Political Glossary- Beyond Jargons
`` राजनितीक शब्दावली- शब्दजालभन्दा पर ``
साक्षरता शब्दबाट सुरु हुन्छ!
Since the local polls of Nepal are approaching nearer, we all must be hearing political and electoral jargon daily. Those terms not being so familiar, often we might get it hard to make an idea of it.
Politics is awash with terms and phrases that are beloved by commentators and politicians alike. But the question here is, how many of us understand them?
Considering this as a real problem, Pokhara Research Centre (PRC) is coming up with a new series as “Political Glossary”, which will help a common citizen understand the meaning of political jargon simply.
PRC believes no citizen should skip out only because of their minimum understanding of political terminologies. Come let’s join together through this journey to generate a politically informed and aware citizen in terms to practise democracy more effectively!
For more, stay tuned with the social media handles of PRC.
#1 Election Code of Conduct
The Code of Conduct is the collection of guidelines that political parties, candidates, voters, and elected stakeholders must follow to make the election free, fair, transparent, and credible.
#4 Voter ID
A Voter ID Card is a photo identity card that is issued by the Election Commission to the individuals who are eligible to vote. It allows nationals to cast votes in elections conducted in the country. The primary purpose of this card is to improve the accuracy of the electoral roll and to help prevent cases of electoral fraud. Additionally, it also serves as identification proof when individuals cast their votes. This card is commonly known by other names such as an election card, voter’s card, etc.
#2 Election Manifesto
An election manifesto is a statement published by a person or political party, in which they state their aims and policies. This list of promises shows the ideology of the party and its commitment to the citizens.
Constituency refers to the group of voters in a given constituency who vote to elect a representative to the legislature. Each province or nation has different constituencies according to population density and area.
#3 Political Party Registration
Political party registration is the process of creating legal status in the Election Commission by fulfilling the procedure prescribed by each political party seeking to be recognized by the Election Commission for election purposes.
#6 CANDIDATE NOMINATION LETTER
A candidate nomination letter means the part of the process of selecting a candidate for the election. Election letter should first be registered in the election commission following the criteria set, then the further procedure of filing a case against the registrants, check and decide upon the case happens. Following it, the eligible candidate’s name gets published.
#7 Swing voter
Swing voter is a person who is not a firm supporter of any political party, and whose vote in an election is difficult to predict. Such votes are usually sought after in election campaigns, since they can play a big role in election results.
#8 ELECTION PLACE
An election place is an infrastructure or place, like community schools, health stations, etc, where the voters go to vote in an election. The numbers of election center and subcentre differs with the necessity of an area and population density of a specific election place.
The electorate refers to a citizen who resides in any country or certain constituency and meets the criteria for voting in the election. In the case of Nepal, a voter is a citizen who has fulfilled the age limit of 18 years prescribed by the Election Commission. Even though every citizen has the right to vote, some do not vote because they do not have political knowledge or will and some do not because their names are not registered in the voter list of the Election Commission.
#10 Strategic Voting
Strategic voting or sophisticated voting typically occurs in elections with more than two candidates, when the voter supports another candidate over his or her preferred preference to prevent an unintended outcome.
#11 COALITION GOVERNMENT
A coalition government is a parliamentary government made up of more than one political party. Coalition governments are usually a temporary coalition, when a single political party cannot get a clear majority in parliament, then other party negotiates to work together / form such a government. Members of all parties in the coalition government are appointed to the Council of Ministers.
#12 ELECTION SUPERVISION
Election observation is a method of identifying and protecting any errors, distortions, and manipulations in polling operations. Election observation is an important tool for improving the quality of elections. Election observers help build public confidence in the integrity of the electoral process. Observation can help promote and protect the civil and political rights of eligible participants. The election observation process has its procedure, the person or organization wishing to observe the election has to provide the necessary documents specified by the Election Commission.
#13 ELECTORAL THRESHOLD
The electoral threshold means the minimum number of primary votes required for a candidate or political party to be represented in the legislature. This limit varies from country to country. In the case of Nepal, each candidate or party has to get 3 percent of the votes for proportional representation and at least one seat directly.
#14 FIRST-PAST-THE-POST ELECTORAL SYSTEM
First past the post is a “plurality” voting system in which the candidate who wins the most votes in each constituency is elected. Voters in this system of election can choose their first preference of candidate, voters may then choose to express further preferences for as many, or as few, candidates as they wish. The count begins by allocating votes in line with first preferences.
#15 CLOSED LIST
The closed list is the List of the candidates purposed by the Political parties to the election management body (the Election Commission in the case of Nepal). After the submission, and when the election body prepares the final list of the candidates, there is no provision for it to be changed, that is why it is called the closed list.
#16 EXIT POLL
The exit poll is a poll taken of a small percentage of voters as they leave the polls, used to forecast the outcome of an election or determine the reasons for voting decisions.
#17 SPOILED BALLOT
A spoiled ballot is a ballot that has been marked incorrectly and is not counted by election officials. Spoiled ballots can happen for any number of accidental or deliberate reasons, such as being torn, soiled, or marked in any that would identify the voter. A spoiled ballot never makes it into the ballot box. This differs from a rejected ballot, which is a ballot that makes it into the ballot box but is rejected for being improperly marked, such as undervoting or overvoting, or not marked at all.
#18 DECISION THROUGH LUCKY DRAW
There is a provision of electing the representative through a lucky draw process, when two or more two candidates receive equal votes.
#19 ELECTION CAMPAIGN
In the run-up to an election, there happens a competition between candidates or parties for votes, in which politicians try to convince the voters to vote for themselves, and the process of this is called an election campaign. In the context of Nepal, the election campaign lasts after the final announcement of the candidate, till 48 hours before the election date. Then starts the silent period!
#20 SILENCE PERIOD
The silence period is the time before the election, and in some countries during the election, when political propaganda is banned. This rule prohibits the public from trying to persuade a candidate or political party to vote on election day. In the case of Nepal, the silence period begins 48 hours before the election date.
#21 UNOPPOSED ELECTED
When the final list of candidates is published, but the number of candidates for a post is equal to or less than the number of candidates to be elected, the election Officer declares that the candidate for the post has been elected unopposed.