Hindu Mommy

November 8, 2006

Elections In US vs Elections In India

Filed under: India,Indians in US — hindumommy @ 12:22 am

As everyone living in the US probably already knows, today were the mid-term elections. There are a couple of really nail chewing suspense races between the Democrats and Republicans as they fight for control over Congress.

Amazing how different the whole election process is from India, the other big democracy

First of course, Election Day is  a public holiday in India.  No such luck here. My kids had regular preschool.

The community recreation center (which was a polling station) was open with a full course of activities and the only sign of Election Day were two small hand written “Voters here” posters. I had to look really really hard to find some signs of Election Day.

In India, Election Day is full of tension with police patrolling most of the voting booths.

Even the campaigning process is so different. Here we do have our share of negative ads and boards put in the lawns of hard-core Republicans or Democrats but somehow the Indian campaigning seems much more frenzied with speakers blaring at rallies and fliers plastered all over town.

Campaigning in India is definitely more colorful. Raj Bhakta did try to inject some of that flair in his campaign but of course it pales in comparison to some of the campaigns run in India.

Most importantly, a lot more people vote in India. Of course, some of these people are poor people brought in truckloads by the candidates but I think a lot of them end up making the right choice.

In the end, that’s what I think elections should be about – getting everyone involved in the races and having them care enough about the issues to take the time to vote…

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3 Comments »

  1. Elections:

    In India, During elections liquor,cash also blood flows at many places.

    The rich who contest and the poor who vote for them are really involved. The middle class apathy is a bane of indian elections.

    In addition to many already elected criminals who are now respectable members of Loksabha,the highlight is “Abu Salem” an underworld don who is now in jail is also contesting the elections in Uttar Pradesh, India. Can US beat Indian democracy!

    Comment by swaralu — November 8, 2006 @ 3:46 am | Reply

  2. Interesting analysis. Well elections maybe different but politicians are the same in both the countries- they insult democracy once elected. Look at how Bush flouted public opinion over the Iraq war. The whole issue is more of ensuring political accountablility.

    Comment by Hiren — November 8, 2006 @ 11:43 am | Reply

  3. Hiren and Swaralu:

    You are both right…I agree – Unfortunately, politicians the world over are the same…Power always makes them think they are beyond law
    But the true power of democracy definitely lies with the people – proof is the results of the mid-term elections in the US

    Comment by hindumommy — November 8, 2006 @ 4:57 pm | Reply


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