Indirect election is a process of electing officials or representatives where the voters do not directly choose the candidate themselves. Instead, they elect a group of people, such as delegates or electors, who then vote on behalf of the voters to select the candidate.
In an indirect election system, the voters elect representatives who will make the final decision on their behalf. This system is commonly used in many countries for the election of the head of state, such as the President or Prime Minister. In some countries, indirect elections are also used to elect members of the upper house of parliament or other legislative bodies.
Indirect elections can be advantageous because they allow for a more deliberative and informed decision-making process. The representatives who are elected to vote on behalf of the voters may have more knowledge and experience in the field, and they can weigh different factors and considerations before making their decision. However, indirect elections can also be criticized for being less democratic since they involve an extra layer of intermediaries between the voters and the candidate.
In Indian context
In India, indirect elections are used to elect the President, Vice President, and members of the Rajya Sabha (the upper house of parliament). The members of the Rajya Sabha are elected by the elected members of the State Legislative Assemblies through a system of proportional representation, where each state has a fixed number of seats.
The President and Vice President are elected by an Electoral College, which comprises of members of both houses of parliament (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) and members of the State Legislative Assemblies. The election is conducted through a system of Single Transferable Vote (STV) where the voters cast their vote for a set of preferences, and the candidate who receives the required quota of votes is declared the winner.
The use of indirect elections for these positions is intended to ensure that they are elected in a fair and democratic manner, while also taking into account the views and opinions of elected representatives from across the country. It also provides an opportunity for deliberation and discussion among the representatives before making their decision, which is seen as a way to promote informed decision-making.