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Democracy in India vs Democracy in USA


A democracy is a system of governance where the people elect their representatives to govern the nation. This principle is inherent in every democratic nation in the world but the democratic set up or the way of conducting the elections can vary to a great extent. The elections are the backbone of any democracy and the better the election process the better will be the governance. In this article we will be analyzing and comparing the Presidential elections of the US and the election of the Prime Minister in India.

In most countries the election process last for a few weeks but the presidential elections of the United States last for months. These elections are held every 4 years and always in the month of November. The election procedure is spread over 4 basic phases:-

1.      The Primaries and Caucuses - the initial step is the nomination of the presidential candidate. In majority of the countries, the political parties themselves select their candidate but in the US, it is the people who elect the candidates. Every state conducts primaries or caucus for the selection of candidates. In a primary, voters vote for the candidate they want nominated. In a caucus, voters assemble and announce their preference. There are a particular number of delegates and they are divided according to the votes of the people. These delegates go the national convention.

2.      The National Convention – the delegates from all the states come together at the national convention. Here these delegates choose their candidate to go ahead in the presidential race. The candidate with most delegates wins and is officially announced as a presidential candidate.

3.      The Campaign – the campaigning process starts after the official selections of the presidential candidates. Both hopefuls are involved in debates which are televised. Huge amount of money is spent across the whole of campaigning as the candidates try to reach out to the people. The candidates highlight their plans, strategies, ideologies and even criticize their opponents in order to lure the voters to vote for them.

4.      The Election Day - The presidential elections of America are always held on the first Tuesday succeeding the first Monday in the month of November. People across the nation vote on this day. The votes are counted and an initial result is announced within 12 hours of the close of the polls. After the counting of votes is done, the whole process moves to the Electoral College. Each state has a number of Electoral College members. The candidate who wins the most votes in a particular state wins the state’s entire bunch of Electoral College members. The moment a candidate gets the majority of votes across the states, the elections are over. But still, the formal culmination of the elections happens when the Electoral College members vote for the president.  


Held every 5 years, the Indian method of election varies greatly compared to that of USA. It can also be divided into various steps –

1.      Naming of candidates for the polls – the political parties announce the names of the candidates who will represent them across various constituencies in the polls. These candidates file the nomination paper to the election commission to officially stand in the polls.

2.      Campaign – in the campaigning process, the political parties try to get the people to vote for their candidates standing in the polls. A lot of money is spent and no one is allowed to use official resources for campaigning purpose.

3.      Polling day – people come to the polling booths to vote. Many precautions are taken so that there are no discrepancies on this day. The EVMs are stored in a safe place until the counting begins.

4.      Results – the counting process is completed and the winners of the polls of each constituency are announced. The candidate with most votes in a constituency wins the seat. The political party who gets 50%+1 seats of the Lok Sabha gets to form the government. If there is no clear majority then different political parties join hands to form the majority.

5.      Election of PM – the majority party or the majority coalition then announces its candidate for the post of PM and he/she is appointed as the PM by the president. Mostly the selected candidate is the leader of the party but it is not necessary.


Both the election processes have proved to be efficient over the years. But one thing must be noted that the US presidential election involves the people from the very first step to the very last. The voters also choose the candidates themselves. As far as India is concerned, the people are involved only in the process of polling. Moreover, at the time of polling they don’t even know that the party they are voting for will select whom to be the PM. The people also don’t have any power in deciding the candidates for the PM. Thus I would say that the election system of the US is far more representative of being a democracy than the Indian procedure.



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