen's Ration 
           Card Number  67897899  
        Citizenís Name  Prakash Mehta   
    
        Proposal Number 2002-878   
         Proposal Title #EAS.01 -- Equal Allowance 
                           System over Underground Water
    
                 My vote     YES
    
    Clerkís name, number, sign
                    Suresh Pandya/67-092/S Pandya 
    Citizenís Thumb Print  
    


  5. A citizen, within the 60 day period can also change the vote anytime anyday after paying Rs 3 fee.

  6. For each Bill, for each constituency, the Registrar will publish the statements on Web everyday or every week, showing entries of those citizens who have registered their YES/NO. The entries will be sorted by ration card number and the reciept numbers. So the registration of a citizen's YES/NO will NOT be confidential.

    SAMPLE of the List that will be generated

    Proposal Number : 2002-878
    Proposal Title  : #EAS.01 -- Equal Allowance System 
                      over Underground Water
    
    Constituency Number : 13/129
    Constituency Name   : Shahpur
    
    Number of voters : 20,367
    
    Number of citizens who had Registered YES as of Yesterday  13,354   
    Number of citizens who had Registered NO  as of Yesterday   6,865
    Number of citizens who had Registered YES as of Today          10   
    Number of citizens who had Registered NO  as of Today           5
    Number of citizens who changed their  YES to NO                 2
    Number of citizens who changed their  NO  to YES                1
    
    Number of YESes as of Today  = 13354 - 2 + 10           =  12,362
    Number of   NOs as of Today  =  6865 - 1 +  5           =   6,869
    
    
    
    
    Citizens who Registered their Opinions as YES 
    
           Card No        Name             Reciept No  Previous Opinion
     1     2158112      Divan, Sudhir         21851        -
    
     2     2350222      Mehta, Vimal          58783        -  
     3     2885461      Jain, Bimal           40203        - 
     4     3156068      Patel, Suhas          13720        -
     5     3737486      Khan, Suhel           42995        NO
     6     4040625      Sai, Samir            36446        - 
     7     4514433      Shankar, P            56375        -
     8     4759652      Khan, Suleman         57412        NO
     9     5176682      Seth, Vineet          99653        -
    10     5311764      Singh, Jasvinder      19675        -
    
    
    
    
    Citizens who Registered their Opinions as NO 
    
           Card No        Name               Reciept No  Previous Opinion
     1     4020310      Khan, Akbar            14964        -
     2     4210275      Holkar, Babu           19675       YES
     3     4633510      Ramesh, P              42995        -
     4     5637330      Divakar, Sudhir        57412        -
     5     5652714      Patel, Navinchandra    74898        -
    
    


  7. Within 30 days after presenting the proposal, the City Councilor may register his YES/NO on the proposal by visiting the speaker in his chamber. There will no general meeting. If a Councilor does NOT register his YES/NO, the Speaker will take it as a NO.

  8. On the 61st day, the Mayor will count votes as follows

    1. Say a constituency has 100,000 voters
    2. Say 25,000 (25%) has registered a YES
    3. Say 5,000 (5%) has registered a NO
    4. Then 30% citizen-voters have already registered their YES/NO, and thus the Councilor has moral right to represent ONLY the remaining 70%. So the Councilor votes' weight will be only 70%. So
      • if the Councilor votes YES, it will be 70% + 25% = 95% YES and 5% NO from that Constituency
      • if the Councilor votes NO, it will be 25% YES and 70% + 5% = 75% NO from that Constituency
      • if the Councilor DOES NOT vote, his vote will be taken as a NO and so it will 25% YES and 5% + 70% = 75% NO from that Constituency
    5. The Mayor will add the YES-fraction and NO-fraction of all the constituencies.


  9. If the YES-fraction exceeeds NO-fraction, then the Mayor will declare the Bill as passed.

     Thus citizens can EFFECTIVELY participate in the law-making process. This will drastically increase nexuslessness in the law-making process, as no one can possibly have nexuses with millions of citizens. This will also reduce the market-value of Corporator and thus corruption in his profession. By all means, the #LM.01 increases the Nexuslessness and Democraticness in the law making process at City/District level.



