United Voters of India: The Logic of Collective Action (Part 9)

The Power of 10%

A principles-based vote bank could now give the right incentives for a politician to make seemingly bold decisions. So far, the worry for a politician in India is that the ones who didn’t like the decision would vote against, while the others would stay at home – thus resulting in possible electoral defeat. But what if an electorally significant group (say, 10% of the electorate) came together, made their support visible prior to the election, and encouraged the politicians to go through with the right decisions – promising to vote, and vote as one?!

This united voting bloc could thus persuade and reward the politicians electorally for doing the hard task of changing rules so that India was put on an irreversible path to prosperity. (Conversely, it could also punish politicians for not doing the right thing.) Actions have to be taken prior to an election – since promises made could easily be forgotten after an election.

Good rules – built on the principles of classical liberalism of a limited but strong government – can only happen via collective action. A new group of voters has to be created from among the two-thirds of those eligible to vote but disconnected from the political system – the NANVs (non-aligned and non-voters). This group, if it voted and voted as one, could work as a swing vote and a pressure group with an ability to determine the eventual electoral winner.

Today even the most sincere, honest and well-meaning leader can do little in India – because the rules are so bad and complex. That is why we have no option but to write new ones. Amending old ones or finding bypasses around the bad rules will not cut it. You cannot take a bullock cart and make it into a jet engine through piecemeal changes. Politicians perhaps intuitively know this but are scared to act because they think elections will be lost, and there are no prizes for brave losers in politics. So, the vote bank could embolden the right-minded politicians to come forth, speak up and do the right things. It could also give citizens who wanted to see a better and richer India a way to effect positive change.

These two ideas – that India needs new rules (based on a new set of principles) with personal and economic freedom for Indians at their core, and a united vote bank of about 10% of voters that could determine the fate of politicians electorally – can become the building blocks of UVI. For all those who think they are alone in wanting a better India and their voice does not matter, UVI can become the route to actually making a difference and impacting electoral outcomes, and creating a better future for themselves and all Indians.

Tomorrow: Part 10

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.