印度的民主盛宴

新德里—上周,印度独立选举委员会公布了下一次大选的日期。世界上最大规模的民主授权实践将在令人瞩目的37天中(从4月7日到5月12日)分九个“阶段”展开。大约8.14亿合格选民将参与选举,在930,000多个投票站填写选票,选出第十六届政府新议会。候选人据估计多达15,000人,分属500多个政党。

当然,民主是一种程序,而不是一个事件。但印度的选举却是事件,每一次发生都会让人肃然起敬,因为它需要面临巨大的物流和安全挑战、跨越多重语言壁垒,并且候选人的身份不仅要标注姓名,还必须配上选举号以方便不识字的选民。

印刷海报、选民花名册和选票要消耗大片森林。而印度生产的数千台电子投票机可以克服炎热、扬尘和断电,安全地工作到选票被清点完毕为止——慢一点的话需要几周时间。(因为在最后一张选票投出前所有选票都不会清点,所欲清点日定在5月16日。)此外,没一次选举至少都会涌现出官员战胜风雪和深山野林确保边远地区的选民意见也能够充分表达。

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