Allowing citizens to bypass MLAs and MPs

     I described procedure LM.01 by which citizen can DIRECTLY register his YES/NO on a proposal presented in the City Council or a District Panchayat. There are two similar procedures allow citizens to register their YES/NO in Assembly and Parliament respectively. They are

Relevent and Irrelevent FAQs on LM.01, LM.02 and LM.03

     Since May-2001, I have been campaigning to get LM.01 passed in Ahmedmabad Municipal Corporation and LM.02 in Gujarat Assembly. During my presentations, I faced several relevent and irrelevent (=academic) questions. I will state the questions as well as answers, and also state why I think some of the questions are irrelevent.

      Following are some of the questions
  1. __   Main plus point of LM.01
  2. __   Arent citizens sucepptible to bribery?
  3. __   Will citizens use this mechanism at all?
  4. __   Arent LM.01, LM.02 and LM.03 same as Direct Democracy?
  5. __   Arent LM.01 and LM.02 same as referendum?
  6. __   What about the cost of LM.01 (and LM.02, LM.03)?
  7. __   Is Rs 3/- sufficient to cover the administrative cost of registering YES/NO?
  8. __   Can it happen that an "unsafe" proposal "sneak-in" due to LM.01?
  9. __   Isnt it unfair that MLA's vote has such a high weightage?
  10. __   Can laws be made by mere YES/NO votes?
  11. __   Are citizens capable of deciding + on "complex" laws?
  12. __   Why not just ablosh Assembly and Parliament?


  1. The main plus point of LM.01-03
    • LM.01-03 reduce nexusproneness in law making. One can have nexuses with few 100 Councilors, MLAs and MPs, but it is litellay impossible to have nexuses wil lakhs and crores of citizens, who have powers to register YES/NO in LM.01-03. So the YES/NOs of MLAs/MPs may or may not be due to nexuses, but the YES/NO from citizens, if any, will be mostly nexusless YES/NO. This nexuslessness will improve objectivity and fairness in law-making.
    • since citizens have less nexuses, they will have more time to spare to debate and reason on law-making. This will further improve law-making in India.
    • Other plus points are mere derivates of above two.


  2. Arent citizens sucepptible to bribery?
    Answer :
    It is NOT possible for lobbyists to bribe millions of citizens. But it is indeed possible for them to cover/bribe a handful of party leaders and a few MLAs/MPs. So by all means, LM.01-03 are far far less corruption prone then existing 100% indirect mechanisms.
    Is this a relevant question? No, it is NOT. A citizen has MORAL right to register his YES/NO in Assembly/Parliament and it is a moral binding on the state to pass/fail Bills as per the head count, WITHOUT questioing the motives of the voters.

  3. Will citizens use this mechanism at all? If yes, how many citizens will use this mechanism? Are people conscious enough that they will use this mechanism to make laws?
    Answer :
    When Dr. Ambedkar had proposed Universal Suffrage i.e. every citizen be allowed to cast vote in an election irrespective of birth, education level, property he owns etc, Dr Rajendra Prasad and many snobbish Congressmen had rejected his proposal on the same basis --- that most "common men" are so to say stupid or unaware and so only educated and propertied persons should be have power to vote. Today, we know that it is uneducated and poor also use their right to vote and that the candidates they elect, with due disrespect, are far better than the people we see in appointed positions like IAS and judiciary. So there is NO merit in the argument that uneducated and illiterate persons are "less aware". They are as much aware of reality as the so called educated folks. And they DO care about improving the nation, and they care MORE than educated ones who have ways and means to escape out of the country.
    Is this question relevent?
    No. The question is NOT relevent. Whether a person used his right to vote of register YES/NO is his decision, and cant be anyone's MORAL/LEGAL concern.

