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!

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Written by arpitgarg

March 13, 2017 at 4:51 pm

Posted in Political

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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

Posted in Political

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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

Posted in Political

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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

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