Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Are HIG & MIG Voters irrelevant?


I conducted a straw poll on what factors voters thought were Important and not so important. In the poll, each respondent was asked to rate the level of importance of all listed factors, for them while choosing to vote, on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being important and 1 being Not Applicable (NA).

While the sample size was tiny by any standards, they were ALL sourced through Social Media – and so, it is safe to assume they were all MIG or HIG sections of society that responded. There were almost certainly no LIG responses.

The poll throws up the very basic question when one takes into account common wisdom and plain public domain data:

  1. Parties of all hues are now competing to spend taxpayers money offering freebies to voters of the LIG section (masses = votes!)
  2. HIG & LIG voters obviously have either no influence on the selection of candidates offered by parties OR are irrelevant to political parties – despite a burgeoning middle class or the purchasing power of the HIG.
  3. HIG & LIG voters simply don’t understand how to move the politics to a higher plane.
Let’s look at the data from the polls.
The “Summary” chart below is the weighted average importance of the various factors listed as ranked by the respondents. NA = 1, Important = 5 being the weight.

Screenshot 2018-11-18 11.47.13

Fear, Money, Caste and Freebies are listed as nearly not applicable! A few respondents may have marked them as relevant thinking this survey was about what they thought was important to “Others”…. which was NOT the question! Can’t get away from those “I know better types”!
Contrast this with ALL political parties now resorting to Freebies galore, dividing voters on caste and plenty of money power!
What does this mean? Here are a few common wisdom answers:
  1. The LIG wants freebies and since they have the maximum votes, “my vote doesn’t matter” and so let me take a holiday with the family. No need to vote!
  2. Parties know that once they get power, they can do as they please as these “pacified LIG voters” will stay mute and unconcerned with the larger question of the country’s progress.
  3. MIG & HIG are more concerned with their own ‘growth’ at a personal level and money can buy them what they want.
  4. Let the LIG live in slums forever, it’s their fault after all!
  5. Medicare is to be bought. Licences are to be bought. Patronage costs money that I have. So why bother?
  6. All of the above.

One may argue that in cities at least the “right” criteria (in green on the chart) should hold good. Not so, as there are larger and fast-growing slums housing LIG voters that fast outnumber the sum of MIG & HIG voters! Thanks to gerrymandering, the outlines of voter constituencies are constantly “fine-tuned” at all levels of elections, to “fit the convenient pattern” for politicians to buy votes!

So what’s the way out for those who stand for the country’s progress as different from own profit?
The answer lies in history. It’s not without reason that the oldest democracies took decades, even centuries, to build a solid democracy and a true Republic. In these days of instant gratification, it’s difficult for the screaming youth to understand. Understand that they must build it for themselves. And voter turnout in the youth is pathetic. That bodes badly for India.
I’m uploading the sliced and diced charts also for those who wish to apply their minds to this vexing question.

I’m on Twitter @jsvasan


A note on Pareto Charts: The purpose of the Pareto chart is to highlight the most important among a (typically large) set of factors. In quality control, it often represents the most common sources of defects, the highest occurring type of defect, or the most frequent reasons for customer complaints, and so on. Wilkinson (2006) devised an algorithm for producing statistically based acceptance limits (similar to confidence intervals) for each bar in the Pareto chart. Details here.

Screenshot 2018-11-18 12.40.18

High Importance

Screenshot 2018-11-18 11.49.42

Above Average Importance

Screenshot 2018-11-18 11.49.27

Medium Importance

Screenshot 2018-11-18 11.49.55

Low Importance

Screenshot 2018-11-18 11.50.10

Not Applicable






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