  4. Are LM.01, LM.02 and LM.03 (i.e. Partial Direct Vote in City Council, Assembly and Parliament) same as Direct Democracy?
    Answer :
    NO. It is NOT the same . For two main reasons. First, Direct Democracy is a mere concept, where as LM.01, LM.02 and LM.03 are are detailed procedures which defines each and every logistic and administrative part. Second, in Direct Democracy, the Representative's vote's value is same as that of a common citizen; whereas, in LM.01, LM.02 and LM.03, the weight of representative's vote equals all the citizens who have chosen NOT to register their YES.
    LM.01-03 are crosses between Direct and Indirect Law Making. LM.01 is neighter 100% Direct as it is in case of referendum, and it is NOT 100% Indirect as is the case today. It is X% Direct, and (100 - X%) Indirect. What is X? It is fraction of citizens who chose to have and register their YES/NO. It may be anywhere from 0% to 100%, depending on the place, time and issue.
    Is this question relevent ?
    No, it is NOT. A proposal in administration should be questioned on the basis of its logistic, harm it may do or good it may cause. Comparing it with another vaguely defined concept is irrelevent exercise

  5. Arent LM.01 and LM.02 same as referendum?
    Answer :
    NO. LM.01 or LM.02 are NOT same as referendum. Following are the main differences
    LM.01 or LM.02
    (Partial Direct Vote in Panchayat/Assembly)
    Referendum
    In Partial Direct Vote in Panchayat/Assembly, BOTH, the citizens and MLAs register their YES/NO and an MLA's vote's weight is equal to % of citizens who have NOT registered their YES/NO. In a referendum, an MLA's votes weight is same is that of ordinary citizen
    Proposed procedures LM.01-03 are is a cross product of 100% Indirect Voting which we see today and a referdum -
    In LM.01, a citizen who has trust in Councilor/MLA does NOT have to run to booth to register his YES/NO on a bill. In refendum, even if a citizen has faith in his representative, he has rto run to booth or else the opposing view point may win
    The cost of registering YES/No is borne by the citizen who is registering, and he pays no cost if he doesnt register his YES/NO The cost is borne by the "State", i.e. a citizens pays whether he registers his YES/NO or he doesnt
    Is this question relevent?
    No, it is NOT. A proposal in administration should be questioned on the basis of its logistic, harm it may do or good it may cause. Comparing it with another procedure, which does a DIFFERENT task, is an irrelevent exercise.

  6. What about the cost of LM.01 (and LM.02, LM.03)?
    Answer:
    LM.01-03 uses a generic procedures which I have defined and termed as RLPP i.e. Reciept-List Printing Procedure. The procedure is cost-effective in all cases. For the cost details of RLPP, please click here. In the specific case of LM.01, LM.02 and LM.03, the procedure *is* cost-effective as
    • The cost burden on the State i.e. the Government is ZERO.
    • All the cost is covered by Rs 5000/- to Rs 50,000/- fee that the Bill submitter pays and Rs 2/- to Rs 5/- fee that the citizen pays at the time of registering his YES/NO.
    • So the burden in the non-participating citizens is zero.
    • So the fact that citizen is paying fee and registering YES/NO *proves* that it was cost-effective for him.
    The situation is analogous to free market, where if a person is willingly buying an item, he must be doing so as the benefit of that item is equal to or more than the cost, which proves that the item was indeed cost-effective.
    Is this question relevent ?
    Yes, it is. A proposal in administration MUST be questioned to ensure that Govt (=citizenry) does not end up bearing the burden of executing the procedures

  7. Is Rs 5/- sufficient to cover the administrative cost of registering YES/NO?
    Answer :
    Yes. When a citizen approaces a clerk, with a piece of paper on which he has written Bill number and his YES/NO preference, the clerk has to enter Bill number, citizen's ration card number and YES/NO, and give the printed reciept to the citizen. The whole process will take LESS than say 4 minutes. So a temeperory clerk on contract working 8 hours a day can easily dispense 100-120 reciepts per day. If fee is set at Rs 3/- per YES/NO registration, the fee collected will be Rs 300/- to Rs 360 per day per clerk which will be more than sufficient to cover ALL the costs including the salary of the clerk, rent of the PC/printer and the stationary costs. Also, the registrar can issue IDs with barcode or magnetic strips so that the clerk DOES NOT need to input the citizen's ID number manually. This will further reduce the input time to less than 2 minutes. Subsequently, the registrar can also instal an automated terminal with a touch screen and a reciept printer that will completely eliminate the need of the clerk. This will reduce the expense to below Re 1/- per YES/NO registration. So answer in short is YES, a Rs 2 to Rs 3 fee is MORE than sufficient to cover the cost of registering YES/NO.
    Is this question relevant?
    Yes. Any question on cost-estimate is relevant.

