April 3, 2011

Voter Mobilization in State Elections

Five states are going for polls in April-May 2011 in India. Once again we shall see different pattern of voters turn out. Many believe that a high voter turn out during elections confers greater legitimacy to election results but specialists have different opinions about the subject.  In a first pass the pole system freedom to vote becomes a major issue than the percentage turn out.

Lower strata of society in India generally votes in greater numbers as compared to the other. There are many reasons for this, including ease of  management in getting these section out to vote. Middle class in villages tend to vote in larger numbers than in urban areas. Stake holders and experts feel satisfied with a turnover of around 60 percent in India. Though assembly elections generally have greater turn out than the general elections for the parliament.

Tamil Nadu would have higher turn out amongst the states. Let's not miss the point that dictators produce higher turn out in their countries during elections whereas democracies have moderate turnouts of around 50-60 percent.  Despite average age getting lower due to the demographic characteristics of India political parties still prefer to put greater stress on meetings & road shows as against mass media advertising.

Mass media adverting & marketing has the potential of changing the landscape of results in elections but no party gives prime priority to the use of marketing concepts & tools during elections. Political players still swear by traditional micro management of the elections despite drastic change in the profile of the voters.

Therefore we are deprived of great election advertising that could set a more consumer oriented agenda for the parties. Political players do not wish to change their feudal outlook and archaic behavior even in a youthful India of 21st century. They must be prepared for shock results in elections. The voter profile has changed and elections management has not which results into unexpected outcomes in elections. Its necessary for political players to give prime priority to marketing & advertising to get a desired outcome in elections.

Most election pundits have written an obituary  for the left parties rule in West Bengal but the results could be different. It would be a very close contest. scene is TN is no different, despite so much focus on corruption DMK alliance may get another chance to form a coalition government. AIADMK has nothing new in its plate for the voters, which could seriously hurt its chances. Challenger parties must offer new promises to attract voters to approve their agenda. Old agendas pandered about by equally ancient leaders would have limited appeal in a mass market. A party with sound core strategy built around 'New Promise' would attract greater number of fence sitters in an elections.

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