ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

Posts Tagged ‘elections

How Kejriwal lost the plot

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kejriwal3.jpgI wrote about it earlier how Kejriwal got the tide wrong. He fought against Modi head-on who was riding the wave of great public support. As Kejriwal fought with Modi, he kept losing support; hence his fate in 2017.

Last 2 years or so, he has continued his tirade. As I mentioned earlier, people get tired of prolonged drama. Even if BJP was not letting him work in Delhi, continuous cries don’t work. People get fed up. Either find a way or quit. He has all the right to badmouth Modi, but given the support that Modi commands today, it’s a self-goal. AAP came out as an immature party, with no dent to Modi popularity.

He could have made a mark in Punjab, but got the calculations wrong. You don’t berate a popular leader, without repercussions. He should have fought against Badals and Congress, whom public dislikes and should have left Modi alone. Demonetization was another thing he miscalculated. He was the most vocal against the move and look where it got him. He should have highlighted the fumbled implementation rather than the intent of Modi. Voters like strong and decisive leaders, not cry-babies. Have you ever seen Modi cry about lack of Rajya Sabha support? He let people around him do that but he himself gives a vibe of not caring and finding a work around.

Hope Kejriwal and AAP learn their lesson. Modi is ‘once in a generation’ leader and nothing good with come out by fighting him directly. People supported you when you took on Jaitely and that’s the way to go. To outsmart Modi, you have to hurt his cronies. People love Modi but not so much people around him.

It’s still early days for Arvind and his party and hope they come stronger out of this. Congress has ceded the space of principal opposition party and for a healthy democracy we need a strong opposition leader. If you continue acting immature, people will find some other strong leader. Long live democracy!

Written by arpitgarg

March 13, 2017 at 4:51 pm

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AAP goes the BJP way: Destination for Party Changers

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bjp_aap.jpgThose who follow elections closely would remember, in 2014, when BJP was riding high on Modi wave, it was perfect destination for people who wanted to change their party. From Disgruntled, sidelined people to those who saw pegging back on Modi wave was a winner, hopped on to the BJP train. BJP too accepted them with open arms. Some inductions were controversial, others less controversial. From Congress to AAP to JDU everyone was welcomed. It was in fact necessary as BJP, having not won elections for so long faced a dearth of faces. This was addressed by inductions from other parties.

The same trend I see for 2017 Punjab elections. Siddhu is the biggest catch. Names of Congress leaders are also coming up. It’s free for all. Again as party it is necessary as there are no faces, no leadership for AAP in Punjab other than Bhagwant Mann. Hence AAP seems to be going the BJP way. However Kejriwal hates Modi, this is one thing he has learnt from him fairly quickly.

I feel these inductions will help AAP, which is riding on a huge anti-incumbency wave. But AAP has to be careful while letting people in. IT has to have a food proof vetting process. One wrong move can harm bad. More than a face for CM’s post, AAP would need faces for MLA’s. This would be the biggest challenge. I assume a lot of people from other parties will contest on AAP ticket. This makes vetting process even more necessary.

Hope the good sense prevails.

Written by arpitgarg

July 20, 2016 at 4:15 pm

Why are US Elections Polls numbers so varied?

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election.jpgA quick look at Real Clear Politics (RCP) poll page will show you that poll numbers between Trump and Clinton are hugely different on various opinion polls. They vary from +12 in favor of Clinton to +7 in favor of Trump. RCP uses few latest polls and takes their average to give a number. But the question is why so much difference? There are a few reasons as per what I understand.

  1. Who are People polled: Most important is the demographic of the respondents. Votes can be broadly divided into registered Democrats, registered Republicans and Independents. Registered Democrats are more likely to vote for Clinton while Registered Republicans are more likely to vote for Trump. If majority of voters polled are Democrats then results will be skewed in favor of Democrat candidate and same goes for Republicans. Hence pollsters divide the voters polled evenly between Democrat and Republican to get a clearer picture. How much ratio a pollster keeps, decides the poll number. Some use actual/exit-poll data from last election to decide on this ratio. Some predict the ratio on basis of the current mood of the public. For example in 2008 Democrat turnout was huge due to Obama wave which was different than in 2004. Different polls keep different ratio of Democrats/Republicans and hence different number.
  2. LV/RV: Likely Voters v/s Registered Voters. Some pollsters poll RV, some poll LV. Registered voters are the ones registered to vote. LV’s are the ones that are likely to vote in the election out of the Registered Voters. This LV formula differs among pollsters, causing the differences. Likely can again be based on party affiliation, age, ethnic background among other things.
  3. Political Leaning of Pollster: This is one if the major factors believe it or not. Pollsters themselves have their own political leanings. They tend to be biased. More so in a polarized environment. They think they can sway the public opinion especially in the early polls.
  4. Quid pro quo: In today’s world reputation is the last thing that gets you money. Some quid pro quo with one side or the other, goes a long way in the practical world and hence the discrepancy.

