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Swarna Bharat Party asks PM Narendra Modi to implement State Funding of Elections on per Vote Basis

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Swarna Bharat Party Members in a street protest, Facebook
New Delhi, Dec 16, 2016: Mr Sanjay Sonawani, President of Swarna Bharat Party, India’s only liberal party, welcomed Mr Modi’s proposal for state funding of elections. As explained at length in SBP’s manifesto, state funding of elections on a per vote basis is an urgently needed, vital reform of governance. 
 
It is in our interest to ensure that honest and competent candidates contest elections. Good candidates are a public good, more important than any other public good. We, the people, must be willing to incentivise such candidates to contest. 

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While the level of electoral expenditure is never the only determinant of electoral success, good candidates are defeated in our system even before they start. Honest competent middle class or poor persons refuse to contest elections since they stand to lose their hard earned savings if they lose the election. To add to the conundrum honest people face, honest political parties – which do not sell their soul to corrupt businesses – receive almost no funding.
[bctt tweet=”Some people object to state funding, arguing that politics is a social service.” username=””]
 
State funding on per vote basis is a simple and transparent solution. It is transparent. It is incentive-compatible. It has been successfully implemented in many countries. SBP suggests a reimbursement of Rs.20 per valid vote cast to the relevant candidate up to a maximum of Rs. 70 lakhs per parliamentary constituency. This calculation can be refined.

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Along with this, the security deposit will need to be increased significantly to ensure that only serious candidates contest elections. MP and MLA salaries will need to be significantly raised, while eliminating all perks and pensions.
 
Some people object to state funding, arguing that politics is a social service. It is preposterous to suggest that those who serve us as electoral representatives should be required to lose their lifetime’s savings “for the country’s sake”. The current system is fundamentally misguided. The results are there for all to see. Everyone who comes to power is guaranteed to become corrupt.
 
In the reformed system, even though corrupt candidates will probably still outspend honest candidates, good candidates will start participating since their risk of bankruptcy is reduced. That is enough to start changing the system. Such a payment by taxpayers is excellent value to taxpayers, for the opportunity cost of corruption and incompetence is in the tens of trillions of dollars – more than ten times India’s GDP. We have been short-changed by corrupt and incompetent representatives for seventy years. Let’s give the honest people of India a chance.
 

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Mr Sonawani said that SBP strongly supports Mr Modi’s suggestion for state funding – but only on a per vote funding basis. It is important, however, to emphasise that it is not sufficient to implement only this reform. A range of fundamental reforms, as detailed in SBP’s manifesto, are needed in order to make the country a sone ki chidiya once again.

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Facebook Rolls out its Transparency Tools for Global Advertisers

In countries where Facebook is not yet detecting or reviewing these ads, “these tools provide their constituents with more information about who’s influencing their vote — and we suggest voters and local regulators hold these elected officials and influential groups accountable as well”

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FILE - An Indian man surfs a Facebook page at an Internet cafe in New Delhi, India, Feb. 9, 2016. VOA

Facebook has rolled out its transparency tools globally for advertisers wanting to place ads about social issues, elections or politics.

The social networkin0g platform already requires that advertisers get authorized and add disclaimers to political ads in over 50 countries and territories, including in India.

“Now we’re expanding proactive enforcement on these ads to countries where elections or regulations are approaching, starting with Ukraine, Singapore, Canada and Argentina,” Sarah Schiff, Product Manager at Facebook said in a blog post on Tuesday.

As part of the authorization process for advertisers, Facebook confirms their ID and allow them to disclose who is responsible for the ad, which will appear on the ad itself.

The ad and “Paid for by” disclaimer are placed in the Ad Library for seven years, along with more information such as range of spend and impressions, as well as demographics of who saw it.

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FILE – The logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York’s Times Square, March 29, 2018. VOA

“The authorization process will not change in countries where we’ve previously launched, and people who previously authorized will not need to reauthorize,” said the company.

“Beginning today, we will systematically detect and review ads in Ukraine and Canada through a combination of automated and human review. In Singapore and Argentina, we will begin enforcement within the next few months,” said Facebook which also plans to roll out the Ad Library Report in both of those countries after enforcement is in place.

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“We’re also rolling out access to our Ad Library API globally so regulators, journalists, watchdog groups and other people can analyze ads about social issues, elections or politics and help hold advertisers and Facebook accountable,” said Facebook.

In countries where Facebook is not yet detecting or reviewing these ads, “these tools provide their constituents with more information about who’s influencing their vote — and we suggest voters and local regulators hold these elected officials and influential groups accountable as well”. (IANS)