Role Of Young Voters In The Global Politics
This Blog is written by Medha Anand from Galgotias University, Uttar Pradesh. Edited by Lisa Coutinho.
A democracy depends upon the will of the majority, and youth comprises the majority in India. The youth of India has a very important role to play in shaping India. They are soon turning out to be a responsible part of the population, who wish to see a change in the governance. They are not scared of voicing their opinion, or of bearing the consequences which come later. They are also aware that they have responsibilities when it comes to the nation, and that nobody else but they could save the country which might soon be in a crisis. Understanding the current situation, there is a major role of the youth in the Indian democracy, given the freedom to work the way they want to, they can change, or rather transform the way our country functions. Here’s how-
1) Decision making – The youngsters, even though regarded as impulsive and frivolous, have the knack of making a wise decision in the time of need. They have the ability to detach themselves from the scenario and make a decision based on the third-person perspective. They are courageous, so they don’t care about what will follow until they are sure of their decision. They are passionate, so they think about the bigger picture, and they decide based on what good it will bring to the whole nation, and not just themselves. They are also unconventional thinkers, so their strategies can pose a serious challenge to the thoughts of anybody who doesn’t think rationally and reasonably.
2) Running in the campaign – Another role that the youth can take over is by running in the campaign and becoming the change that they wish to see in the country. The youth, with its refreshing ideas and courage, is capable of a lot more than what our current leaders are providing. Giving a chance to the youth to lead the country would be a welcome change and this change could be sustained under the leadership of like-minded people. There are lesser chances of conflict of interest of the population and their leadership, and that would push the country on to the road to prosperity.
3. Voting – Another possible change that can be brought in the Indian democracy by the youth is when they realize the power they have in their hands. In every general election, a massive part of the votes come from the youth, and some of them are first-time voters. In 2014, 150 million new voters were added to the electoral list. The power of this number and the decision-making ability of the youth combined is capable of showing a new era to the Indian democracy as and when needed.
4) Social media – Various things like social media and other ways of conveying one’s thoughts are emerging to be a very important part of Indian democracy. Through social media, various leaders try to put forth an image of themselves, which might help the voters in deciding if they are capable leaders or not. Similarly, the youth doesn’t shy from putting forth their ideas about the various nominees and political parties which forms a popular opinion about the people contesting in the elections.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS DEVELOPMENT
The young voters can play an important role in global politics by exercising their right to vote. The constitution, having bestowed the youth with the right to vote, is itself a blessing for the country. A single stick can be broken with just a hit, two sticks can still be broken, but when a bunch of sticks is being tied together, they cannot be broken, and that is the exact cause of the present-day youth. If the youth today understand the present-day scenario of the governance in India, know their voting rights, they can choose a better government to govern the country. Having exercised their right to vote, they can change the government with their collective power and effort. Hence, the youth having the right to vote in itself is the biggest power they possess in bringing good governance in India.
IMPACT OF ROLE OF YOUNG VOTERS
In order to make sense of turnout numbers, one needs a “theory of turnout” — an understanding of why a young voter may decide to go to the polling booth or to stay at home. In simplest terms, young voters are willing to go to the polls if the relative benefit of turning up to vote outweighs the relative costs of doing.
The relative cost of turning out is affected primarily by party organizations. Good party organizations have polling booth workers who go to the homes of supporters and assist them in coming to vote, working around employment and housework.
Party operatives can also use threats — of negative consequences for supporters who do not turn out or non-supporters who do — to affect the relative cost of turning up to vote. One should expect an incumbent party that has strengthened its grip on political financing and developed an effective media strategy to particularly reap the reward of increased turnout among supporters.
• According to Article 324 of the Constitution of India, there shall be one universal electoral roll for every territorial constituency for election to either House of Parliament or the House or either House of the Legislature of a State and no person shall be unqualified for inclusion in any such roll or claim to be included in any special electoral roll for any such constituency on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex or any of them.
• Article 325 is of critical significance for maintaining the secular character of the Constitution. Any breach of the said provision cannot, but have an adverse impact on the secular character of the Republic, which is one of the basic features of the Constitution. The same is correct regarding the provisions of clause (1) of Article 15, which prohibits reservation of seats in the legislatures on the ground only of religion.
• According to Article 327 of the Constitution of India, subject to the supplies of this Constitution, Parliament may from time to time, by law, make provisions with respect to all matters relating to, or in connection with, elections to either House of Parliament or the House or either House of the Legislature of a State counting the preparation of the electoral rolls, the demarcation of constituencies, and all other matters essential for securing the due constitution of such House or Houses.
• According to Article 328 of the Constitution of India, subject to the provisions laid down in the Constitution and in so far as a provision in that behalf is not made by Parliament, the Legislature of a State may from time to time, by law, make provision with respect to all materials relating to, or in connection with, the elections to the House or either House of the Legislature of the State including the grounding of electoral rolls, and all other matters necessary for securing the due constitution of such House or Houses.