Written by arpitgarg

July 18, 2016 at 4:53 pm

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Why US Elections make me sad: And no it’s not about Trump

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money_politics.jpegElections in world’s oldest democracy and the leader of the free world should have been about all that is good about Democracy. It should have been a showcase to world which can influence non-Democracies to become one. However I am afraid to say US elections make me sad. I’ll tell you why.

The debate should have been about the candidates, the policies, what they can do or not. However I see the media discourse about who is raising how much money. Money, which should have been abhorrent when associated with a candidate, is being considered a virtue. The liberal media is celebrating the candidate who gets more money out of the wealthy donors, the Oligarchs.

Consider the headline on CNN, “Clinton burying Trump: $42 million to $1.3 million”. It reeks of a feeling that a candidate with more money is more virtuous. And this makes me real sad. It feels the real purpose of democracy has gone lost. Each person, rich or poor, was to have equal say. However a donation by rich, which is then used to influence other voters, makes the voice skewed. Rich has more voice even in elections. I am sure if Trump had raised more money, the headlines would have been is his favor. It’s not just CNN, its all media. In fact it’s a general sense.

Whole concept of democracy has become a sham. In the world’s largest democracy, India, it is even a bigger sham. Billions of dollars of black money is spent during General elections. It’s akin to buying votes.

So much money in politics and its naked celebration by media makes me sick. Makes me wonder, where did it all go wrong?

Written by arpitgarg

July 16, 2016 at 7:47 pm

Hillary vs Obama

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hillary_obama.jpgNow that it is evident that Hillary and Trump will clash off this Nov to be the leader of the free world, the analysis have started. With #NeverTrump and #NeverHillary doing rounds and un-favorability ratings of both candidates huge, this is going to be an election beyond compare. Today I want to concentrate on Hillary. Let’s try and see how 2008 and 2016 are different for Democrats.

Just like 2016, 2008 too was an uprising against the status quo. Higher unemployment, never ending wars and crippled economy motivated voters to choose an outsider. While Obama was the disruptor, McCain represented the continuum.

Coming to the 2008 Democrat primaries, initially the super delegates were with the Hillary, just like this time. Obama channeled the young voters and forced the party to toe the line. Eventually his 4% margin in primaries forced super delegates to jump the ship.

This time round the youth is with Bernie. Hillary has benefitted with initial momentum and lack of early awareness about Bernie. As months have passed more and more people have come to know Bernie and things have changed for him. However Hillary has been supported by African Americans and Latinos big time. But the main problem is youth. They are not with Hillary.

This is what makes 2008 different from 2016. Last time young voters propelled Obama and party fell in line. This time party has propelled Hillary and it wants young voters to fall in line. I am not trying to take away anything from the lead Clinton has across other voter categories. It’s just that youth represent the future of any movement. Also youth are the ones which resulted in huge voter turnout in 2008. Going by Democrat primaries, there is a question mark over quantum of Democrat voter participation in Nov 2016.

While Trump is plagued with issues of his own making, Hillary is plagued with the magic of Bernie. How the General Election pans out is anybody’s guess. One thing is clear, Hillary is no Obama.

Written by arpitgarg

May 4, 2016 at 5:31 pm

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Why media got Trump prediction wrong?

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trump_media.jpgSince Trump started topping polls and started winning primaries, media pundits are having a hard time explaining why they got predictions so wrong. It’s not an easy thing to introspect about ones failures. Most in media are passing through the same phase. They are blaming Trump voters, calling them angry, bigots and every name under the sun. Few have admitted they were wrong in their analysis. Still they are not ready to admit as to why they went wrong. Let me do it for them.

They were wrong as they were not impartial. They were wrong as they analyzed from studios. They were wrong as they were disconnected from public. They were wrong as their fat paychecks plugged their ears from the pain of the common man. They were wrong as they had a secure job, nice house and were paid for by those in power. They were wrong as the media houses they worked for and swore allegiance to, are owned by same elites who own politicians via campaign funds. More importantly they were wrong as they reported what they wanted to be true, not what was indeed true.

When polls started coming late last year, many in media knew that Trump had a solid chance. But they wrote otherwise. They wrote what they wished to be true. They wished Trump was not the nominee. Had they done unbiased analysis, they would have known the Truth, which was so evident.

Most of the Pundits are paid for by big business houses. Anything coming out of their mouths is thus tainted. They never say what they feel, they say what pays. Hence the disconnect.

Whether Trump will be a good nominee or a bad nominee, only time will tell. But to have said that he had no chance just coz they wanted him not to be a nominee, is where media went wrong. It’s time for biasness in media to go away or else people will force the exiting media to go away.

