2014 Elections: Place a bet in Dec, collect your winnings in May

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Ray, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    43,118
    Likes Received:
    23,543
    Location:
    Somewhere
    Place a bet in Dec, collect your winnings in May

    MJ Akbar


    An opinion poll is always more opinion than poll. But any politician who ignores it does so at his peril. It does not provide a result, obviously, or we might not need that elaborate and expensive proposition called an election. Its sample base always sounds ridiculously thin, compared to the actual numbers that will turn up at the booth in an Indian general election. It is rarely accurate about seat-numbers in the kind of parliamentary democracy we have, where subjective factors like the quality and personal history of a particular candidate can create sufficient micro antipathy to reverse a macro trend.

    The best way to read an opinion poll is as a series. Over time, it will plot quite accurately the direction in which public opinion is moving. The latest readings of this barometer, done for the television channel CNN-IBN in the middle of October and revealed this week, indicate that the decline of Congress and its coalition, UPA, has accelerated.

    A government begins to slip long before it falls. If the slip is not consistent, it can be dismissed as a blip; those in politics understand that this playground is full of seesaws. But when one side of the seesaw refuses to rise over two years, then you know that the game is over for one of the two players. The Congress vote did not leak in one direction in the first phase of decline. It ran in many directions, particularly since the principal potential alternative reservoir, the BJP, was suffering from its own credibility issues. This encouraged regional parties to believe that a non-Congress, non-BJP alliance could come to power at the Centre.

    The more recent slew of polls, however, has shown a gradual consolidation of the vote towards the BJP-led NDA alliance, even though the number of parties in NDA has not increased, and its partners had maximized their electoral potential earlier. The accretion is largely taking place around the lotus as the date of the general election shifts from distant future to a date on the calendar.

    There are two good reasons. First, the electorate remains sceptical about the stability of an alliance without the strong core that only a national party can provide. The need for stable governance ensures that regional parties will do better in the Assembly elections, than in a vote for Parliament. In Uttar Pradesh, for instance, I expect Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party to get far more seats in state elections than for Parliament. The difference could be as high as 30%.

    Second, as BJP gets its act together, sceptics start to return. Witness Karnataka, where the BJP had sunk to the equivalent of around five parliamentary seats only a few months ago. It has begun to recover, and moved to the equivalent of about ten, going by present vote share percentages.

    In states where the BJP is in power, or capable of coming to power on its own, there is a confluence of trends. Just some weeks ago, Delhi, the capital of froth, was rife with speculation that Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot had reversed anti-incumbency through state largesse. Similarly, there was much talk that Jyotiraditya Scindia would lead Congress to unexpected improvement in Madhya Pradesh and Ajit Jogi would bring Chhattisgarh back to the Congress fold. The CNN-IBN polls show that BJP has actually widened the gap, and could win more seats than earlier predicted.

    In Delhi, the wild card entry, Arvind Kejriwal, has done what most parties do in their quest for the Muslim vote — genuflect before Imams who claim to be influential. One wonders whether this will help or hurt Kejriwal, since his unique selling proposition is that he is breaking traditional brokerage patterns that have driven electoral politics into a morass. If he can go to maulvis, why not Hindu priests? Or does he too believe that the Muslim voter is still in the grip of priests, but the Hindu has been liberated from such compulsions? Kejriwal should take a trip to a university with Muslim students (of both genders), if he has any time left over from mosques.

    The critical problem for the UPA is evident in the poll statistics: its support has fractured from the centre of its coalition pile, through the debilitating Congress vote. If the centre cannot hold, the fringe will become fragile and unpredictable. The strongest exodus is by the young who are redefining themselves outside the usual categories of religion and caste. The campus is a melting pot cooking up a new India.

    If this trend sustains in the opinion polls of January, you can go to the nearest bookie and take a safe bet on the outcome of the next general election. Collect your winnings in May.

    Place a bet in Dec, collect your winnings in May by The Siege Within : MJ Akbar's blog-The Times Of India

    **********************************************

    An opinion poll is not the last word in guaranteeing the results of elections.

    It is merely an indicator of trends and it depends on the size of respondents and the questions asked.

    In the Opinion Polls, all polls indicate that the UPA is in deep trouble and the trends in successive polls, done by a variety of agencies, don't seem to be helping the UPA's fortunes. Indeed, it is distressing to the Congress and that is why they, unlike in the past when they gloated over them, have now appealed to the EC to halt such polls! Strange conscience and strange ethics, to say the least.

    There was a time when the whole issue was in a flux. As Akbar writes -But when one side of the seesaw refuses to rise over two years, then you know that the game is over for one of the two players. The Congress vote did not leak in one direction in the first phase of decline. It ran in many directions, particularly since the principal potential alternative reservoir, the BJP, was suffering from its own credibility issues. This encouraged regional parties to believe that a non-Congress, non-BJP alliance could come to power at the Centre.

    However, now has shown a gradual consolidation of the vote towards the BJP-led NDA alliance, even though the number of parties in NDA has not increased,

    His comment on Kejriwal is telling indicating that he too is failing to live up to the high ideals that he preaches. Ankbar writes - In Delhi, the wild card entry, Arvind Kejriwal, has done what most parties do in their quest for the Muslim vote — genuflect before Imams who claim to be influential. One wonders whether this will help or hurt Kejriwal, since his unique selling proposition is that he is breaking traditional brokerage patterns that have driven electoral politics into a morass. If he can go to maulvis, why not Hindu priests? Or does he too believe that the Muslim voter is still in the grip of priests, but the Hindu has been liberated from such compulsions? Kejriwal should take a trip to a university with Muslim students (of both genders), if he has any time left over from mosques.

    Indeed, we must wait till Dec, If this trend sustains in the opinion polls of January, one can go to the nearest bookie and take a safe bet on the outcome of the next general election. Collect your winnings in May.

    I am not top sure if placing bets are legal and so check it out before someone holds you for that.

    I am not betting!
     
  2.  
  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    43,118
    Likes Received:
    23,543
    Location:
    Somewhere
    Kejriwal has disappointed me because he has resorted to walking the traded path.

    Apparently, it proves that all politicians talk big, but are birds of the same feather.
     
    parijataka, Free Karma and wolfpackx1 like this.
  4. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Messages:
    5,195
    Likes Received:
    2,223
    I would wait till last vote is counted for general election.Assembly elections are hardly any indicator
     
  5. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    43,118
    Likes Received:
    23,543
    Location:
    Somewhere
    All the same the hype that is being built up and all the shenanigans is adding to the zest to life, lost by the dismal situation that envelopes the common man!
     

Share This Page