A bell’s not a bell ’til you ring it, A song’s not a song ’til you sing it, Love in your heart wasn’t put there to stay, Love isn’t loving ’til you give it away! So is our ALMA MATER ICAI, We have to take care in selecting the strong Central council and regional councils to cater our profession of chartered accountancy .
The Voting Shall Be On 7th & 8th December 2018
The voting for the elections of the twenty-fourth council and twenty-three regional councils will be on 7th and 8th December in cities having 2500 or more members and on 8th December 2018 in other cities/towns. The polling booths will remain open from 8.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m. on the dates of polling. The Institute shall notify its programme by 3rd of September and the Election Code of Conduct shall be issued latest by 4th September, 2018 and will remain in force till the declaration of results of elections.
Last month was full of seminars as and where called by the elected council members to attract the attention towards them. Generally, the purpose of the organizing such conferences and seminars on the eve of the declaration of elections is to declare their candidature for the forthcoming elections. The hosting of such seminars is clearly in violation of the hosting conferences/seminars in an un-uniform way throughout the country; however, the elected leaders take it as their birthright to spend crores of rupees in such conferences. Various committees of ICAI take lead in announcing such conferences and seminars with the sole purpose to knock the doors for their candidature. This misuse is going on at every three years and shall go on as there are no effective guidelines to curb such malpractice.
Advisory to Regional Councils
Recently ICAI has issued an advisory to regional councils as regional council newsletters do carry hundreds of photographs of their office bearers and the majority of them repeat their tenure or to take the promotional step to next council. Recently in terms of the decision taken by the Council of the Institute, Consequently, as far as printing and supply of any material (in any form), including photographs of prospective candidates for forthcoming elections, issued by the Regional Councils/Branches of Regional Councils/Committees of the Central Council, including Journals, Newsletters (including their E-version) etc. are concerned, publication of the same on or after the issuance of Election Code of Conduct shall be strictly in accordance with the Election Code. The Election Code of Conduct shall be published latest by 4th September 2018.
The Unattended Reforms In Elections
The election process shall be commencing in a few days in full swing. However, some reforms for proper representation of the members spread over to the whole country have not been addressed so far. There is a need to divide the regional constituencies into sub-regional constituencies, consisting of a state or a group of states having an adequate membership. This would have enabled each major state to send its representatives to the council. In the present format, the representation is from big cities. The present representation is primarily a geographical representation rather than a representation of the common member. If some other reforms are implemented at an early date, the quality of our membership and the administration of the Institute can be considerably improved. The reforms envisaged by the council in matters relating to : (a) education (b) training (c) professional development (d) continuing education and (e) discipline, will have to be given top priority. The progress in the implementation of reforms is very slow as no dynamic determinations appear to have been put in to advance the legislative and other processes. Unless these reforms are introduced and administration of the Institute is toned up, the profession will not be able to achieve its esteemed goal.
Each Vote is Vote is valuable
In an election of this type, each vote is valuable. Our elections are held on the ‘single transferable’ vote system, under which the voter has to indicate the preference about the candidates by inserting the figures 1, 2, 3, etc. against the names of candidates according to his/her preference. Some members are under the impression that only the ‘first preference’ vote is of value. This impression is not correct. A candidate is required to obtain only a specific number of first preference votes for getting himself elected. If the first preference votes obtained by him are more than the required number, the excess is transferred, at an appropriate value, to the candidates who have secured 2nd and 3rd preferences. Similarly, if the number of first preference votes received by a candidate is much below the required quota, the candidates getting subsequent preferences will get an advantage by way of transfer of such votes at an appropriate value. It is, therefore, essential to note that a voter should not select only one candidate of his choice but should select as many candidates as possible and mark his preferences for such candidates. It may be noted that by giving second or subsequent preferences, the position of the candidate to whom the first preference vote is given will not be jeopardized. This will help the voter to get at least one of the candidates of his choice elected.
Strong Council & Regional Councils Must Be There
This will show that we must have a strong council at the centre as well as at the regional levels. This is possible only if each and every member of the Institute considers it to be his/her bounden duty to elect the right type of candidates. They should not be carried away by the inability of canvassing by any deserving candidate. It would not be proper to judge the capability of a candidate by the number of visits to voter’s place or the number of attractive manifestos/circulars sent by him. Members should not be carried away by unethical practices adopted by some candidates who directly or indirectly throw lunch/dinner parties, distribute gifts and adopt some innovative means to secure votes.
A member should consider whether the candidate will be able to contribute to the cause of the profession and devote time to the activities of the Institute. In particular, the voter must address to himself/herself whether the candidate to whom the vote is given will be able to make efforts to complete the reforms process and will be able to effectively oppose all attempts to undermine the role of our profession. In the context of the recent developments, it is absolutely essential that we elect candidates who can achieve the goals set out above.
Vote Under Single Transfer-able System of Voting
The procedure for counting the votes and for distribution of the proportionate value of various preferences to different candidates is somewhat complicated. Assuming certain assumptions about the number of candidates contesting an election, candidates to be elected, votes cast, etc. to explain the procedure for counting of votes under a single transferable system of voting, the picture shall emerge as follows.
A. Quota: If total candidates are 12 for 6 seats in one particular region. Total votes of the region are 30000 and 14000 have cast their votes. First, a quota shall be ascertained for winning candidate. The casted votes shall be divided by 7 i.e. 6+1. Hence in simple language 2000 first preference votes shall be the quota for a declaration of a winner. Anyone who shall achieve 2000 mark shall be declared elected.
B. First Count: Candidate will be declared elected getting more than the required quota of 2000 votes. If there are 2500 votes over and above 2000, those 500 votes shall be declared Surplus votes. The surplus of votes will be transferred to other candidates. For this purpose, the value of surplus votes will be worked out and distributed to candidates who have been marked for a second preference. If only 2000 out of 2500 voters have exercised their second preference, the value of each surplus vote will work out to ¼ (500/2000). It may be noted that since only 2000 out of 2500 voters have exercised second preference votes, 500 votes out of that packet have gone waste.
C. Elimination Process: After exhausting surpluses with the other candidates, the candidate who has got the lowest number of first preference votes will be eliminated first. The candidates, to whom second preference or subsequent preferences are marked, will get an advantage on the distribution of the value of these votes However the second preferences given to the already declared candidates will have to be ignored. Therefore, the second preferences received by candidates will be added to their packets at full value. So far as third preference votes received by them are concerned, each such vote will have 100% value as they are transferred from packets of elected candidates. The process goes on until the balance candidates become equivalent to the contesting seats.
D. Some Surprises : It may so happen that a candidate who gets good first preference votes in the first count, may not succeed in the election if he does not get support from other voters in the form of second or subsequent preferences
E. Complicated: it will be noticed that the above process is complicated and its working is time-consuming.
Each Voter Will Have To Ensure
(i) Exercise his/her voting right on the date of the polling.
(ii) Exercise all preferences in favour of as many candidates of his/her choice.
(iii) Elect strong and deserving candidates, so that a strong and effective Central/Regional Council could be elevated at the highest level for the next three years term.
(About the Author– Author was Member of ICAI- Capacity Building Committee 2010-11 and ICAI- Committee For Direct Taxes 2011-12 and can be reached at email [email protected] or on phone Phone: 0121-2661946. Cell: 9837515432 having office at 115, Chappel Street, Meerut Cantt, UP, INDIA)