May 20, 2019

Do NOTA voters matter?

There are very few pollsters who had credible data and who could tell the results before the counting of votes. There were wild swings in the predictions and we can say with pretty much surety that the election results are a work of god. The crores of citizens with individual grievances walk to the polling booths to press a button on the EVM with a million thoughts which may not always be about the candidate. While many of the voters are inherently biased and have a fixed mindset about whom to vote a few rare ones exist who vote based on certain situations. It is not possible to verify the claims of any voter because in the age of kaliyuga words do not matter much. The voters can be categorized as those with fixed mindset, those with swinging mindset and those who do not vote.

The easiest to deal are those with the fixed mindset as their loyalties are mostly fixed to a particular party/person/dynasty from several election cycles and are most likely not going to change. These voters are the most ideologically concerned and the reason for their changing voting pattern can be related to the deviation of ideology of the party they normally tend to support. Can these people go for NOTA? The most obvious answer would be YES. These people being ideologically concerned among three categories cannot opt for any other dubious party and for a temporary basis might go and press NOTA. It might also be possible that they might vote based on non-ideological issues such as caste basis on a temporary basis so as to not waste their votes. If they see the ideological correction happening then these fixed mindset voters come back to their original party. The ideology can also be a simple aversion towards a party or it can be a devotion to a politician or any other thing but the loyalty factor is the most important among these voters. These voters give the vote to the party of their choice even when they know that the party has no chance of winning just to tell the candidate that they continue to provide their support for the ideology of the party.

The second most important group of voters is those “Who do not vote”. All parties try to appease these voters one way or the other to make them to come to the polling booth. Even the election commission tries in its own way to make these voters to walk to the polling booth and the results have been largely positive. Having come to the booth, these inherently lazy people might not opt for NOTA and waste their precious time.  The voters who normally do not vote come to polling booth only due to some persuasion by someone and hence it might be possible they might not go for NOTA. They might as well have stayed at home with the confidence that their votes would not be used up by others. But the same cannot be said in a couple of state of India where the candidates are not allowed to contest and voters are not allowed to vote. The miracle of the rights organizations is that everything can happen in some states while nothing is allowed to happen in few others.  So the voters who normally do not come out to vote can be considered as those who either vote for a particular candidate or they might continue with their trend of staying out of polling activity.

The third most crucial ones are those with the swinging mindset. These are the ones who are not ideologically connected to a party. These voters tend to analyze the benefits they gain by voting to a particular party. These people might vote based on short term benefits to get the fruits of their vote. The party that gives a better deal in one way or other gets their votes. These voters can be appeased using ideological issues but if the promises are failed then the switching of support happens in the elections that follow. The ideological appeasement might work for a few election cycles until the people realize that the issues are only used for election purpose. Can the swinging mindset voters vote for NOTA? The answer would be mostly NO. These are mostly intelligent people who see only the benefit part of their vote usage. If there is no benefit to them by going to the booth, these people might as well sit at home but if there is a good deal made they tend to extra efforts to got to the polling booth and vote for a certain party.

It is the only those with the fixed mindset who would vote for NOTA and the voters may belong to any political ideology. The fear regarding the NOTA voters destroying the change of parties coming to power are really true because in close contests every vote counts but there are voters who could be pulled towards a party by using appeasement tactics but there lies the problem of constitution and its discriminatory agenda. The swing voters have to be appeased and the “who do not vote” voters have to be motivated. The deviation in ideology is the most difficult and with more deviation more will be the NOTA voters because the fixed mindset voters never waste their vote. Only the fixe mindset voters cannot be appeased easily but the swing and “who do not vote” can be by all parties. NOTA voters matter and will create a lot of heartburn and confusion in the days to come. Ideology is the bedrock of the nation and fixed mindset voters are the guardians of the ideology whatever it might be. The ideology might be breakage of the nation, it might be making the nation into a super power, it might also be to make the nation into a beggar state, or something else.

Picture Credit: India TV


About Vijendra Bhat 141 Articles
Currently working as an Assistant Professor in an Engineering College in Udupi district, Karnataka. Earlier Worked in Steel Foundry Industry for 6 years. Interested in the politics and revival of Bharat.
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