Lok Sabha Elections 2019 Current Affairs - 2019

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Facebook launches tools to boost Electoral Process

Social Media giant, Facebook has launched two new India-specific tools viz. “Candidate Connect” and “Share You Voted” to boost civic engagement on its platform during the Lok Sabha elections 2019 that commence in April. Both these tools will be made available in 12 local languages.

Candidate Connect

Candidate Connect feature will provide contesting candidates to upload 20-second videos in which they can introduce themselves and highlight how they will address outstanding challenges in their constituencies if elected to office. It will also let them highlight their past achievements.

Voters will be able to watch these videos of candidates contesting from their respective constituencies and also from other constituencies. Candidate Connect feature aims to provide an opportunity for candidates to engage with the electorate. Facebook is working with a third-party non-partisan organisation to receive candidate names for the initiative.

Share You Voted

Share You Voted feature will provide people with polling information and enable them to announce and celebrate the fact that they have voted.

Facebook will send out reminders to people on polling dates in their constituencies under ‘Share You Voted’ tag. On Election Day, people can show that they voted by uploading a picture. Facebook will aggregate these pictures from users and prepare a collage of friends and show it on the timelines of people connected to them in a video format. The Share You Vote feature is aimed at amplifying the voting spirit.

Model Code of Conduct Kicks In

With the Election Commission of India announcing the polling dates for the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, the Model Code of Conduct has come into force.

Model Code of Conduct

  • Model Code of Conduct refers to a set of guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India to regulate political parties and candidates prior to elections.
  • A version of Model code of conduct was first introduced in the assembly elections in Kerala in 1960. These guidelines were largely followed by the political parties during the 1962 Lok Sabha Elections. Further in 1979 the Election Commission of India added a section to regulate the ‘party in power’ and prevent it from gaining an unfair advantage at the time of elections.
  • MCC comes into effect from the date the election schedule is announced and will be in force until the date that results are out.
  • MCC contains eight provisions dealing with general conduct, meetings, processions, polling day, polling booths, observers, the party in power, and election manifestos.
  • As soon as the MCC kicks in, the Central and State governments are bound to ensure that they doesn’t use their official position and status for campaigning.
  • Those in power cannot combine their official visits with those related to campaigning for the purpose of elections.

The biggest drawback of the MCC is lack of statutory backing. This imposes limitations on Election Commission to procced againt those violating the norms of MCC. Hence Election Commission is bound to use moral sanction or censure for its enforcement.