Direct Election: Meaning, Merits, and Demerits
Direct Election allows the electorate to cast their votes to fill vacant positions in public office. The registered voters directly elect political office holders, not through intermediaries.
Merits of Direct Elections:
(i) It is democratic as electorates elect candidates of their choice.
(ii) It promotes popular sovereigntySovereignty is a political concept that refers to dominant power or supreme authority. In a monarchy, supreme power resides in the "sovereign", or king. In modern democracies, sovereign power rests with the people and is exercised through representative bodies e.g. governments..
(iii) It promotes political participation as many people will be involved in the voting process.
(iv) It promotes political equality among the voters “Mr. ‘A’s” vote is equal to “Mr. ‘B’s” vote. All votes carry the same right.
(v) The rulers are more responsible and accountable to the people as they may need their support again in future elections.
Demerits of Direct Election:
(i) It is expensive to conduct direct elections. A lot of funds and personnel are needed to conduct a direct election.
(ii) In an illiterate societyThe term society is derived from the Latin word 'socius' meaning friendship or companionship. Society is a community, nation or group of people who share the same traditions, institutions, rules and other common standards of living., a direct election may not work as many voters may vote blindly due to ignorance. Some of them can be bought over. Some may also vote on impulse or sentiments.
(iii) It can be time-consuming and cumbersome due to the large number of voters involved.
(iv) Elections may result in conflict, thuggery and intimidation of opponents.