• Article 329 of the Constitution of India basically safeguards the laws made by the Parliament and the Legislature exercising their respective powers under Articles 327 and 328 It basically ensures the fact that the validity of a law made by a Parliament and the Legislature of the State with respect to the delimitation of constituencies or the allotment of seats to such constituencies, cannot be questioned in any court. It also safeguards election to either House of Parliament or the House or either House of the Legislature of a State from being questioned, except when an election petition is presented to such authority and in a manner provided by any law made by the appropriate legislature.
It was observed that Democracy, being the basic feature of our constitutional set up, there can be no two opinions that free and fair elections to our legislative bodies alone would guarantee the growth of a healthy democracy in the country. ln order to ensure the purity of the election process, it was thought by our Constitution-makers that the responsibility to hold free and fair election in the country should be entrusted to an independent body that would be insulated from political and/ or executive interference. It is inherent in a democratic set up that the agency which is entrusted the task of holding elections to the legislatures should be fully insulated so that it can function as an independent agency free from external pressures of the party in power or executive of the day. This objective is achieved by the setting up of an Election Commission, a permanent body, under Art 324(1) of the constitution.
The Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir also reposed faith in the Election Commission, created as aforesaid under Art 324 of the Constitution of India, and entrusted the task of holding elections to the State Legislature of Jammu and Kashmir to the same Commission, instead of creating a separate State commission which it could do under its own constitution (s 158 of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution).
Held that, “It is true that the right to vote is central to the right of participation in the democratic process. However, there is less consensus amongst theorists on the propriety of judicial activism in the voting area. In India, the delimitation laws made under Article 327 of the Constitution of India, are immune from the judicial test of their validity and the process of allotment of seats and constituencies is not liable to be called in question in any court by virtue of Article 329(a) of the Constitution of India.”
It was held that Article 327 gives full power to Parliament, subject to the provisions of the Constitution to make laws with respect to all matters relating to or in construction with elections including the preparation of electoral rolls. In the case of Mohinder Singh Gill v. Chief Election Commissioner, it was held that the power to make law under Article 327 vests in the Parliament, which is supreme and so, not bound by such guidance. The limitations on the exercise of “plenary character” of the Election Commission include one to the result that “when Parliament or any State Legislature has made valid law relating to or in connection with elections, the Commission, shall act in conformity with, not in violations of, such provisions.
According to my point of view, if the youth starts exercising its full power, then it can easily take over the Indian democracy and change it over until it becomes completely unrecognizable. The youth today is already miffed with the governance, given the bans and the inadequacy of their actions and when the time is right, they will come out and leave no stone unturned to start a new era of politics. This act will change the way the world perceives India and will bring new leadership, new stability, and a refreshing change in Indian democracy.
Voting is our constitutional right. I consider it very important because the entire country’s socio-political situation for the next five years depends on it. It is time for young people to not only go and vote but also consider politics as a career. The most important issue under discussion this year in communal disharmony. Also, as a young person, I feel it is time to revamp the entire education system; this will have a multiplier effect on the economy for generations to come. If I don’t do my bit and cast my vote in the elections, I have no right to comment on the way the country’s future is shaped.
Over the past two centuries, we have slowly and painfully expanded our notions of democracy to include ever broader segments of our people. The franchise has been extended until, today, virtually all citizens 18 years of age and older are entitled to vote. This principle is enshrined in the guideline, “one person, one vote.” The most urgent demands have increasingly shifted to guaranteeing that every vote cast is properly recorded and counted.
Our national inability to satisfactorily resolve questions surrounding several recent closely contested elections has focused attention on some profound and persistent flaws in the mechanism of our elections. The prime requirement of an electoral system in a democracy is to accurately and convincingly report the outcome of any question put before the voters. Because some will inevitably be dissatisfied with the election results, it is imperative that everyone has confidence in the method of arriving at the results. The repetition of disputed results and methods in successive elections is a signal that the machinery of voting does not meet the standards of the day and requires an overhaul to comply with contemporary requirements. It is a reminder that election principles, practices, and technologies, like other political questions, are not settled once and for all, but must be periodically revisited in light of changing circumstances.
 1995 (4) SCC 611
 1993 AIR 1804
 1973 AIR 2602
 1978 AIR 851
 World Assembly of Youth (2011). Youth and democracy. Retrieved from http://www.way.org.my/youth-issues/youth-and-democracy.
 Strasbourg (2012). Youth and democracy: the changing face of youth political engagement. Retrieved from https://wcd.coe.int/ViewDoc.jsp?id=1980145&Site.
 Inter-parliamentary union (2014). Youth participation in the democratic process. Retrieved from http://www.ipu.org/conf-e/122/res-3.htm.