प्रजा अधीन राजा समूह | Right to Recall Group

The myth that Indians sell their votes
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Author:  admin [ Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:16 am ]
Post subject:  The myth that Indians sell their votes

To make junior activists anti-democracy, mediamen and activist-leaders paid by elitemen have created a myth that citizens sell votes. This article is to show junior activists that those who claim that “Indian voters sell away votes” are either misinformed by mediamen or are outright liars.

Also, the Right to Recall procedure we have suggested is anyway immune to “Indians sell votes” argument. Why? Because in RTR procedures (such as RTR-PM, RTR-DEO, RTR-CM etc) procedures we have proposed, a citizen can change his approvals anyday. So if a candidate pays Rs 100 for approval, then next week, same citizen can demand Rs 100 more or else threaten to cancel approval. So candidate will be paying Rs 100 to every voter every week — which is unviable. Hence the proposed RTR procedures are immune to “RTR is bad because Indians sell votes” argument. Nevertheless, I will refute the statement because it is lie and to protect the respect of fellow Indian citizen.


Here are 4 basic general counter-arguments as starters.

1. First, ask the mediamen, activist leaders “approximately what % of citizens sell vote” and the person will start fumbling. A statement like “Indians sell votes” , if correct, should be quantifiable. Is it 90%? or is it mere 5%?

2. Second, it is true that candidates give money and gifts and voters accept them. But every voter knows that votes are confidential. So nothing stops him from giving vote to person he wishes

3. And third, those who claim that “Indians sell their votes” , also often claim that “Indians have poor moral values”. If a voter has poor moral values, then nothing will stop him from accepting money from A and vote for B. But then comes a statement that “voters do keep the word”. Now both opposite statements cant be true.

4. And finally, I request all to ask a counter question to those who claim “X% Indian voters sell votes”. Ask him, “what % judges IYO sell judgments”, “what % of mediamen sell news” and “what % of intellectuals hide important truths”? Is this greater than X or less than X? You will notice that those who accuse us commons to selling votes refuse to do a comparison between relative levels of integrity in commons and elitemen.


Now I will refute this myth that citizens sell votes some examples

A. Since I do not want to take names, I request reader to Google for the name and wealth one candidate in Surendranagar Loksabha-2009 candidate had. He had some 300 times more wealth than I (Rahul Mehta) do. I was candidate in Gandhinagar Loksabha-2009, and I got 7300 votes. The gentleman who was 300 times wealthier than me got less than 7000 votes. So much for money buying votes.

B. In Assembly-2007 elections in Gujarat, a very wealthy person named as Bhuvan Bharvad was contesting as Congress candidate form Nadiad. He lost. Also, Congress candidate Narhari Amin was contesting from Matar constituency. Aminbhai was former Minister and owns huge plots via charitable trusts, and spend HUGE amounts. Yet he lost.

C. One experience I will relate will be of Ahmedabad Municipal Election 2000. Back then, BJP was in charge of AMC as well as Gujarat Govt and Central Govt. Victory of BJP was imminent. Congress was having hard time finding candidates. And most thought that they would lose and so they didnt spend much money in election. BJP gave gfts etc of all sorts to voters in slum etc areas. But voters voted for Congress

D. In 1977, Congress had 10 times more money than Janata Party. Yet JP won, and Congress lost

E. In 1998, Congress had 10 times more money than BJP, and yet Congress lost and NDA won

F. In many cases, all dominant players pay money. Do voters always vote for person who pays highest? I doubt. And there are often cases where voters vote for candidate who paid none.

There are countless more examples.


Let me explain myth and reality by first explaining dynamics of last few days of elections. It is true that many candidates do give gifts and money. And it is true that voters tale it. After all, very few poor people will refuse Rs 100, and for that matter, no rich man will refuse Rs 100,000. A well-off man will only have higher price in general — very few will say no to free money. But question is — did voter vote for A because A paid, or because he hated B or liked A? The answer is — over 90% voted for A because they liked A or hated B, not because A paid money.

To a person who says that “Indians sell votes”, I would ask two questions

1. Say a candidate you disapprove comes and pays you Rs 100. Would you refuse it? Say he pays you Rs 100,000. Would you still refuse it? If the person says he would refuse to take Rs 100k I would rank him as highly ethical or hypocrite.

2. If the person agrees that he would accept the money, then next question is : would still vote for candidate you disapprove?

IOW, given that voting is confidential, there is no threat of repurcussions. And there is never a binding in such trades. This is THE reason why so many wealth candidates lose against popular less wealthy candidates.

So if money doesnt matters why do candidates pay? Because if a candidate is rich or comes from a dishonest party, and he still doesnt pay, then voters will surely have foul taste in the mouth. But if candidate/party are both honest and righteous, then voters will never expect money. So yes, if candidate/party are corrupt, they better pay some money to voters. But this doesnt apply for candidates committed to reduce corruption.

Finally, why dont new candidates and new parties win? Because voters have changed parties and candidates a 5 times in past 60 years. At national level, it was done twice in 1977 and 1998. In UP, citizens tried 3 new parties – BJP, SP, BSP. In Gujarat, they tries Janata Party and then BJP. Each time, corruption did not decrease by even 1%. The reason is — citizens dont have Right to Recall and so new candidates sell out in six months. So now a perception based on past facts is that — newcomers will sell out, so why waste time, efforts and reading pamphlets of newcomers and reading his bio-data? So new candidates and new parties face distrust because of past bad experiences. Not because of any other reason.

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