Written by arpitgarg

May 1, 2016 at 8:03 pm

Why Elections in India will not be won on Social media, Not Yet

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facebook_elections_indiaWhen Modi won elections in 2014, we noticed something new. Modi was miles ahead of his counterparts when it came to social media. We attributed the spread of huge Modi wave to social media. Some even thought that elections henceforth will be decided on social media. Bihar elections demolished it all. Social media was hinting at NDA victory. The results were upside down. What went wrong?

My take is, elections in India will not be won on social media anytime soon. The depth and diversity of internet is still languishing at the bottom. Apathy and social ostracization is still rampant in our country.

Let me explain by relating what happened in my home state UP. When Mayawati won historic 2008 elections, people were stumped the same. All surveys went haywire. Even the pan shop talks betrayed the results. Why? Analysis revealed that Mayawati voters came more from backward castes. Given the non-inclusive growth in India, these people lie at the bottom of social and income levels. At pan shop talks, they hesitate speaking their minds for fear of social ostracization by affluents of the society. Even in surveys, wary by years of apathy, they don’t openly support Mayawati, a Dalit. This ends up in wrong calculations. I call it the ‘Vocal Effect’.

Supporters of lower caste parties/leaders are less vocal. Supporters of forward caste parties/leaders are more vocal. Same behavior has moved to social media. Neither the spread of internet is across castes, nor are all of us vocal. Hence we always find Modi and AAP supporters more vocal on social media. Recently Congress people have also joined in, but are again not that vocal due to fear of being trolled for past scams.

Imagine what will happen if you comment on facebook that you support Lalu Yadav or for that matter Congress. You will face nasty comments, will be lambasted. Now imagine if you were a Dalit and posted status, “I support Mayawati”. We all know what humiliation will be meted out in comments section. So people choose to remain silent. I would have chosen silence too.

Hence I feel it’s still a long way to go when social media discourse could give clear directions. It would require equal penetration of internet. It would happen when backward castes are no longer made to feel backward. It would happen when social ostracization and social media trolling ends. Not anytime soon.

Written by arpitgarg

November 26, 2015 at 5:02 am

Bihar: Why Lalu ruled 15 years and Modi ousted in just 1.5 years

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Nitish-Modi-LaluLalu ruled Bihar from 1990 to 2005, good 15 years. Even without progress and with thriving kidnapping industry, Lalu kept his vote bank intact. People attributed it to Lalu’s hold on Muslim-Yadav votes in the state. Lalu’s citadel was destroyed by Nitish-BJP combine who ruled the roost for good 10 years together.

Then came Narendra Modi tsunami which captured Bihar like no other. Every other party was decimated in 2014. But Modi was himself thrown under just 1.5 years later. It begs the question why? When Lalu ruled for 15 years, Congress for decades before that, without much progress, Why was Modi ousted so soon? Regardless of Modi non-performance, this seems discrimination by voters in Bihar, right?

Let’s try and ponder on the reasons behind the psyche of people of Bihar.

1. Caste loyalty is like Fevicol Bond: People owed Lalu caste allegiance. Modi had no such distinction. Modi rode on anti-Congress plank and Promise of Development. People didn’t consider him as one of their own. Thus they soon became disenchanted with Modi non-performance and went back to the caste. Caste, the exact reason why Lalu ruled for so long. “Kam se kam apni jaat ka toh hai” (At least he is of our own caste).

2. Unreasonable promises: Modi promised voters the heaven. He left no promises un-made, no stone unturned in 2014 elections. He promised anything and everything. He was like a messiah to the downtrodden. These unreasonable promises and lack of fulfillment thereof, was like a dagger through the chest. People felt cheated. Fulfilling these promises might be near impossible in just 1.5 years. But Modi is himself to blame.

3. Modi thought he had 5 years: When Modi was elected PM, I remember him saying, “We will work for the nation for first 4 years and will work for votes in the last 1 year”. What he forgot was it was not like running a state. He forgot that he will face number of state elections in between. His 4+1 model might have worked in Gujarat but didn’t work at the Centre.

4. Impatience in correcting history: As I wrote in my last post, people had no problems with BJP correcting history, spreading RSS ideology or lambasting Nehru. People started having problems when they felt that BJP was doing only that and nothing else. With no perceptive change in jobs, development and standard of living, people felt as if development was not on BJP’s agenda at all.

5. Dal prices: However BJP disagrees, soaring Dal prices just near Bihar elections hurt them a lot. Opposition mocked acche din and drove home the point how Modi fooled them. With Dal disappearing from the plate, poor felt cheated and wanted to teach someone a lesson. Nitish was not incumbent here, Modi was. Nitish told people how Dal was cheap when Modi was not at Centre. Dal ki wajah se logo ne Modi ko hi Daal diya. (People did Modi in, due to Dal prices).