  8. Can it happen that an proposal that is NOT acceptable to citizens as well as Corporators would "sneak-in" due to LM.01?
    Answer :
    No. If a proposal get through LM.01, at least one of the two things must have happened
    • Eighter a large number of citizens registered YES
    • A large number of citizens didnt vote and a alarge number of Corporators voted YES
    For, if a Corporator does NOT vote, his vote is taken as a NO. And if a citizen does NOT vote, his vote is taken as per the vote of the Corporator. Thus it cant happen that an unpopular proposal will "sneak through" the LM.01.
    Is this question relevant?
    Yes. A proposal in administration must be self-protected against a use not in agreement with public will.

  9. Say there are 100,000 citizens in a Constituency. Say 10000 register a YES and 20000 register a NO. Then MLA's vote will have weightage of 70%. Isnt it unfair that MLA's vote has such a high weightage?
    Answer :
    No it isnt, as the citizen's weight who didnt vote should be indeep zero, and there is NOTHING unfair if MLA registers his opinion on behalf of him. Also, it is fairer 100% indirect law making process used today, where MLA's opinion on a bill carries 100% weight and a citizen's opinion on a bill carries 0% weightage, even if the citizen is willing to register his opinion. Besides, MLA has legally and legitimately obtained mandate of citizens to represent himself.
    Is this question relevent?
    Yes it is. It asks for the apparent drawback of the proposed procedure, (which of course is NOT a drawback).

  10. The proposal LM.01, LM.02 and LM.03 are "bad" as they leave too much power in the hands of MLAs/MPs etc
    Answer :
    LM.01-03 REDUCE MLAs/MPs powers. And the power that LM.01-03 leave in the hands of the representatives *is* legitimate as the MLA/MP is duely elected by the citizens.

  11. Can laws be made by mere YES/NO votes?
    Answer :
    YES. As of today, ALL laws are eventually made or repealed by YES/NO votes as registered by MLAs/MPs and after a head count. In fact, ALL decisions at the end of the day in EVERY known administrative bodies are based on a YES or a NO. There is no escape from YES/NO.

  12. Are citizens capable of deciding YES/NO on "complex" laws?
    Answer :
    Yes, in general, most laws *are* simple enpough that most citizens can decide their mind. And in case, a common does not have detailed knopwledge about a specific Bill, he can always vote as per the advice of the experts he has faith in. And in worst case, he can leave the matter to his MLA/MP by simply not voting on the Bill. So whether a citizen is capable of voting on a Bill or not is a mute point --- if he can make up his mind, he would vote or else he would let his MLA/MP vote for him.

  13. The whole idea of allowing citizens to directly register YES/NO is based on the fact that MLAs, MPs, Councilors etc are corrupt and do not represent citizens' wishes, and so citizens should be allowed to register their YES/NO directly. If so, why not just ablish Assembly and Parliament?
    Answer :
    If you want to abolish the Assembly etc or further reduce the powers of MLAs/MPs, present draft a Bill to do so. AFTER reading the Bill, I will declare my YES/NO on it. No Bill, no talk.

    If you have any other question, please email the question to me at MehtaRahulC@yahoo.com




Draft for #LM.01

To enact the administrative procedure #LM.01 in a District/City, a law needs to be passed in the City Council or District Panchayats. For the the EXACT Draft (Text) of the law, please click here.



Letter To Corporator

To pressurize City Councilors or Panchayat Members to pass this law, I requet the reader to send them a letter. Click here for the letter.





Next LM.02 : Direct vote in Assembly