All India Survey On Governance Issues And Voting Behavior, conducted by the Association For Democratic Reforms gauged voting behavior of nearly 2.7 lakh respondents. The main aim behind this survey was not to predict the poll outcome or encourage any political propaganda. But to asses the voters’ expectations and priorities as far as the government is concerned. This is the third time this survey has taken place after the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections, carefully listening to what the citizen actually want. Therefore acting on it could be the basis for good governance for whoever comes into power in the 2019 General Elections.
The important takeaways from this survey are as follows:
- Out of the 2.7 lakh respondents, 64.88% were male and 35.12% were females, of which 9.12% were housewives.
- Out of the comparative ranking of performance scores on top 10 voters’ priorities across various categories, the ranks in descending order for the female category are- (1)Better Public Transport,(2) Drinking Water, (3)Better Roads,(4) Better Hospitals or Primary Health Care Centres, (5) Higher Price Realization For Farm Products, (6)Better Law and Order/Policing,(7) Agricultural Loan Availability, (8)Better Employment Opportunities, (9)Availability Of Water For Agriculture, (10) Agriculture Subsidy For Seeds or Fertilizers.
- As compared to 48.05% males, 46.61% females listed Better Employment opportunities as their topmost priority.
As compared to 34.99% males, 35.29% females considered Better Hospitals or Health Care Centers as their priority.
- However, the performance of the government on the top most voters’ priority, Better Employment
Opportunities was rated as below average (2.15 on a scale of 5), and ranked sixteenth at all India level.
- As compared to 34.99% males, 35.29% females considered Better Hospitals or Health Care Centers as their priority.
- As compared to 30.91% males, 31.69% females considered Drinking Water as their priority.
- When asked about Factors Affecting Voting Behavior, 49.42% females considered Candidate‘s Caste or Religion as important. While 69.22% considered the Candidate’s Party, 74.77% considered the CM candidate, 40.45% considered distribution of cash, liquor, gifts and 65.36% considered the candidate himself/herself as important.
- When asked why people vote for candidates with criminal cases across various categories, 34.56% women suggested that the candidate has served generously in elections and this led to voting for him/her. 35.13% stated the reason as ‘candidate was of similar caste/religion, 34.97% said that the candidate is powerful, 35.60% said that the candidate otherwise does good work. 35.05% said that the cases against him are not serious and 34.75% female participants said that they weren’t aware of the criminal records of the candidate.
When asked about Factors Affecting Voting Behavior, 49.42% females considered candidate’s caste or religion as important.
Performance Of Government And Voters’ Priorities
Voters have their priorities but is the government acting on them? It is disheartening that the voters have rated the performance of governments on all listed 31 issues as below average. Moreover, even the voters’ priorities seem to be a bit shocking. The respective percentages of votes for important issues like training for jobs, terrorism and eradication of corruption were 3.35%, 1.90% and 9.94% for female participants. Which is practically negligible.
The survey was conducted in 534 parliamentary constituencies and hence the sample set is large enough to reflect the opinion of the entire nation. It cannot escape our attention that citizens feel that the government has neglected their priorities. This dissatisfaction reflects in the below average rating, given to it by the surveyees.
In hands of a government willing to usher in growth and development, this survey could work as a to-do list, to bring Indian citizens some respite and prioritise what the voters want from their elected heads. The question remains, will the government elected this year look at it that way, or will it continue to overlook the necessities and plight of the electorate, just like its predecessors?
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Anushika Srivastava is an Intern with SheThePeople.Tv