6. BJP became Arrogant just like Congress: Lalu-Nitish appear humble if nothing else. You have to give them that. However corrupt Lalu may be, he is always soft spoken. Same is the case with Nitish. BJP seems to have become arrogant since coming to power. And people hate arrogance. Divide between the common man and BJP’s once grass root leaders is widening day by day. In this day and age, every statement of leaders is scrutinized. Every action is known to all. What BJP started doing to AAP Govt. in Delhi under LG’s disguise was disgusting arrogance. Voters saw that and were waiting for their chance. Peoples’ woes were not taken seriously. Leaders looked like mocking the poor. And there was no perceptible action taken against them. This arrogance did a lot of harm to BJP.

Written by arpitgarg

November 9, 2015 at 4:03 pm

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Bihar Election Result: Isko Sabak Sikhana Hoga

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belcher-pngLet me admit at the onset, I would have liked if Modi would have won Bihar. Comeback of Lalu’s dynasty and corruption never felt right. I liked Nitish standalone but taint of Lalu is too much for me. But now that Nitish-Lalu has won Bihar big time, it has left Modi a lot to ponder.

Of Late, a lot of Modi supporters have grown disenchanted with him. Similar thing happened with Kejriwal also. Modi and Kejriwal both came with lots of promises and shook the rotten foundations. They promised us the moon. We fell for it and not just supported them, but also became their torch bearers. I believe same was the case with Bihar public.

People who voted for BJP big time during general elections, rejected them bigger. Why? This can be because people wanted to ‘sabak sikhana’ (teach a lesson) to Modi. 18 months have seen a lot of rhetoric and not much perceptive action. All through elections never once Modi admitted that he has not been able to do what he promised. Had he admitted and pleaded for more time, maybe the results would have been different. But he kept riding on a high horse all through the campaign.

Modi’s campaign was just as it was in 2014. He kept giving ‘Gyan’. What he forgot was 2014 was more a referendum on Congress’s corruption and less on Modi. People felt, ‘Ded saal pehle aaya, gyan deke vote le gaya. Kuch kiya dhara nahin. Phir se gyan dene aa gaya. Isko sabak sikhana hoga’ (He came, preached 1.5 years back for votes. Did nothing all this while. Came again asking for votes. We will teach him a lesson).

Zero poll promises fulfilled from 2014 elections. Vadra is roaming free. Remember Modi chest thumping on Vadra. People felt that Modi is another thug of a politician. Sir, please put Vadra in jail, rather than keeping the trump card for next elections. Prosperity didn’t come as promised. Jobs weren’t created. Although common man don’t have problem as such if BJP imposes RSS ideology in education and otherwise. But it felt as if BJP wanted to do nothing else. Common man don’t care if BJP demonizes Nehru, but it felt as if BJP wanted to do nothing else.

People voted Modi for development. Modi should have fulfilled some promises before coming back with more promises. Middle class was lost by higher train price, higher service tax, higher dal prices, and no bumper tax sops. It was as if voters were being punished for their faith. Voters in turn decided to punish him back. I don’t think intolerance debate did much harm to Modi. It is just for TV studios. What harmed him was lack of action.

Loyalty to Modi is not Caste based. Caste loyalty is very strong. Not the case with Modi. People decided to discard Modi and go back with the caste. It’s high time, Modi corrected course and did something perceptive. He should start acting on his 2014 poll promises before making more promises. Warna UP mein bhi sabak seekhna padega.

Written by arpitgarg

November 8, 2015 at 10:45 pm

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Delhi Elections: Make or Break

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Power struggle in Delhi has intensified. Impending elections in sight, Centre is trying to woo the voters with clean-up drive across the city. Detractors see inability to rein inflation and absence of knee-jerk reforms to be Govt.’s undoing; huge promises to outdo the fact that they just can’t be fulfilled in such a short span.

Amidst all this, we have failed to notice something substantial, which for me could shape Govt.’s future. The DDA flat allotment. In the past there has been rampant corruption in this much subsidized property allotment.

This DDA draw would be an acid test for the Centre which is ruling Delhi by proxy. Any whiff of corruption and the fortress will come crashing down. People will give Govt. time to fix inflation, poverty etc, but deliberate corruption, they just won’t accept.

Govt. would be well aware of this. It’s interesting to see what protocols it puts in place so as the lottery goes through without rigging. It’s a humongous task given much entrenched corruption across the spectrum. This would also be the first major test for the Govt. against the power dealers and brokers.

Most of us will bet the Govt. to fail. Come on, for once, prove us wrong!

Written by arpitgarg

August 25, 2014 at 3:56 pm

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